Hillary Happy in Erie

ERIE, Pa. -- This is the state that came through by 9 points for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the primaries -- after many pundits declared the nomination to belong to Sen. Barack Obama.

This is a town that's been suffering -- caught in an economic slump that has left many disaffected and disillusioned, even, dare we suggest, "bitter."

So it seemed worthwhile to check in with some folks in the wake of Clinton's advice that her supporters simply must back in Obama on economic grounds.

Well -- not so much, and not so fast.

"I'm definitely a registered Democrat, but I think I'm going to sway to the other side Sarah Palin to me has more of an appeal that she could manage things," said Julie Slomski of Erie, who came to The Brewerie restaurant inside the renovated historic train station in Erie to greet the "GMA" train.

"Sarah Palin to me has more of an appeal that she could manage things," Slomski said. "She's bringing the female approach to the whole process, and I like what she's done in Alaska, that she's making herself an up-and-coming leader."

Several voters said they wanted Clinton on Obama's ticket.

"He'd be much further ahead right now," said Kathy Bobbins, a former Clinton supporter who now describes herself as "on the fence."

"Obama made the biggest mistake by not having her -- that's what I think," said Bobbins' friend, Ellen Mastellar. "I think it would be a completely different race right now. All this support from Hillary would definitely be with Obama now -- there's no question."

As for Clinton's endorsement of Obama?

"It didn't seem very sincere to me to be honest with you," Slomski said. "Sure, OK, so that's what she's saying. But does she really mean it? Ahh -- I don't think so. It was kind of a rough battle, in my opinion. I think she'll be back."

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