*** How Did Obama Stop The Bleeding? One thing that jumps out at us is his performance in mostly white Indiana counties north of Indianapolis. He either won them or did much better than we expected. While he still struggled against Clinton in areas south of Indianapolis, his performance north of the city demonstrated his potential in the Midwest. Also, Obama improved with Catholics. After losing that group 70%-30% in Pennsylvania and 63%-36% in Ohio, Obama narrowed that margin to 59%-41% in Indiana; in fact, he won the county that includes South Bend. And the gas-tax debate also appears to have been a winner for Obama. Besides overshadowing (a bit) the Wright story over the days leading into last night’s contests, the debate played into Obama’s core message (that he will change the way Washington works) and played into Clinton’s chief negative (that she’ll say and do anything to win). That said, Obama didn’t get the margins you might have expected in Indiana’s northwest counties close to Illinois. Our guess is there might have been a racial divide here, and Wright might have been a factor in the Chicago media market. Even in Lake County, Obama only won 55%-45%. That probably means he lost white vote there badly… You have to wonder how much he would have WON Indiana by if 1) there was no Wright controversy or 2) he had more time.