InsiderAdvantage Poll in Pennsylvania May Signal an End to Clinton Campaign

Matt Towery

4/4/2008 12:01:00 AM - Matt Towery

The elite of her own Democratic Party are turning on her. The media generally are undercutting her campaign. Her campaign coffers are looking barer every day.

Now a new poll suggests that the April 22 Pennsylvania Democratic primary could be the straw that breaks the back of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

It is well known that for Sen. Clinton to have even a sporting chance of a brokered convention that might lead to her nomination, she must carry the remaining big state primaries, such as Pennsylvania. More, she must win them convincingly, if not overwhelmingly.

But an InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll conducted April 2 of 659 likely Democratic registered voters in Pennsylvania shows Clinton leading her opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, by only 45 percent to 42 percent, with the remainder of Democratic voters undecided.

For Clinton, there is nothing but bad news in the poll. Her lead among white voters, who make up about 80 percent of the Democratic primary vote, was only a modest 49 percent to 40 percent.

Worse for her, the poll showed African-American voters supporting Obama by 56 percent to 29 percent for Clinton. If past races in this 2008 contest are any indication, that vote will trend more and more to Obama as Election Day approaches.

Our most recent survey in North Carolina indicates that Obama is leading handily there, where Clinton badly needs an upset victory to survive until the convention.

The fact is that the Democratic establishment, ranging from Howard Dean to the Kennedy-Kerry-Gore axis, has worked overtime to bury any chance for Hillary Clinton to stage a comeback. Based on media coverage, Clinton's gaff concerning the dodging of nonexistent bullets on a visit to Bosnia as First Lady has done more damage with voters than the explosive comments of Obama's former church minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

There are a few things that are becoming apparent here. First, Clinton has virtually no chance of surviving this race.

The second thing is that the Democratic Party and media elite have finally found ways to pound the Clintons into the ground and "teach them" that they were never worthy of wearing the crown of "Democratic Royalty" to start with. That unofficial title is reserved for the wealthy and more refined Kennedys, Gores and the like.

If I were Bill and Hillary Clinton, I would be so angry that I would be unable to contain myself. Indeed, as for former President Bill Clinton, it is arguable as to whether he has been able to control himself. They've dealt with a DNC chairman who darn well knew from the start that his position on the Florida and Michigan primaries and its delegates not counting would damage Hillary Clinton more than any other candidate.

Dean's appointments to the credentials committee for the national convention have been heavily weighted with those loyal to him and to Obama. At every step of the way Dean has set traps for Clinton.

When Bill Clinton chose to challenge Barack Obama's record, each and every comment was interpreted as a racial slur from a man who has been nothing less than one of the greatest friends to the African-American community in modern history.

Former Clinton guru James Carville is right when he says that Obama is treated differently than any other candidate. This is a rough and tumble business, but one in which every Clinton mistake is treated as fair play, while most questions about Obama are either overlooked or dismissed as his having dealt with them brilliantly.

And what does all of this have to say about the attitudes toward female candidates in America? While Hillary Clinton gets the greater percentage of women votes, it is nowhere near as lopsided as the percentage of African Americans who choose Obama. I've said before that I certainly understand this phenomenon. He is the first candidate of color to ever have a legitimate chance to capture the White House.

But what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If pride in achieving "firsts" can drive one demographic, why should the same not apply to another -- women? For whatever reason, younger women, based on polling and exit polls, have simply seen no reason to take ownership in Clinton's campaign.

Barack Obama may become the greatest political leader of our lifetime. Who knows? But the Democrats had better hope they are right in casting all their marbles with him. Because they slanted, shifted and stacked every card in the deck to do in Hillary.

It's looking like it worked.