Barack Obama bandwagon on a roll

February 13, 2008 8:01:55 PM PST
After three big wins in Tuesday's Potomac primaries, Obama now leads Hillary Clinton in the delegate count by 25 votes. More importantly, he's attracting the types of voters Clinton has been counting on.

Hillary Clinton's base has been women, blue collar Whites, Latinos, and Asian Americans. However, on Tuesday in Virginia, Barack Obama broke that mold. He got more women voters, more working class Whites, and more Latino voters than Clinton.

it's A potential earthquake for the Clinton campaign if those same results hold in the next big contest in Texas and Ohio.

"It's not clear to me that we can generalize from the experience here to what will happen in Texas," says Prof. Bruce Cain, Ph.D., ABC7 Political Analyst.

ABC7 political analyst, Bruce Cain, points out that in Virginia, the number of Latino voters was very small and may not provide a reliable comparison to Texas.

Clinton's supporters believe her base in Texas and Ohio will stand with her.

"Latinos, women, working class Democrats, time and time again, those voters have stuck with her, whether it's in New Hampshire or out here in California," says Cain.

However, on Tuesday night, those groups went with Obama. A member of his leadership council believes the demographics are shifting.

"What Senator Oobama is doing, which is successful, he's expanding the party. He's expanding the base. He's winning in rural areas as well as urban areas," says Tony West, Obama California Campaign Co-Chair.

No question Obama is building momentum, but will it carry to Texas? Professor Bruce Cain think's it's too hard a call.

"We could see a dynamic that's more like what we saw in Arizona and we saw in California, so I think you have to be very careful."

But in Texas, where Clinton is focusing her campaign, University of Houston political scientist professor, Richard Murray, says Clinton's base is historically less likely to vote in the primary.

"Her support here with blue collar Whites...uh that's not an important electorate anymore in the Democratic primary. The Democratic primary is mostly minorities, up scale Whites, some young adults, particularly in this election,"

Professor Murray says a lot of working class white Democrats in Texas are also Christian evangelicals, particularly in the more rural areas. And in Texas, they can cross over and vote for Mike Huckabee, which is not a great scenario for the Clinton campaign that is putting everything it has into the March 4th primaries in Texas and Ohio.