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                                       politics + culture

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Voters prefer Barack Obama

I think comments making the point about Clinton having a path to the nomination through a combination of Super Delegates and a MI/FL play make a fundamentally erroneous assumption.

They discount what's already happened. A 64% Obama win in Virginia sweeping almost all demographics. A 58% Obama win in Wisconsin sweeping almost every last demographic. Decisive Obama wins in crucial "Clinton friendly states" like Maine and Washington.

Clinton won't win the Super Delegates without winning the Pledged Delegates for the same reason Clinton won't add MI/FL without winning the pledged delegates (which determine who controls the credentials committee): enormous political pressure is coming to bear and will come to bear inside the party that the Pledged Delegate count and the process so far be respected.

It may fit "prognosticator fantasies" to leap from some version of a TX/OH "outcome" to Clinton securing Super Delegates and MI/FL to take the nomination in August.

But that's not how it works.

We don't leap to an endgame.

The results in the states matter. The day to day process matters.

For Clinton to win the nomination would involve winning pledged delegates and winning states overwhelmingly and using that leverage to win over Super Delegates over a sustained period of time and a map of remaining states that simply do not favor her.

Frankly, her performance post Super-Tuesday, especially the results in WI and VA have set the bar extraordinarily high for Senator Clinton in TX and OH. She must win big.

The pressure on her campaign right now, as we speak, is enormous. Ignoring that is a fantasy.

Certainly it is her right to stay in the race , but at some point after eleven decisive losses with no prospect of a decisive win on the horizon this extended primary is draining resources and energy from the larger task of the Democratic Party in 2008 which is wrestling the mantle of governance from the GOP decisively in all levels of government.

Yes, in theory, Clinton has a path to the nomination. In practice, barring some debate debacle, the real story is that it is only a matter of time and judgment before Senator Clinton acknowledges the current reality: Senator Clinton has no path to the nomination that does not run counter to the spirit of fair mindedness, the principles of our party and, most importantly, the clearly expressed will of the voters in 2008 in State after State.

Voters prefer Barack Obama.

{Originally a comment at Marc Ambinder's blog.}

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