Here’s a fascinating historical parallel to the Pennsylvania primary, from
Political analysts point to the 2002 Democratic gubernatorial primary between Ed Rendell and Bob Casey Jr. as the closest comparison to the matchup between Obama and Clinton.
Rendell won that closely contested race with a coalition of African Americans and upscale, highly educated white voters—a coalition like the one assembled by Obama. Casey focused on blue collar workers, union households, lower-income individuals and ethnic white voters—strikingly similar to Clinton’s base in Pennsylvania.
Yet now each man is boosting the candidate of the opposite coalition. Rendell backs Clinton, even though Obama depends on the same combo of blacks and educated whites as Rendell did. And Casey backs Obama, even though Clinton appeals more to the working-class voters who put him in office.
It’s this kind of crossover that should make Democrats less concerned about party unity in the fall. If leaders with strong demographic associations like Casey and Rendell enthusiastically throw their weight behind the nominee, voters will follow.
On the other hand, Obama might be uncomfortable having Rendell pushing for him, now that this video has surfaced …