01 June 2008
The PR Primary
That's PR as in Public Relations, since the vote in Puerto Rico was little more than symbolic. Senator Clinton can't make her usual claim that the outcome proves her superior electability, since Puerto Rico has no vote in the general election. It's symbolic because it helps her make her argument about the "popular vote," even though that quantity has no more to do with the rules of the Democratic selection process than it matters in the Electoral College later. It's symbolic in its implicit message to uncommitted superdelegates that Clinton is more popular than Senator Obama among Hispanics, and is thus more "electable." But it isn't the same sort of protest vote that we've seen in West Virginia or Kentucky, if only because, according to an exit poll, as many as one-third of Puerto Rican voters claim not to know enough about Obama to have an opinion about him. Spin is all that Clinton has left to fight with now, and she has hurt Obama only if the pundits feel the blow.