February 10, 2008

Democratic Deadlock: Expert Confirmation

After the American Century

Today, four political consultants said, in The Boston Globe, the same thing I wrote on 2 February - i.e. before Super Tuesday: that neither Clinton nor Obama is likely to amass enough delegates in the remaining primaries. You read it here first. They also agree with the analysis earlier presented here that Clinton has little chance to break through against Obama during the rest of this month, and that her best chance is to win over super delegates. On the other hand, Obama has an outside chance of defeating her if he can win on March 4 either in Texas, the more difficult challenge for him, or win in Ohio, the swing state that was crucial to Bush's victory i 2004.

If he wins either of these contests, Obama would still need to win Pennsylvania (April 22). That state at present is regarded as likely to go for Clinton. However, Obama has raised more campaign money, with more than 400,000 on-line contributors. He also has proved a powerful and persuasive presence, winning over voters who see or hear him. If he can work this magic again in Ohio and Pennsylvania, then the super delegates may turn away from Hillary. In the national election, the Republicans are likely to win Texas anyway, so her ability to carry it in a primary is ultimately not all that important, even if Texas does have a large block of delegates. In contrast, winning Pennsylvania and Ohio probably means getting the keys to the White House.