So the results from Pennsylvania are in and the outcome portends doom and gloom for the Democrat party in November. No, this isn't just wishful thinking on my part (though wishful I am). It's in the numbers -- as in the demographic breakdown of Tuesday's record turnout. The truth is that not only did Hillary win the total vote by almost ten points, she dominated among voters who will be key to deciding the 2008 general election: working class whites and Catholics. Yes, I know this is not what you are hearing from an adoring media, who sits happily in the front row of the Obama bandwagon. The media is telling you that Obama is riding a wave of young voters who are clamoring for change, and who will turn out in record numbers come to push Obama over the top. Perhaps this is so -- young, first-time voters may turn out to vote in big numbers in November. But the truth is that it probably won't matter: the 2008 general election will turn largely on the votes of "independents" and so-called "Reagan Democrats" -- largely white working class voters from the Northeast -- exactly like those in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. As the data show, among Reagan Democrats, Hillary Clinton dominated Obama. (Click here for data table, posted on my own blog.)
Clinton won working class (non college educated) voters by 18 points in Ohio and 16 in PA; white Catholics by 37 points in OH and 42 in PA and those over the age of 65 by 46 points in OH and 26 in Pennsylvania. While Obama performed well among blacks, he drew even with Clinton in PA among college educated and those between the ages of 18 and 64.
In fact, the only place where Obama did significantly better than Clinton was among self-described independents, beating Clinton by 10 points. But keep in mind this critical caveat: this was a closed primary where independents didn't have the option of voting for John McCain -- something that will not be the case in November. While Obama does appeal more to independents, McCain's long track-record of attracting the support of swing voters will be tough for the Obama to beat -- especially after months of McCain pounding on Obama's liberal voting record and contradictory positions on core elements on his message.
The conclusion to be drawn from this is simple: the Democrats are once again nominating a candidate that appeals greatly to their base but who may not be able to win the general election. Obama, with his anti-war credentials and "post-racial" mantra, has galvanized the MoveOn.org crowd and given black voters and white intellectuals a "Kennedy-like" figure upon which to place their hopes, dreams and aspirations. And the media has played it up fully, giving Obama a pass on most issues of substance while basking in the glow of his "star power". It served to give Obama what is likely this insurmountable lead in the primaries -- even as information comes out that paints him as a weaker candidate against John McCain in November.
So in the ultimate irony, the anti-gun, anti-religion Democrats have figured out a way to shoot themselves in the foot: they've nominated a candidate who will have difficulty attracting key voters necessary to win the presidency. It will be a bitter pill to cling to, indeed.