Election 2008

Swing Voters in the Heart of Pennsylvania

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The third of three reports

More in This Series

In a three-part series, NPR's David Greene travels across Pennsylvania to find out what's on voters' minds ahead of the state's April 22 primary. Browse our previous reports:

Part One:Pittsburgh voters at a local market tell NPR that Bill Clinton's legacy looms over the state's upcoming primary.

Part Two:Philadelphia voters talk about how race, the economy and the war have influenced their decisions ahead of the state's primary.

Pennsylvania in three weeks will be the site of the next big contest between New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

To get a sense of what's on Pennsylvanians' minds ahead of the April 22 primary, NPR talked to voters at food markets across the state.

First we stopped in Philadelphia, a Democratic stronghold with a large African-American population, where voters spoke about the role that race has played in the campaign. In Pittsburgh, white working-class voters said that Clinton's candidacy is still closely tied to her husband's legacy. And in Lancaster, the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, we talked to voters in what is largely considered a swing area of the state.

At the Lancaster Central Market, Vicky Glosser works the register at an ice cream and salad retail food stand. Glosser says she is still undecided about which candidate to support. Although she is a registered Republican, she says she is leaning toward Obama.

"He's like Kennedy," Glosser says, adding, "I think he's someone who could have made a difference if he really had had a chance."

A few stalls away, a spice seller named Jim Zinc says he is leaning toward Clinton. But he's still not clear whom he will support in the primary.

"I really didn't do a lot of prep, because I never thought we'd get to the point where Pennsylvania would matter a whole lot," he says.

His customer Beth Becker has arrived to pick up ingredients for a soup and joins the conversation. She says that she has not made up her mind yet, and as a Democrat, she says that Obama still has more to prove.

"My concern with Barack Obama is, I haven't heard enough from him on the Middle East. And being a Jewish person, that is very important to me," she says. "I want to hear support for a peace process — being engaged in a peace process."



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