There may be less to be said about the Pennsylvania primary than last night's results imply.
Ronald Reagan lost to George Bush and then issued one of his most positive election-night statements of this wacky year.
President Carter, who four years ago got 37 percent of the vote in a crowded field in Pennsylvania, was winning only about 45 percent against Sen. Edward M. Kennedy who nonethleles seemed unable to overtake the president before the convention.
For the pros, this was a good night. It kept Bush alive to run in Texas, and it kept Bush alive to run in the Kennedy camp that the president would prove so unpopular by August that Democratic convention would throw him out regardless of the delegate count.
All that is grist for more speculation and newspaper and television stories. But the underlying reality of these two races was not significantly altered by the voters in Pennsylvania.
Bush, in fact, was expected to finish far behind Reagan in the delegate contest -- which was separate from the popular vote -- leaving Reagan in an even more commanding position. By now, the only advantage Bush holds over Reagan is in money: Bush can spend much more in the next month.
Likewise, Carter added to his delegate lead last night by coming close to Kennedy in Pennsylvania and outpacing Kennedy's combined totals in the Missouri and Vermont precinct caucuses. At the same time, his inability as an incumbent president to put Kennedy out of the race leaves the Democrats with a continuing problem as they look to their convention in August and the general election in November.