So the winning streak's into double digits, and this is bitter cheese for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Voters in Wisconsin (white of skin, blue of collar, with green on their minds) flocking to the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama.
That sound Clinton heard, while rushing out of town to leave the site of her latest defeat, was the crashing down of her last pillars of stalwart support -- less-educated white voters, voters favoring electability, those worried about the economy, union members, even women.
"Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in some of her core support groups, trounced her on electability and rode broad support from independents to victory in Wisconsin," ABC polling director Gary Langer writes.
"Clinton struggled in her base groups -- barely winning white women, losing less-educated and lower-income voters -- while Obama swept up younger voters, winning those under 30 by one of his biggest margins yet."
Wisconsin (Clinton territory by demography, and looking scarily similar to Ohio) handed Obama another lopsided victory -- 17 points -- and Hawaii came through as expected in landslide fashion in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
Obama, D-Ill., controls the race with an edge of 94 convention delegates (and growing), according to ABC's delegate scorecard -- on top of the money, the momentum, and the enthusiasm.
(And what message might he have been sending by taking the stage well before Clinton was through?)
Camp Clinton called it like this -- her advisers said all along that the weeks after Super Tuesday were going to be rough -- but 10 straight wins in a 14-day span has got to sting.
Clinton, D-N.Y., sought to reframe the race (again) as the polls closed in Wisconsin, heading to Ohio with a message she's set to reiterate as she returns home to regroup (briefly) in New York early Wednesday: "One of us is ready to be commander-in-chief in a dangerous world," she said, again looking forward instead of making even brief mention of her latest defeat (though not quite making a new argument).
"Mrs. Clinton wasted no time in signaling that she would now take a tougher line against Mr. Obama -- a recognition, her advisers said, that she must act to alter the course of the campaign and define Mr. Obama on her terms," Patrick Healy and Jeff Zeleny write in The New York Times.
"Her latest losses narrowed even further Mrs. Clinton's options and leaves her little, if any, room for error. Her road to victory is now a cliff walk."
As all eyes turned to Ohio and Texas, the battle over delegates is extending well beyond voting booths. The Clinton campaign on Wednesday launched a new Website, http://www.delegatehub.com/, to make its case on delegates. Clinton's magic delegate number: 2,208, not 2,025, since Clinton wants Florida and Michigan to count, "both in the interest of fundamental fairness and honoring the spirit of the Democrats' 50-state strategy."
And this (which we'll hear again): "FACT: Florida and Michigan should count, both in the interest of fundamental fairness and honoring the spirit of the Democrats' 50-state strategy. An important part of the debate over delegates is the role of Florida and Michigan."