51 thoughts on “10 Delegates? Really?

  1. To convince the Super Delegates that there is “momentum”. Remember, the whole Super Delegate system is in place so when the race is close those who “know better” in the Democratic Party can make the decision. Or am I just being cynical?

  2. Tudor, you are not being cynical. The democratic party likes to look, well, democratic, but they can’t bring themselves to get rid of the old kingmaker system they used to use before primaries became common. And it they think 10 delegates in 2 months is “momentum,” then there is no hope for the party.

  3. CNN is only giving her 6. And it’s going to be hard to convince people of “momentum” after May 6, since it looks like she’s going to lose both Indiana and North Carolina.

  4. You want to talk momentum, check out the balance sheets of Obama’s and Clinton’s campaigns. She’s as deep in the red as the country, while he’s flying high. She had to win huge, and she didn’t (though she’ll claim she did). This was a loss for Clinton, and the superdelegates will (hopefully) see that and respond accordingly.

  5. And now we get the media trumpeting Clinton’s “big win” in top-line headlines, while noting below the fold that she only gained a few more delegates.

    According to the NY Times estimates, Obama leads Clinton in pledged delegates 1,418 to 1,251, or a margin of 167 delegates, before adding in the Pennsylvania results. 566 pledged delegates remain (including PA). To tie the pledged delegates, Clinton would need to win at least 366 out of those 566 remaining delegates, or 65% of the remaining delegates. In every single state remaining, including PA, Clinton needs to smash Obama by a 30% margin just to catch up in pledged delegates.

    My math may be wrong, and the delegate estimates vary depending on who you ask. But the only way Clinton’s pitch to the superdelegates doesn’t become “vote for the person with fewer pledged delegates and less of the popular vote” is for her to win every single remaining primary by a greater margin than she managed in her supposed strongholds Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    The race is over. We know it, the superdelegates know it, and at some point most of the media will figure it out. The only question is when Clinton will figure it out (or decide to care more about the party than about herself. See that? I just made a funny).

  6. Hillary will never be convinced that plugging on and continuing her campaign as is could damage the Democratic Party. As far as she’s concerned, SHE IS the Democratic Party. Kind of like Reagan was the Republican Party in the eighties. Problem is, this isn’t true, half the Democrats and ALL of the Republicans HATE HATE HATE her.

  7. I am so sick and tired of this ongoing charade by the media that Hillary could possibly win — if I were paranoid, I’d think there was some some sort of desperate conspiracy to keep a brown-skinned candidate from winning over a pale-skinned one…

    …but of course, that’s utterly impossible. Couldn’t happen in the 21st century, nossiree…

  8. And that’s why McCain will win if Hillary gets the nomination…the Obama supporters are going to be bitter about yet another Good Ol’ Boy (or -Gal) machination to keep the brown-skinned guy from getting anywhere, and they’re going to stay home in droves (or vote Nader/write in Obama) instead.

  9. Ahh…Democratic Party / Machine Politics…They’re what’s made my corner of NE Ohio such a progressive bastion.

  10. Remember when Hillary had to win “decisively” in both Ohio AND Texas to “remain viable”? And remember how she won Ohio, but ended up (at best) tying in the Texas Delegate count? You do? Then why doesn’t anyone else in the media?

    The traditional press WANTS Hillary to win, because it’ll give them so many more crappy meaningless stories to obsess over in the general.

  11. Ahh, but Tumbleweed, if Hillary was able to stop the LA purchase, it is possible that the sectional tensions that became the Civil War might never begin – thus allowing Obama to hold onto the South.

  12. #14: The traditional press wants people to buy papers / click their websites / listen to the voices beamed directly to their heads. So long as there is a “race” for the nomination going on, no matter how far behind Hillary is, this sells papers / gets people to their websites / keeps the Orbiting Mind Control Lasers busy.

    I think that Clinton is staying in on the off chance that Obama dies or otherwise disqualifies himself before the actual convention. A forlorn hope if ever there was one.

  13. They tied in the Texas delegate count because apparently the popular vote does not mean squat in assigning delegates–you get more delegates if your supporters have enough free time to vote twice at two separate times of the day. If the “popular” vote count includes caucus votes, then I don’t think it should be taken seriously as a metric of Obama’s support. The big problem for Obama, and at the start of this process I really liked him, is that he cannot close out as the overall front-runner and seven weeks of his full force brilliance was not enough for him to get his PA deficit under 10%-that’s a problem! At this stage of the game, Democrats should be voting for him and closing ranks for the general campaign—and he cannot sway them to do that. The fact is that despite having lots of money and media pull, Obama cannot swing the 49% of Democrats who prefer Hilary, even though it is obvious you are all right, she cannot possibly win this in the primaries anymore. I never knew there were so many ways for our party to bleep up, but there it is. Maybe by 2016 we can have a transparent primary system with few machine delegates (and Obama scoops these up by the truckload, so don’t pretend Lady C is the only Chicago machine politico in this race) which actually assigns delegates reasonably proportional to a truly popular vote.

  14. To answer John’s question directly: if you believe in the democratic process, then it was worth it (and I am not involved in the Clinton campaign and my support for her is lukewarm at best after the “under fire” fiasco). If you think, probably realistically, that politics is just a big machine that should spit out the answer that you want, then it was a big failure because the last seven weeks gave some actual life to the Republican’s chances of wining and gave me pause as to whether I actually like Obama anymore, partly because some of his comments offended me, but partly because the long haul of this knock-down drag-out campaign exposed some weaknesses that were not apparent in the first flush of his early victories. I will never vote Republican, and I will eventually suck it up and vote for whomever wins the Dem Nom, but damn this primary season has left a bad taste in my mouth over the state of the Party and our country in general.

  15. Probably not, but you wouldn’t know it for the media narrative that’s on the way, rhetorically asking “What does this say about Obama’s electability? Has he lost his charm for the American voters? Could this be the start of a Clinton comeback?”

  16. “The democratic party likes to look, well, democratic, but they can’t bring themselves to get rid of the old kingmaker system they used to use before primaries became common.”

    I’m no defender of the superdelegate system, or of the Democratic party establishment, but this demonstrates a pretty thorough ignorance of history.

    The modern party rules, including the provisions for “superdelegates,” were created in the early 1980s, at a time when the party was being extensively bashed by its conservative critics, inside and out, for being too vulnerable to storms of popular opinion as expressed in primary elections. These rules have very little resemblance to the old patchwork system of favorite sons, local bosses, and occasional primaries. If anything, the modern Republican nominating system has more substantive resemblances to the way national parties operated from about 1890 to the 1960s.

    The fact that the same people now bash the Democratic party for being “undemocratic” mostly demonstrates that some people will bash Democrats no matter what, and that the party probably ought not make decisions based on what those people claim to think. Because they’ll claim to think whatever gives them rhetorical advantage at the moment. (Remember when Congressional Republicans were a chorus of concern about executive-branch warmaking overreach? Back when, oh right, a Democrat was last President.)

  17. Nate: The big problem for Obama, and at the start of this process I really liked him, is that he cannot close out as the overall front-runner and seven weeks of his full force brilliance was not enough for him to get his PA deficit under 10%-that’s a problem! At this stage of the game, Democrats should be voting for him and closing ranks for the general campaign—and he cannot sway them to do that. The fact is that despite having lots of money and media pull, Obama cannot swing the 49% of Democrats who prefer Hilary, even though it is obvious you are all right, she cannot possibly win this in the primaries anymore.

    The old “he can’t close the deal” meme. How about, “Look at Clinton, with her name recognition, initial front-runner status, initial huge (and subsequently squandered) war-chest, and the national machine behind her. Why, oh why didn’t she close the deal weeks ago?”

    Obama cut a 20% lead in a state tailor-made for Clinton’s demographics to half that amount. He did it not by just getting a bunch of new Dems registered and a sterling GOTV effort, he cut into her share of older voters and white men.

    The 49% of Dems who are Clinton supporters includes a lot of older white women. It looks as if a fair proportion of them will stick with Clinton to the bitter end. Many will do so because they honestly prefer her on issues and character, but I think a fair chunk are projecting every slight and setback in their own lives onto her and will keep supporting her even if they are at odds were her Iraq war vote and her harsh and careless stance on Iran. (Please note: I am a 47 year old white woman and lifelong feminist who would be expected to support Clinton if demographics were all that counted. I’m not picking on white women as an outsider.)

    Obama has been leading in the Gallup nationals for all but one day over the past month. He has an insurmountable lead in delegates and the popular vote. The ONLY way Clinton can get the delegation is to convince a huge chunk of the remaining SDs to go her way, and, as she is fully prepared to do, to poach Obama’s pledged delegates.

    He doesn’t have to win every single state in the primaries and caucuses. He’s just won more of them against an established candidate who has run such an inept campaign that she can’t even pay the small vendors she still owes.

    She’s broke. She might raise a couple of million over the next couple of weeks, but that won’t be enough. If she could continue campaigning against McCain, which she has to some degree, instead of trying to drive up Obama’s negatives (he’s up only slightly, while her negatives are up a LOT), I could accept a continued campaign. But not the kind of campaign we’ve seen for the last 6 weeks.

    I want the primary to continue under these circumstances largely because I don’t want to see fervent Clinton supporters viewing her as being cheated out of her right to run through the entire primary. Obama needs their support in the fall.

  18. “his full force brilliance was not enough for him to get his PA deficit under 10%”.

    If we’re splitting hairs, the margin was under 10%. If you round off the overall share percentages, the final was 55%-45%, but without roundoff, we get a margin of just under 9.4% using CNN’s website numbers, and just over 8.5% using the PA Department of State’s website numbers, both as of 9am this morning. (Both claim to have tallied over 99% of the vote; CNN has about 24,000 more votes in their total.)

    CNN also has updated its delegates called, and now according to them, she’s narrowed her pledged-delegate deficit by *14* delegates in PA. Which means, she needs to net only, um, 150 or so more in the remaining primaries to tie in pledged delegates. Which, admittedly, may not be quite as hard as finding a spontaneous 1.21 gigawatt charge for your DeLorean…

  19. Yeah, this is how the math goes. Unless either person wins by a margin of 25% or more, the difference in delegates is really negligible.

    Patrick Nielsen Hayden- Thanks for clarifying about the superdelegates. I was going to, but you beat me to it :)

  20. Personally, I think that Hilary’s handler’s are trying to kill Obama’s chances of a win in November on purpose. These are not stupid people, or at least for what they’re being paid they shouldn’t be stupid people.

    They must know that she has no chance of winning. This time.

    However, if it’s a split Democratic convention (Carter vs. Kennedy ferex) odds are good that McCain will win despite his overwhelming faults. Age, temper, Keating 5, 100 years in Iraq, don’t know nothing about the economy, etc…

    This, in the minds of the more rabid Clinton supporters, would put her in a good position to win in 2012 or 2016. Otherwise you have to believe that her campaign is being run by people who are so dumb that they believe drawing things out like this is good for the party in general.

  21. 21 and (possibly) 20: Read what I said: I did not say Hilary could or should win; I did not throw up a rhetorical trope about Obama’s electibility. I said Why the hell ISNT Obama winning now? To say it’s a waste of time to listen to more voters because it won’t change anything is not a rousing endorsement of any democratic system. To say it is unfair that Obama has to keep battling someone he has already beaten is to say that Obama is the intended beneficiary of our electoral system, not the voters. This sounds an awful lot like the commentary in November/December 2000 when we were told a recount/revote would be “unfair” to W.

    The reason I bash us, I am a Democrat, is not because it gives me a rhetorical advantage but because the weaknesses in the system become apparent when the right conditions come along to expose them, as they have this year. I started the process happy with the idea of getting either Obama or Clinton as the nominee. I am exiting it, extremely annoyed by the prospect of getting either and even more concerned that the process has lifted McCain’s boats. Should that result not concern you as a practical matter, if like me the last 7 years of American politics have made your psyche ill? Shouldn’t I have the right to expect better process from the people who promise me better things?

    I am not aware of what the exact mechanics of Democratic politics were 40 years ago and frankly it means squat to me if it is the rationale for saying superdelegate/caucasdom is a-OK. What is your rationale for saying that someone who works two jobs and finds time to vote once should have their vote diluted by people who have the leisure to vote once, have coffee, drive to a new location, take part in a debate and then vote a second time? That may sound like the Periclean ideal to you, but that worked because only a small fraction of the people were actually enfranchised. Making the disenfranchisement de facto rather than de jure and partial rather than total may make you feel superior to those who feel it violates the spirit of one person/one vote, but it makes me pretty darn cheesed off, excuse my French.

  22. Well, whatever excuse you use, superdelegates are just a way of making sure the party insiders can overrule the democrats who vote in primaries. It sounds prettier when you say it prevents them from “being too vulnerable to storms of popular opinion as expressed in primary elections” but the result is the same.

    And I am not, and never have been, a republican. I just don’t like the system of “these hundreds of delegates are more equal than the ones the people elect.”

  23. Nate-

    I understand your points. I definitely think the states that have a caucus AND a primary are pretty dumb. But here’s the thing. I don’t think you should be upset at the candidates, or anyone here, because that happened. You should be upset at the system, and change it or get people to change it.

    It reminds me of 2000 when half the country had no idea what the electoral college was, and were pissed cuz it decided the election. Cmon. Those are the rules. You can’t change the rules midway through an election. You CAN try and get congress to change the rules afterward. But no one (at least none I heard of) gathered a coalition to abolish the electoral college. Once it’s over, people go back to not caring.

    And I bet once this is all over, you probably won’t try to get people together to try and change the Democratic Party’s primary rules. That’s not meant to be snarky or anything. I just honestly think that if it makes you “pretty darn cheesed off” you should fight the system, not get mad at the people who explain parts of it. I, for one, am not sure I like this superdelegate thing. But for now, this is what we have. Complaining about it or getting mad at the people who explain it isn’t going to help.

    Just my two cents. Again, not meaning to be snarky or anything.

  24. I agree with Glen (#24). Hillary is no longer trying to win in 2008. She’s running for 2012. And to do that, she must ensure that Barack Obama loses in November.

    Maybe she’s trying to tell herself differently, but if so, she’s just lying to herself, as well as misleading her supporters. Or maybe she can rationalize it to herself. But if Obama loses in November, she’ll gleefully tell the Democrats, “I told you so,” and use her foresight to position herself as the front-runner in 2012. She WANTS the Democrats to lose this year.

    What she ignores is that she was the front-runner, and the overwhelming favorite, in THIS contest. Well, a candidate like Barack Obama doesn’t come along too often, I suppose. But the longer she campaigns, the higher Hillary’s negative ratings get. (I myself liked her before this year, but I’ve learned my lesson, now.) That’s something she just can’t accept. It’s her TURN, dammit!

  25. Above all Hillary won’t quit because if she loses this time it would take a McCain win in November to keep her presidential ambitions viable for the future. 8 years of President Obama would almost surely move the country past this point where people would want or need what she has to offer (in my appropriately humble opinion)

    Anybody read this week’s Economist? Best issue in a long time – at least 2 of the leaders, the special report, and the Lexington feature deserve to be cut out and framed.

  26. Jeremiah: Thanks for the sympathy and I think you have me dead to rights, I probably won’t do a lot to change the system. However, that is still better than thinking the system works if it does not.

    Also, I think I am more in line with “following the rules” you are given than the majority on this board. I specifically posited 2016 as a possible time line for change; I did not advocate manipulating the rules for 2008. I also conceded the rules WILL work out for Obama vis a vis being the nominee. Many of the early posts, including the original, seem to be bored/disdainful of actually going through the process which the current rules prescribe. They also seem to imply that winning via superdelegate is fine for Obama, but corrupt for Clinton. If the “rules” give you Clinton, then will you live with the rules? Frankly, even though I still slightly prefer her, I would be concerned if she brokers a nomination at the convention stage.

    I raised a legitimate concern that the long churning 7 week campaign damaged both candidates, but I focused on Obama because a) he will be the nominee and b) he actually lost PA, regardless of whether it was by 6.4, 8.5 or 11.1%. The churning is not so much a result of drawn out election timing (surely a check on the passions of the mob which is less distateful than superdelegates), but on the fact that the process is so loopy that we can still have these ticky-tack arguments about it. Obama claims to have won the popular vote, but what does that mean exactly. Obama has won the delegate vote, but the process for assigning those delegates is not consistent enough or proportional enough to give me great confidence that it reflects reality. (It would not surprise me if Obama would win in a good system; it is just that without that system, I cannot say one way or the other.)

    This ambiguity has helped fuel many of the self-destructive campain tactics used by both candidates in this segment of the campaign. If the process is partly to blame for these blunders, then why not attack the process as bad on grounds of realpolitik as well as on idealistic ones.

  27. Hillary’s plan is simple: Keep the delegate count close enough so that the super delegates put her over the top.

    Such a tactic would get her the nomination, but it would hardly be fair since she wouldn’t have the popular vote in her party nor the delegate count.

    A bad strategy in my opinion.

  28. Damn the Democratic process!! Damn it I say.

    Kinda funny how it went from inevitable for Hillary, to slam dunk for Obama, to toss-up.

    Also kinda funny how the eventual Democratic nominee will likely be SELECTED, and not elected by popular vote.

  29. However you look at it, the Way Too Long Preamble To Campaign 2008 — in both major parties — did not turn into the two-week slugfest-and-out everyone predicted. For gosh sakes, after a series of “definitive” states, including Pennsylvania, Indiana is now in the spotlight as a “state which matters”. And on May 6th! Who’d have called that in October 2007?

    All that rushing around to try to get an early primary, so “it’ll matter”, and states like Michigan and Florida end up not counting (much) — and even if they did, not decisively.

    It’s still a long road to November. And a lot of the sniping going on now is just that, intrafraternity sniping, and the eventual Democratic nominee will meet the presumed Republican nominee and most of this will be forgotten.

    More states will have had primaries and caucuses which matter that in any primary season I can remember — and I hit the half-century mark this fall. This could all turn into a good thing for a rousing November turnout.

    Dr. Phil

  30. John, didn’t a wise man once say on this very blog that the Clintons should never be underestimated, as they would snorkel through pig shit to get the presidency?

  31. Jacob, I draw the opposite conclusion from Ezra Klein’s statistics than he does.

    Since Obama became the front-runner, 69 superdelegates have declared for him, but over 300 remain undeclared. Meanwhile, out of 260 declared Hillary superdelegates, only two have abandoned her cause since she fell behind.

    That suggests to me that the superdelegates backing Hillary are quite resolute, while an awful lot of the uncommitted superdelegates have reservations about Obama (or about his chances of getting elected). So perhaps Hillary’s hopes of getting enough superdelegate support to pull out the nomination isn’t so outlandish.

  32. Nate- Nice reply. I am in the same boat with you, I must say. I don’t like how things are done, but I’m probably not going to do much to change it either. But yes, we do both agree the system sucks :)
    You asked “If the “rules” give you Clinton, then will you live with the rules?” I would, actually. For 2008. We label politicians as bad or corrupt, and some deserve it. But I cannot blame a politician for following the rules. If the Democrats (of which I am one) were dumb enough to make the super delegate system, we shouldn’t blame someone for taking advantage of it. I’m actually an Obama person myself, and would love it if he won. And I see the climate (especially here in PA) as very PRO established Democrat, and very ANTI anyone else. And I hate that. And I’d love to change that. Cuz that’s essentially what the super delegate thing is, I think. But as I said, those are the rules and I’m OK with anyone following the rules. In the future, the Democrats might want to rethink this thing.
    Of course, on the other hand, if we didn’t have super delegates, what would happen? They would both definitely go into the convention because they would be 100 votes different. Whereas right now, if all the super delegates swing to one or the other, that would make it over quicker. Maybe not, but that’s just my thought.
    I do agree that the “long churning 7 week campaign” has hurt both of them, but I have a tangentially related thought to that. I think part of the churning was due to the media, which I abhor. Every little remark and back and forth was painted by the media as a colossal battle between the two. If they didn’t sensationalize things so much, I think it wouldn’t churn so much. But that’s just me.
    But to quickly respond to the rest of your comments, I agree: I do think the current system is not good, and the process does not always enable the best democratic processes.

  33. I’m just so sick of all of it. Wake me on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.

  34. Speaking as someone who has been directly on the receiving end of said 6+ weeks of TV ads, phone calls, street polls, visits, speeches, whistle-stop tours and rallies….Yes, I am GLAD it’s over, here. Do I think it was worth it? For the Clinton campaign, clearly not. Or rather, it was worth it to try, but after the fact, it turned out to not be. This was no big victory for Hillary, to be sure. Even with the endorsement of a very popular governor and former mayor, she couldn’t take Philly or the Main Line. In a state that could have been a Big Win for her, she stayed afloat. A far cry from the ‘de facto candidate’ that she was portrayed as a mere six months ago.

    Personally, I think that Hillary should abandon her race, but that she won’t, until it’s advantageous to her.

    A brokered convention is a certainty, at this point….but it was PRIOR to Pennsylvania. There is simply no way, even if either candidate got EVERY delegate, to get enough for the majority required. This means that only two results are likely:

    1) The super-delegates go with the flow, following the delegate leader and throwing the majority of their influence behind Obama

    2) Clinton’s back-door wooing of the super-delegates manages to sway enough of them to her side to guarantee a victory

    Folks like Edwards have sat back, waiting for their moment to help sway the remaining delegates. Do I see Edwards as getting a nod, such as Attorney General or Secretary of State? I do.

    What amuses me is the notion that the superdelegates are these Bondian Villians or Secret Society members that everyone acts like they’re unknown or work from the Shadows. First off, the republicans have them too, but in fewere numbers (123, iirc). Second of all, they only comprise some 20% of the delegates (793/4047). Not enough to force an election, but enough to break a tie. Further, most of them WERE elected by the party to some position in the past, such as governor or you know, PRESIDENT, like Hillary’s husband, who is a superdelegate. You could rightfully argue that they comprise a Washington Elite, but they’re hardly some mystery men…they’re people the potential president will NEED to work with sooner or later, regardless.

  35. Umm, the fact that Obama hasn’t won any of the big “purple” states would give ME pause if I were a Dem. Ohio, Penn, & Florida –> must have 2 to win the general. And, I think recent years have made clear that if you aren’t willing to play with a, um, broad interpretation of the rules in FL, you probably don’t get to be president.

    Though for the life of me I can’t figure out why we Floridians are completely unfazed by hurricanes, but put a ballot in front of us and watch us meltdown!

  36. Given that the Democrats award pledged delegates proportionally, rather than winner-take-all, reserving 20% of the delegates for party insiders makes a huge difference, a lot more than just breaking a tie. A candidate could win 60% of the vote in the caucuses and primaries nationwide, but still be defeated by the superdelegates.

  37. @41: How does the victor in a Dem vs. Dem contest in a ‘purple’ state predict the outcome of a Dem vs. Rep contest in that same state?

    Keep in mind that both Florida and Penn have closed primaries so Independent voters aren’t ‘showing’ at all.

  38. Obama seems like he has a genuine chance to make red states “purple” as well — Texas and North Carolina come to mind, he’s nearly tied McCain in some polls.

  39. Fact is, because of the DNC rules, Hillary does have a chance to win the nomination. It may not be a good one, but it is possible.

    Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

    I question the logic to develop a system that bears no resemblence to the system employed by the general election.

  40. Rick @43:
    Perhaps I’m wrong in assuming that the Clinton primary voters are the ones MOST open to considering voting for McCain, (oh not all 55%, but a sizable number — 5% would be bad for Obama) but if you can’t convince your own party that you’re inevitable, if you can’t get more than 4x% of the vote against the candidate with the highest negatives of anyone, if you can’t BUY a win against a candidate who’s hemhorraging money; count me skeptical that you’re going to win in the general election.

    Aaron @44:
    Analysts talk about New Jersey and California being in play for McCain, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Also, specifically focusing on Texas: Whether it be right, wrong, or indifferent Hispanics are not going to vote in large numbers for Obama. IF Hispanic Democrats stay home in record numbers and IF Black Democrats turn out at double their usual (not impossible) he has a chance. That’s an awful lot of if for a guy who lost the popular vote in that state’s Democratic primary.

  41. Perhaps I’m wrong in assuming that the Clinton primary voters are the ones MOST open to considering voting for McCain,

    I would assume that the nearly 4 million registered Democrats in PA who didn’t vote in the primary were the ones McCain has a shot with, not the 2.1 or so who did. And, of couse, the large majority of voters who are independent, who had no say at all in the primary (which consists of the majority of PA residents).

    I do not believe that a victory for Obama would suddenly send registered Hilllary Democrats fleeing to the Republican side of the aisle. At worst, they might abstain, but I expect that if Hillary loses the nomination, she’ll still try to push the goodwill aspect to prepare for later on. The truth is that Hillary and Obama are not that different, and unless her cult of personality is so strong that they would vote to spite Obama, most voters will settle for him (the way I would settle for her, if need be).

    but if you can’t convince your own party that you’re inevitable

    Funny, isn’t that John McCain’s problem? My sister-in-law is a hardcore Christian Conservative Republican who’s candidate of choice this time out was Huckabee. She intends to vote Libertarian this time out, rather than vote for McCain. I do not think that she is unique, though I’d be hard pressed to say how common this is. McCain’s candidacy is inevitable, but a lot of Republicans are planning on sitting this one out, I think. How will this play in the greater election, I couldn’t tell you.

  42. I think the only way Hillary could win the nomination would be if something fatal happened to Obama. And let’s face it, if that did happen, she would immediately become the #1 suspect.

  43. Brett @ 47

    “but if you can’t convince your own party that you’re inevitable, if you can’t get more than 4x% of the vote against the candidate with the highest negatives of anyone, if you can’t BUY a win against a candidate who’s hemhorraging money; count me skeptical that you’re going to win in the general election.”

    And all those negatives you just listed are supposed to do what, convince me to vote for Hilary? PA was her state to lose. Considering the massive lead she had going into the primary, his ability to cut that in half is no small feat.

    Also, I might be recalling this incorrectly, but wasn’t she the so-called inevitable candidate going into this election? I amazes me every time I hear someone frame this thing like she was the underdog. Um, nooooo. She held the overwhelming advantage from the word go. She and her campaign screwed up. And don’t even get me started on how dismissive everyone seems to be about the black vote. How does someone go from being overwhelmingly favored due to party history and name recognition to barely pulling in 10% of the vote in places and not get taken to task for it? No, instead we get to hear how Obama needs to court the “average middle class” and pretend that that isn’t code for “white males”.

  44. WizarDru @ 48: McCain’s candidacy is inevitable, but a lot of Republicans are planning on sitting this one out, I think.

    I wouldn’t take campaign contributions as a sign of anything right now.

    McCain has the nomination, so he’s not competing against any other Republican at this point. The safest strategy is to keep his head down, and as far away from the Democratic infighting as possible.

    So, why would an average Republican donate money to a primary campaign that’s already won. Now, when donations can be accepted for a Presidential campaign, then I’d watch the money.

    And as far as sitting out the elections, there’s a lot of time to realize just what the choices would be in an Obama-vs-McCain, or Clinton-vs-McCain Presidency.

    Anyone who says there isn’t a lick of difference between the three, just hasn’t been paying attention.

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