Obama Endorsed By NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Political Action Committee

One of the many lies spread by Clinton supporters is that Obama has been weak on supporting choice. Hopefully this smear, along with the entire Clinton campaign, is coming to an end. Helping debunk this smear, NARAL Pro-Choice America‘s political action committee endorsed Barack Obama:

Sen. Obama has been a strong advocate for a woman’s right to choose throughout his career in public service. Since joining the Senate in 2005, he has worked to unite Americans on both sides of this debate behind commonsense, common-ground ways to prevent unintended pregnancy. He supports legislation to provide our teens with comprehensive sex education, prevent pharmacies from denying women access to their legal birth-control prescriptions, and increase access for family-planning services.

Sen. Obama has said, “A woman’s ability to decide how many children to have and when, without interference from the government, is one of the most fundamental rights we possess. It is not just an issue of choice, but equality and opportunity for all women.”

Further, I believe Sen. Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee. He leads in pledged delegates, superdelegates, the popular vote, and cash-on-hand. As a former elected official, I know that having the three “m’s” of a campaign – money, message and manpower (or womanpower!) – are how we win elections. Sen. Obama will be our next president.

Clinton Scores Late Touchdown But Obama Extends Lead

The media coverage of the West Virginia shares my sentiments in describing it as Hillary’s Last Hurrah. Clinton’s victory in Appalachia is being treated like a late touchdown against the second team when the outcome is no longer in doubt. Dana Milbank calls Clinton an ex-candidate and compares her to a dead parrot.

Besides winning the media spin war last night. Obama continues to pick up superdelegates who are not fooled by Clinton’s arguments that she is more electable. Not only does Obama poll better than Clinton against McCain, and do better in many swing states, but Obama also polls equal to Clinton with white working class voters in a general election match up. Today Obama has picked up Indiana Rep. Pete Visclosky, College Democrats VP Awais Khaleel, and Democrats Abroad Chair Christine Schon Marques.

For Clinton, winning in West Virginia has turned out to be even less significant than scoring a late touchdown. It is as if she was intercepted on the attempted two point conversion with team Obama running the ball back to score, and then team Obama taking in the failed on-side kick for yet another touchdown. Obama remains well on the way to mathematically clinching the nomination on May 20. Clinton’s only remaining strategy is to keep trying to move the goal posts, but the referees from the DNC and the superdelegates are not buying it.

Hillary’s Last Hurrah

As widely expected, the Hillbillies for Hillary gave Clinton her last hurrah in West Virginia. She’ll win again in Kentucky, but the win will be offset by victory for Obama in Oregon where Clinton is far behind in the polls, including among women. She is also favored in Puerto Rico, but by that time she will be even further behind with no chance at a comeback.

Clinton, often looking back at the past as opposed to towards the future, is fond of citing historical precedents in elections. Matthew Yglesias helps debunk the importance of West Virginia:

As the Clinton campaign sagely points out “no Democrat has won the White House without winning West Virginia since 1916” and therefore Obama’s primary loss shows that despite his large lead in the polls over John McCain, he can’t possible win the election.

What’s even more interesting is that no Democrat has won the White House without carrying Minnesota since 1912 (it went for Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose party) so given that Obama won Minnesota and Clinton won West Virginia, McCain is guaranteed to win the general election unless the eventual nominee can somehow completely replicate the social and political conditions prevailing in pre-WWI America. The outlook, in short, is very grim.

Fortunately Obama brings many states much larger than West Virginia into play.

Undoubtedly the Clinton camp will spin this as evidence that Obama cannot win the votes of the working class. The real difference is type of working voters. Clinton has consistently out performed Obama in Appalachia. One in four Clinton voters admitted that race was a factor in their vote. Trends in southern states from before the Civil Rights Act was enacted provide little predictive value today.

ABC News took a closer look at the numbers with regards to Obama and working class whites. They do note that “Whites who don’t have a college degree have voted for Hillary Clinton by a 2-1 margin.” However primaries and general elections are two different things. In a general election campaign, Clinton would be hampered by her poor support among educated whites:

Obama, with his upscale appeal, does better among better-educated whites: McCain’s just +3 vs. Obama, compared with McCain’s 12-point advantage against Clinton among college-educated whites. That accounts for Obama’s better showing against McCain overall, 51-44 percent in our poll, vs. 49-46 percent in a Clinton-McCain matchup.

The differences are partially geographical, with Obama doing better among working class whites once you get away from Appalachia. ABC notes that, “Obama won less-educated whites in the Vermont and Wisconsin primaries, was +2 in Utah and came within 4 points in his home state of Illinois (although in each he again did better with upscale whites).” Obama also does better among working class whites than John Kerry and Al Gore did. ABC reports, “they lost working-class whites to George W. Bush by 24 points and 17 points, respectively.”

If we look ahead to a general election campaign, there is plenty of reason to believe that Obama can improve his support among working class whites. Many who voted for Clinton as their first choice will vote for Obama over John McCain. Obama also does better in states the more they are exposed to him. I’ve already noted two states, New Jersey and California, where Clinton won the primary but Obama now leads Clinton in the polls. In contrast, the affluent, educated, socially liberal independents who Obama brought into the party but Clinton supporters disparage as “elites” are not likely to vote for Hillary Clinton.