Race still on after US poll win

By Nathan Guttman, April 24, 2008

The Democratic race for the party’s nomination is no closer to a result despite Hillary Clinton’s win in Tuesday’s primary elections in the state of Pennsylvania. According to exit polls, Mrs Clinton benefited more than Barack Obama from efforts to lobby the local community, with 55 per cent of Jewish voters supporting her and only 45 per cent giving their vote to Mr Obama. Both contenders had made a special effort to reach out to Jewish voters in Pennsylvania.

They each held separate meetings with Jewish leaders, spoke to Jewish media outlets and sent Jewish surrogates to work the local community. The Jewish voters made up seven per cent of Pennsylvania’s participants in the Democratic primary. With Mrs Clinton winning the state by a 10 per cent margin, calls to end the race early and declare Mr Obama the candidate faded. Both candidates had put millions of dollars in to the Pennsylvania campaign, viewing this diverse state as a make-or-break stop in Mrs Clinton’s road to the White House.

But Mr Obama did not succeed in pushing his rival out of the race and Mrs Clinton did not win by a sufficiently big margin to change the delegate count, in which she still lags. With the Pennsylvania primary over, all major Jewish concentrations in the US have now voted. Mrs Clinton won the key Jewish populations of New York and New Jersey, though Mr Obama fared well with Jews in California and Connecticut. Florida, one of the states with the biggest Jewish population, is not counted in the primary process because of party rules.

Last updated: 3:11pm, June 19 2008