WASHINGTON –- Pennsylvania: it's the new Iowa.
It may not be the official state motto, but it's likely to be true as the two Democratic nominees turn their attention to the next – and last – big prize on the road to the nomination. "Both campaigns are likely to treat it like Iowa and practically live there in the coming weeks," said a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton.
But that's where the similarities end. Pennsylvania is much more like Ohio than Iowa in demographics: it has the second oldest population in the United States, and it has a very large working class base, two groups that have consistently turned out for Clinton. Expect her campaign to focus on issues affecting senior citizens, like health care and long term care, as well the economy, when she begins campaigning there, according to a senior adviser.
Even with the support of the state's governor, Ed Rendell, a win in Pennsylvania is not a given. In Wisconsin, Clinton faced similar demographics only to find herself with a double-digit loss to Barack Obama. But current polls show Clinton with an advantage over Obama in Pennsylvania's April 22nd primary.
She's behind, however, in Mississippi and Wyoming, the only two states which go to the polls before Pennsylvania. While those two states don't have the large delegate count Pennsylvania does, every vote counts in this tight race. The Clinton campaign is downplaying their chances in both states, saying they will favor Obama. Mississippi has a very large African American population similar to Alabama, South Carolina and Louisiana – all states Obama won handily. Wyoming is a caucus state, and Obama has done better in caucus states than Clinton. But the senior aide said she will campaign there "to pick up her share of delegates."
Today, Clinton will hold a conference with retired military officials in Washington, D.C., before heading to Mississippi later this evening. She will campaign in parts of Wyoming tomorrow.