April 23, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

The beat goes on after Clinton gets must-win in Pa.

A margin of 10 percentage points was good enough for front pages to use forceful descriptors of Hillary Clinton’s win in Tuesday’s important Pennsylvania primary.

“Clinton Takes Pennsylvania,” The Washington Post said after the Democrat got 55% of the vote to Barack Obama’s 45%. The New York Times said, “Clinton Clearly Outduels Obama.”

Noting that the win keeps Clinton’s campaign alive, USA Today said, “Clinton boosted by big win.” Today’s headline goes to the Los Angeles Times, which said: “Good night, not goodbye for Clinton.”

From the Keystone State, The Philadelphia Inquirer proclaimed: “A convincing victory, and the race goes on.” Managing Editor Sandra Long said: “We wanted our front page to capture what went on across the state; the excitement and diversity of voters and the unprecedented high voter turnout in the election.”

The Bucks County Courier Times in Levittown used “historic” and “urgent” in describing the primary. “Clinton grinds out must-win,” the Reading Eagle said. Clinton has childhood ties to Scranton, where The Times-Tribune called her win a “Gritty Victory.”

From the state capital, Harrisburg, The Patriot-News devoted most of its page to results. “We stewed over the hed — 10 points was less than a blowout but more than a win — before going with ‘Slam Dunk,’” said David Newhouse, executive editor. “Of course, Obama is the one who plays basketball, but we figured this was better than a whiskey-swigging metaphor.”

Headlines were more tempered in other communities. The Morning Call in Allentown said: “Clinton Wins, But … was her margin of victory … big enough to make a dent in Obama’s delegate lead?” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette pictured Obama, saying: “Obama shifts quickly to Indiana, next battleground.”

Analysts have noted that age, gender and race are playing roles in voter decision-making. The Tribune-Review of Greensburg said: “White workers deliver the victory, exit polls show.”

After six weeks in Pennsylvania, the campaigns turn to Indiana and North Carolina, which have May 6 primaries. “It’s Our Turn,” The Indianapolis Star said.

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy is front-pages editor at the Newseum.

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