COMMENTS: Ordinary Voters and Super Delegates

ABC led its newscast with David Wright (no link) in Allentown where he described the strange tone of the Pennsylvania primary. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton "seem to be auditioning for the General Election," he observed, "looking past each other and training their sights on Republicans." In their stump speeches, she "barely mentioned him" while he "ignored" her. And even as Obama toured bowling alleys and agricultural sites performing "retail politics Iowa style," sure, he was targeting primary voters but "clearly superdelegates too." Wright summarized the Pennsylvania campaign as having "two audiences." NBC's John Yang, too, focused on superdelegates, profiling an undecided pair in Missouri. Lelia Medley is a teachers' union official and former backed of John Edwards; Maria Chappelle-Nadal is a state legislator handpicked by Party Chairman Howard Dean. They both prefer that voters select the candidate "but if they have to they will be ready."

NBC's lead by Andrea Mitchell looked at the $8.7m debt facing the Rodham Clinton campaign eleven days before the end of the quarter. By contrast, according to the Federal Elections Commission, Obama had $31m on hand. Mitchell noted that in the upcoming primary states of Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina, Obama out-advertising Rodham Clinton by a ratio of five-to-one. Of Rodham Clinton's debt, $2.5m is owed to the firm of her "campaign guru" Mark Penn. Mitchell quoted the candidate's online fundraising appeal: "This is our last chance to show our strength in the midst of the onslaught from our opponent."


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