A Bright Light on an Otherwise Tough Night

Well, last night did not bring the victory for Obama and the conclusion to the Democratic nominating process that I had hoped.  It seems that Obama’s defeat in PA was largely due to the voting tendencies of an older generation that is not ready to move on to a more mature politics.  

The younger generation, however, was clearly energized by Obama as is clear from the following points made in an email to Obama supporters by Shawn Domagal-Goldman, a Penn State student organizer for the Obama campaign.

These figures suggest that the work that was done here in Centre Country made a significant difference.

  • Centre County was Obama’s 2nd best county in the state, trailing only Philadelphia County.
  • Obama’s margin of victory in Centre County (4,766 votes) was big enough to prevent Clinton from getting a 3-1 delegate split from our congressional district. Instead, it will be a 2-2 split.
  • The margin of victory in Centre County also appears to have prevented Clinton from obtaining a significant milestone: a double-digit victory in PA.
  • Obama won newly registered Democrats by a 62-38 margin. Without these these voters (13% of the electorate), Clinton’s margin of victory would have been a whopping 15%. This is the type of victory she really needed to claim campaign viability. The gains we made on her in PA from when we were 20 points down were due in large part to the boots on the ground registering new voters and getting them to the polls.
  • Democrats outnumbered Republicans in the county by a 69-31 margin, with 60% turnout on the Democratic side. That’s great news for the general election.
I choose to focus on these positive aspects of last night as we move into the next phase of this process.  I remain hopeful that the Democratic party will choose its future over its past.
PS: For an interesting take on how the two candidates and their respective generations view change, see Ellen Goodman’s article, How We Make Change.

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