Friday, March 14, 2008

The Horse Race

From Talking Points Memo.

By Greg Sargent - March 14, 2008, 3:40PM

On a call with some of his major California donors yesterday, Barack Obama acknowledged that Pennsylvania will be a steep uphill battle, and said that his aim is to get within 10 points of Hillary there, something that he said would be a "victory" for him, according to a donor on the call.

"He said that Pennsylvania is tough for them and that the demographics really are not the best for them," the donor tells me, adding that Obama was speaking to the group of 40-odd contributors via conference call.

"He said his goal is to finish within 10 points, and that that would be a victory for them. He said he'll be making a big effort there, but that she should win it and that the goal is to finish within 10."

Asked for comment on the conversation, Obama spokesperson Bill Burton didn't deny that it had taken place, saying: "She has a big lead, she won Ohio by 10 points and she is the favorite -- but we will fight as hard as we can for votes and delegates."

Obama's remarks are significant, because defining a Pennsylvania victory (and defeat) in such specific terms could make it tougher for the campaign to frame the actual results when they happen should he lose by more than 10 points. If he comes in under 10, however, setting expectations in advance this way could help.

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