COMMENTS: Florida, Florida, Florida

As predicted, Tuesday's primary elections produced a split decision. Hillary Rodham Clinton prevailed in Kentucky; Barack Obama in Oregon. The fact that Oregon's racial make-up is predominantly white inspired CBS' Jeff Greenfield to correct the impression that Obama alienates white working class voters. "This whole term is a vast oversimplification," he told anchor Katie Couric. Anyway, Democrats do not need to win a majority of white votes to win the White House, they just have to prevent working class white men from deserting "in droves" as they did from Al Gore and John Kerry to George Bush. "That is when states like Michigan and Pennsylvania get in jeopardy and Ohio gets lost." As for the white population of Appalachia, they "have been trending Republican for many years."

Oregon and Kentucky leave Obama 61 delegates short of the nomination according to ABC, 70 according to CBS. As both Democratic candidates headed to Florida, each of the three networks followed and each came up with a different storyline. NBC's Andrea Mitchell looked at the likelihood of the so-called "dream ticket" with Rodham Clinton as Obama's running mate, given his "gender gap" among white women. CBS' Dean Reynolds unpacked the state's demography in a General Election contest. And ABC's David Wright saw Rodham Clinton still working the nomination contest, trying to move the goal posts that define a clinching majority.

Rodham Clinton invoked Al Gore's defeat in Florida in 2000 to argue that the Democratic Party is harmed when it does not count all votes cast. The Democratic National Committee had declared in advance that Florida's primary would not count in selecting a nominee yet ABC's Wright heard her frame that debate "as a civil rights issue." Then she "ratcheted her rhetoric up even more, going so far as to compare the disputed vote here to the election process in one of the most brutal regimes in Africa--Zimbabwe." Does that mean she is casting Barack Obama as Robert Mugabe!


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