The Note: Hopes and Dreams


But before you hit control-alt-delete on the race, call the IT guys (they're probably better at math, anyway). Clinton can co-opt Obama's best campaign lines, but she cannot, in all likelihood, catch up in delegates: Even victories in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island netted her a grand total of six delegates on Tuesday (though we're still counting), per ABC's delegate scorecard, leaving her 106 behind Obama.

"We have nearly the same delegate lead as we did this morning and we are on our way to winning this nomination," Obama said Tuesday night.

Obama will almost certainly be the next one to add to his column, with him set to travel to Wyoming in advance of Saturday's caucus, and Mississippi voting on Tuesday (and Clinton knows now that pre-spinning losing streaks doesn't necessarily make them easier -- though an upset would be a Major Event).

Per ABC's Kate Snow, Clinton could make her first campaign trip to Pennsylvania as soon as Thursday. "We will press the twin ideas of commander in chief and steward of the economy as what people are looking for," strategist Mark Penn says.

Yes, Clinton got her wins in more big states, "But a larger problem loomed: the delegate gap with Mr. Obama that seemed to leave the Clinton team the option of trying to negotiate the nomination instead of winning it," Wayne Slater writes in The Dallas Morning News. He sprinkles in some understatement: "Ultimately, the fractious nature of the party fight would be better resolved by party leaders before the convention."

"As she vowed to keep campaigning, the tight vote in Texas signaled she may yet face a tough decision in coming weeks," The Washington Post's Peter Baker and Anne Kornblut write. "The slim margin in the Texas popular vote and an additional caucus process in which she trailed made clear that she would not win enough delegates to put a major dent in Sen. Barack Obama's lead. And regardless of the results, she emerged from the crucible of Ohio and Texas with a campaign mired in debt and riven by dissension."

Newsweek's Jonathan Alter runs the numbers: "No matter how you cut it, Obama will almost certainly end the primaries with a pledged-delegate lead, courtesy of all those landslides in February," Alter writes. "Hillary would then have to convince the uncommitted superdelegates to reverse the will of the people. Even coming off a big Hillary winning streak, few if any superdelegates will be inclined to do so. For politicians to upend what the voters have decided might be a tad, well, suicidal."

"The Democratic race has come down to a contest of numbers versus narrative," Slate's John Dickerson writes. "The numbers are on Barack Obama's side."

The New York Post's Charles Hurt is blunter than most: "Hillary Rodham Clinton can not win the Democratic nomination without destroying her party. . . . In order to catch up, Clinton must rack up unprecedented victories in all the upcoming contests - a tall order. The only way she wins without such mystical intervention is if superdelegates -- the party insiders loyal to her and her husband for whatever political reasons -- step in and throw the election to her."

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