Collective Amnesia

On Tuesday night I witnessed one of the most bizarre and amazing events on TV: All the cable news pundits were stricken with complete and total amnesia at exactly 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

I do not mean to demean Hillary Clinton's victory in the Pennsylvania primary. She needed to win, and she pulled off a strong victory. But this should not have been a surprise to anyone. Hillary Clinton was expected to win; the demographics of the state were favorable to her, she had the endorsement of the popular governor, and all the polls showed her winning. As we can see from the image at, the polls indicated that she was expected to win by about 8 points.

Pennsylvania's demographics are nearly identical to Ohio where Clinton won by almost exactly the same spread. In fact, Pennsylvania is older, has more female, and less black people than Ohio. And in both states she also had the endorsement of the popular governor.

Hillary Clinton's win in Pennsylvania was neither something special nor surprising. It did not "raise new issues about Obama"-- all it did was demonstrate that the same patterns which have defined this race held steady. It will be fascinating to see in two weeks if the pundits are equally "shocked" when Obama wins by a large margin in North Carolina like he is expected to.

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