Age, not Race, Beat Barack in Pennsylvania

With 40% of voters over 60, the 'Grandma Bloc' made Hillary's win
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2008 4:39 PM CDT
Age, not Race, Beat Barack in Pennsylvania
Supporters reacting to meeting Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The best explanation for Hillary Clinton's big win in Pennsylvania was not race but age, Jonathan Alter argues in Newsweek. A remarkable 40% of the voters in Tuesday’s primary were over 60, and Barack Obama’s 41-59% defeat in the demographic was the killer. Pennsylvania is second only to Florida in average age, and Obama's showing among seniors there was actually markedly improved from his 28-69% thumping in that demo in Ohio.

Obama knows there's an issue—“our problem has less to do with white working-class voters [than] with older voters”—but if he can outlast Clinton, there's reason to hope that AARP-ready John McCain won’t trounce him in his age group. The Republican's support for privatizing Social Security is anathema to seniors, which chould help Obama bring the retirement set back. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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