Clinton's message reaches blue-collar vote
Mar 31,2008 00:00 by UPI
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Sen. Hillary Clinton, despite her suburban roots, has resonated with blue-collar workers who, observers say, are keeping her U.S. presidential candidacy afloat.

For several reasons -- Clinton's focus on economic problems and solutions and her highly public story of survival -- her message resonates with financially suffering voters, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

"For blue-collar Democratic voters choosing a candidate, the first question is usually, 'Does he or she understand my life?'" said Mark Kornblau, who advised former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., before he left the race for the Democratic nomination for president. "I don't think it's natural and I don't think it comes from any real life experience ... but she uses language that really describes what's going on in people's lives."

The blue-collar vote in Ohio and Texas breathed life into Clinton's campaign, the Tribune said. Exit polls showed Clinton, D-N.Y., her beating Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., by 15 percentage points among voters without a college degree and won among those who earn $50,000 a year or less.

Those demographics should play heavily in May 6 primaries in West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and North Carolina; and the April 22 primary in Pennsylvania, where polls indicate Clinton leads, the Tribune said.

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