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The Punxsutawney Primary

The Punxsutawney Primary

Special Coverage: Political Editor Ken Rudin, More
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The Punxsutawney primary was yesterday and Hillary Clinton saw a big win, and now there will be 6 more weeks of campaigning for the Democrats. Clinton won by a sizeable margin over Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary, and used the win to rally supporters, highlight weaknesses in Obama's campaign, and look ahead to the next primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. The talk of Clinton dropping out is gone, for now. And looking at the exit polls, both candidates still have work to do... Clinton registered low in perceptions of honesty, and Obama got clobbered among working class voters, and older voters. We'll talk with strategists from both campaigns about how they will adapt and continue the fight. Our political junkie is in "news special" mode today, in front of a live audience at the Newseum in Washington, DC. If you're in PA, IN, or NC... How are the campaigns playing out where you live?



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

I live in SE North Carolina, and just returned from early voting. I marked an X for Obama. I'm an older white woman, but after Obama's famous race speech, I decided I had to vote for a person who treated voters like grownups.

Sent by Shel Anderson | 2:12 PM | 4-23-2008

I voted in Michigan, but I followed the rules. Now Senator Clinton wants to punish me. I voted using a non-partisan ballot in January because the DNC had already declared our primary void.

Sent by John Ferry | 2:21 PM | 4-23-2008

I can't help but wonder if Howard Wolfson would be making the same sanctimonious argument if the tables were turned, and Hillary was ahead in popular votes and delegate count and Barack had "won" in Florida and Michigan.

Sent by David Yetter | 2:22 PM | 4-23-2008

Am I the only person outraged and embarrassed that the primary votes of two heavily populated states won't count, because of a row between party officials? This is not democracy. This is an egregious event in our history and its an international embarrassment.

Why are the candidates not fighting harder to make them count or redo the primaries? Whoever wins the nomination will not have won fairly. Does this not matter? It should matter even more at this point in history considering our promotion of democracy through war.

Sent by Scott Millar | 2:29 PM | 4-23-2008

I am so mad about the Communications Director for Hillary Clinton's comments on the Michigan Primary.

As a Michigander I DON'T want our delegates to be counted as the primary was not a fair or representative race. I'm sure there are Michigan Democrats who felt the primary was legitimate but I haven't spoken to a single person here who wants the delegates seated.

It is out of touch to say that Michiganders will feel cheated out their votes if the delegates are not seated. I will feel cheated if they are seated and I know a lot of other people will feel that way too. It was a sneaky trick for Clinton to have her name on the ballot at all.

Sent by Rachel A. | 2:34 PM | 4-23-2008

I would best be described as a Reagan Democrat, educated soccer Mom from MN. I support Barack Obama. It was the first time I caucused, first time I attended Democratic delegation because I think we have the chance to change politics. If Clinton gets the nomination (who in my view seems similar to McCain), I will have to vote for McCain. Especially if Pawlenty is VP.

Makes me sad, but it is true.

Sent by Darcy McKenzie | 2:37 PM | 4-23-2008

Having just listened to both the Clinton and Obama campaign officials, how dependent is the election on the brains behind the candidates? Clinton's seem to be more willing to fight and do whatever is necessary to win, and she just might pull it out.

Sent by Doug Morris | 2:45 PM | 4-23-2008

I don't understand why Hillary gets a free pass on her old history. I still remember that she made 100,000 on commodity trades in 1978. Also her husband pardoned Marc Rich and I think she received campaign money from Denise Rich.

Sent by brenda beiser | 2:47 PM | 4-23-2008

Oregon is coming up on the 20th of May - since it's a vote by mail state, and we will have our ballots about two weeks before the election, do you see the candidates changing their campaign tactics?

Sent by David Uhreen | 2:48 PM | 4-23-2008

HRC 'didn't campaign' in Florida. She just made several trips to Florida in the weeks leading up to the election. These fund raising trips made national news, not just getting a line in a gossip column.

Sent by Jean Smith | 2:48 PM | 4-23-2008

That the Clinton campaign argues that the Democratic primary votes in Michigan and Florida should be counted has me incensed. The fact of the matter is that the Democratic parties in those states knowingly went against the rules established by the DNC, and held their primaries too early, with foreknowledge of the consequences. Campaigning in those states in order to get her message out was Hillary Clinton's prerogative, but she, did so with the full expectation that any Democratic primary votes in those states would not be counted. But now, Clinton and her supporters are clearly more interested in whatever actions will benefit her, rather than in what is fair. Voters were disenfranchised by their state party leaders, not the DNC. In arguing that the MI and FL delegates should be decided through any route other than new primaries in MI and FL, Clintonites shows little or no concern for fairness, or for what process will best benefit the Democratic party and its chances to gain the White House and increase Democratic control of Congress. This is an issue of fairness, plain and simple, but the Clinton camp's actions (from arguing over the MI and FL votes, to running bigoted ads that play on the racial and religious fears of the electorate) show that in their view, victory trumps all else, regardless of the damage that is done to the nation. This is the type of "Bush-ist" thinking that has sent America into a downward spiral domestically and internationally. Our nation needs and deserves better.

Sent by Marland Chancellor | 2:52 PM | 4-23-2008

Was it not just 2 week's ago that the pundents said that if Hillary did not win by double digits that she was through?

Sent by Matthew Huntley | 2:56 PM | 4-23-2008

Obama ran television ads that aired in Florida before their primary so he did campaign there. The Clinton campaign found independent funding that would have paid for a re-do primary in Michigan, but the Obama campaign managed to stop that from happening.

Sent by Susan | 3:49 PM | 4-23-2008

I've voted for Democratic party presidential candidates in every election since 1984. But the way Obama ducks issues, avoids specific statements about what he would do if elected, attacks Clinton directly or by proxy (vis Obama calling her a liar in a 12 Nov. 2007 Newsweek interview, and his efforts to make her out as some kind of racist because she noted that it took Federal action to put teeth into the civil rights movement) have left me unimpressed. The plain fact is that Sen. Obama initiated the nasty side of this campaign. He's reaping what he sewed.

If Obama is the Democratic party nominee, I will vote for McCain.

Sent by Mike in Tucson | 4:37 PM | 4-23-2008

Actually, Clinton did not win in double digits. Her spread is 9%, not 10. Of course all the NPR stories more or less refuse to point this out.

Now she is claiming to be ahead in popular votes. She does this by counting Michigan, where Obama wasn't on the ballot and not counting any of the caucus states. Talk about disenfranchisement.

Sent by glenn | 5:32 PM | 4-23-2008

I don't understand people who support either Dem candidate saying they will vote for Mc Cain. It is the issues, in which both Sen Clinton and Sen Obama hold similar views, that should be the deciding factor.

Sent by Barbara Corbett | 7:56 PM | 4-23-2008

I've long been a devotee of the political junkie segments, but I have had it.

I'm so exhausted that all anyone has to talk about is Michigan/Florida and horse-race politics.

Maybe now more than ever, we could use some journalism that delves more deeply into the money involved, policies offered, and more on those who have associated themselves with the campaigns so voters would have a better idea of who they will be voting for.

If Ken Rudin has to point out to another guest that Obama wasn't on the ballot in Michigan I'm going to skip TOTN Wednesdays till October.

Sent by Matthew Coan | 9:48 AM | 4-24-2008