Clinton, Obama: Pa. ‘chess game’
by Josh Drobnyk
The Democratic presidential campaigns close out an unprecedented six-week primary contest in Pennsylvania on Tuesday with two separate goals: Win the popular vote and drive up the delegate count.
One doesn’t necessarily come with the other. Only a third of the 158 pledged delegates that are up for grabs on Tuesday are divvied up according to the statewide vote. Because it’s not a winner-takes-all race, the rest get divided depending on the margin of votes in each of the state’s congressional districts.
That quirk has the campaigns pinpointing districts with the best opportunities to poach — and hold onto — an additional delegate or two, even as they aim for the more important symbolic victory in the popular vote.
”It is a three-dimensional chess game,” said Tony Podesta, who ran John Kerry’s campaign in Pennsylvania in 2004 and is a supporter of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. ”You are trying to play two games at once.”
Clinton trails Illinois Sen. Barack Obama by more than 700,000 in the overall popular vote and observers say she must emerge from the primary campaign in June within striking distance. But she must also close Obama’s 141-delegate lead. And no state remaining offers a bigger chunk of pledged delegates than Pennsylvania.
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Are you a Clinton, Obama or McCain supporter? Which one will be better in the following issues:
– Homeland Security
– Foreign Policy
– Health Care
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