There’s no doubt that Hillary’s way ahead in the Keystone State, but what if Obama could get 90,000 Republicans to vote for him on April 22?
Of the 140,000 Pennsylvania Republicans and independents who switched registration in the last year to Democrat, the majority are Obama voters, the director of the Franklin and Marshall College poll, G. Terry Madonna, said. Registration for the stateâ€™s closed April 22 primary ended March 24. â€œIf 2 million people vote in Pennsylvania, which would be a huge number, I think Obama gets 85,000 to 90,000 switchers,â€ Mr. Madonna said. â€œThatâ€™s 3 or 4 or 5%, which is a big deal.â€
So why are they supporting Obama?
The reasons are varied, but one theme that seems to constantly emerge is Iraq…
Part of Mr. Obamaâ€™s appeal to moderate Republicans in this election cycle is his early opposition to the Iraq war. Ms. Eisenhower, who worked on George H.W. Bushâ€™s presidential campaign in 1988, said in an interview that she sees a temporary realignment on the war between the parties in the general election.
â€œYou will see some Democrats voting for McCain and some number of Republicans supporting Obama,â€ said [granddaughter of President Eisenhower, Susan] Eisenhower, a senior director at Stonebridge International, whose principal partners include a former Republican senator, Warren Rudman, and President Clintonâ€™s second national security adviser, Samuel Berger. â€œThe critical thing about his candidacy is that he has the capacity to attract Republicans in a way Hillary Clinton does not. She does not represent much of a difference with John McCain. The difference between her candidacy and John McCainâ€™s isnâ€™t as stark, especially in the foreign policy area.â€
Personally, I don’t think this anti-war Republicans care about a guy like Jeremiah Wright, and maybe that’s why you’re seeing that Obama’s support really hasn’t waned much. They’re done with Iraq and they want to vote for somebody who was right when they were “wrong.”
And let’s not forget, leadership matters too…
â€œPeople have asked, â€˜How can someone who worked for Ronald Reagan support Barack Obama?â€™â€ Mr. Kmiec said in an interview. â€œAnd the answer is simple: Both are natural leaders and have a great gift for communicating. Ronald Reagan used to tell me that his greatest achievement was to make Americans feel good about themselves again. But there has to be a genuine reason to feel good about ourselves, which there hasnâ€™t been in a while.â€
Mr. Kmiec added that Mr. Obama â€œis calling us to what Ronald Reagan called us to, which is the better nature of our capacities and ourselves.â€
While I don’t think you should vote for somebody simply because they make you feel good, I do think there’s a hell of a lot of value in the idea that a President can turn around 8 years of worldwide ill-will and internal self loathing with a strong central message.
Moreover, while many discount the idea of “hope”, I’d argue our nation was built upon that very thing. Because hope let’s people think they can actually make a difference, and only then do you see real transformative action. Also, as any great leader will tell you, the best ideas in the world don’t mean a thing unless you can get people excited enough to sell them in. And while I’m sure that Hillary and McCain have the capacity to sell an idea in, I can’t help but think Obama is far more gifted in that area. Maybe that’s what these “Obamacans” are thinking too.
I guess we’ll see.