Casey To Endorse Obama

A big pickup for Obama in the run-up to the Pennsylvania primary: U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, who had proclaimed his intention to remain neutral and help unite the party behind whoever the eventual nominee is, has changed course and will toss his support to Obama.

The Philly Inquirer has more:

The endorsement also comes at a crucial time for Obama, who has been trailing Clinton in Pennsylvania polls by double-digit margins but who also has bought at least $1.6 million worth of television advertising statewide in the last week, more than double Clinton’s expenditure.

Obama strategists hope that Casey can help their candidate make inroads with the white working-class men who are often referred to as “Casey Democrats.” This group identifies with the brand of politics Casey and his late father, a former governor, practiced – liberal on economic issues but supportive of gun rights and opposed to abortion. (Obama favors some gun-control measures and backs abortion rights.)

Obama badly lost the white working-class vote to Clinton in Ohio and Texas on March 4, keeping the outcome of the fight in doubt amid questions about whether he could appeal to a group of voters that has often strayed from the party in presidential elections.

Since then, Obama has been stressing economic issues important to the middle class more often than his calls to reform politics. His campaign’s recent TV ads in Pennsylvania also feature blue-collar imagery.