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Pennsylvania Recap: Is Dem Division Cementing?

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) picked up a critical 10-point win in Pennsylvania. While the campaign’s spinmeisters try to do what they do best, one thing is clear: Clinton has lived to see another day.

As the deluge of exit polls came in last night, a few interesting results stood out. According to MSNBC, 71 percent of respondents would be satisfied if Clinton became the nominee, compared to 64 percent for Obama. Over 60 percent of Clinton backers said they wouldn’t be happy with Obama as the nominee; Just over half of Obama’s supporters wouldn’t be satisfied with Clinton as the nominee.

Here’s the kicker: Fifty-three percent of Clinton voters would vote for Obama if he were the Democratic nominee, while 25 percent would vote for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Eighteen percent wouldn’t vote at all.

Of Obama supporters: Sixty-nine percent would vote for Clinton, 16 percent would go for McCain and 13 percent would stay home.

This could be simply the result of the long and entrenched campaigns in Pennsylvania, but one has to wonder whether the oft-discussed division among Democrats is cementing.

The AP reports that while Obama held his base of black, affluent and young voters, he didn’t make any inroads into Clinton’s base of white, blue-collar voters (Clinton won them 69 percent to 30 percent). This result, perhaps more than anything else, helps Clinton’s argument to superdelegates that Obama is not electable. Clinton also retained her base of older voters, women and whites.

Clinton is off to Indiana and North Carolina Thursday, turning her attention to their May 6 primaries. The big question is whether this helps Clinton in fund raising. Already her campaign is saying the Pennsylvania win has brought in $2.5 million.

Obama was already in Indiana last night. He delivered his election night speech from Evansville.

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