Will it be white men who decide Pennsylvania?

Will it be white men who decide Pennsylvania?


    Can Hillary do well enough to stay in the race?

We are finally there after what has seemed a lifetime since the last primary. The voters of Pennsylvania go to the polls tomorrow for what could determine whether Hillary’s can still entertain her dream of becoming the first female President.

This is a closed election which means that unlike many other states only those who are registered as Democrats can take part – a factor that should help the former First Lady. For in earlier elections she has done best amongst those with the strongest allegiance to the party. Obama has mostly made his inroads where he’s been able to capture independents and Republican switchers.

But there’s one demographic group that is central – white men. Hillary has no problem getting the enthusiastic support of white women (the AP picture above is very telling) while Barack has usually picked up a convincing proportion of the black vote – both white and black male and female.

We have seen in other states how these two strands have turned out in big numbers to support the candidate they most associate with. The turnout levels amongst white men, however, have been smaller.

As the Christian Science Monitor notes “A recent poll from Temple University in Philadelphia asked likely Democratic voters to rate the favorability of Clinton and Obama on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being most favorable. The contest was closest among white men who gave Clinton an average of 6.4 and Obama 6.9. When only voters over 30 are considered, the numbers get even tighter: 6.5 for Clinton and 6.7 for Obama.”

    Overall Hillary is not enjoying the massive poll leads in the state that we saw a few weeks ago – but, except with one or two rare exceptions, she is ahead and looks like the winner. The big question is how big a winner. Does she need to have a double digit lead or will a small victory suffice?

For the various betting markets click here.

Mike Smithson

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