Interesting maps were created in the primaries yesterday, despite Obama's victories:
1) Maryland - Clinton won the fringing counties here, the ones closest to Pennsylvania and Delaware. Cecil County, at the corner of PA and DE, went almost 2 to 1 for Clinton, with similar margins in Garrett, Allegheny, and Washington counties. This feeds into my observation here yesterday that Clinton might still win this thing by picking up rural Pennsylvanians.
2) Virginia - No surprises here: Clinton took every county west of the Shenandoah Valley, including Roanoke, except Montgomery (Virginia Tech), and neighboring Floyd counties. Obama's map was punctured by Clinton wins in Shenandoah, Warren and Page counties, all of which lay on or near the West Virginia border and include the popular resort town of Front Royal, which is kind of the Hamptons of the DC area, meaning outside of summer it is a working class community dedicated to providing services to the rich folks who visit in season. Expect Clinton to pick up Kentucky and West Virginia, too.
3) DC - Again, no surprise. DC is a deeply urban area, and it was to be expected that a city kid would do well here.
It's quite conceivable that the final battle will be waged in North Carolina (May 6) and not Pennsylvania (April 22), which will pit Obama's urban and collegiate strengths against Clinton's working and poor strengths. Obama is at a distinct disadvantage in that one, since college finals will be in full swing, meaning Duke, UNC and NC State students and faculty will be focused on school. A similar dynamic was in play in New Hampshire, contributing to Clinton's win there. That Obama couldn't carry Roanoke county in Virginia should be troubling.
Too, there's only one more primary in the entire month of February: Wisconsin. Obama's momentum gets stopped without more victories to rack up, and Clinton will be nipping at his heels for debates in this time. If I was Maggie Williams, Clinton's new campaign manager, I'd be pressing that case very hard now, using McCain's apparent coronation last week as a selling point.