Hillary Clinton suffered a stunning defeat Thursday when a recount of the Pennsylvania primary vote showed she lost by a substantial margin. While the initial count had Clinton ahead by 10 points over Barack Obama, the recount put the former first lady in third just behind Obama, with Ron Paul surprising many by taking first place in a landslide victory with 60% of the vote.
Paul's win caught nearly all political analysts and media experts with their pants down. He was not even on the Democratic ballot. However, activists supporting Ron Paul did a write-in campaign that was apparently quite effective. Paul was born in Pennsylvania, and the native son designation may have carried the day.
The initial reports that Hillary Clinton had won were mistaken because those counts do not include write-in voters. With the final count, she fell well behind. Over a million voters wrote in Ron Paul's name, while several thousand wrote in Obama. It is unclear at this writing why they didn't just pull his lever. What really hurt Clinton was that tens of thousands wrote in "Not Hillary". Under Pennsylvania election law, those votes had to be subtracted from her total.
The result has unsettled the race. With Clinton in disarray and with the sudden reemergence of Ron Paul, some are suggesting that Paul might get the Democratic nomination. "After all, he's the only one who really opposed the war in Iraq," noted one Ron Paul supporter.