The Note: Storm Before the Calm

Is it just possible that, while we've been waiting for the superdelegate dam to break (and will those Clinton tax returns do more to chip it away or build it up?) maybe we should have been paying attention to the leaks.

It hasn't happened all at once, yet even without a vote being cast, every passing day is making it harder for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to catch up (and money is just the least of her problems).

She may or may not be flat-out calling Sen. Barack Obama unelectable (not all denials are created equal) but that argument is not holding sway with the only audience that really matters anymore.

For the lay of the land, ask former President Jimmy Carter, or Sen. Bob Casey, or Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, or Gov. Jon Corzine, or Rep. John Murtha -- all of whom have, in their own way, delivered a different blow to Clinton's chances in recent days.

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"Superdelegates are jumping to Barack Obama's camp or signaling that's where they are headed, including such prominent figures as former President Jimmy Carter," Peter Nicholas writes in the Los Angeles Times. "Some superdelegates who back Clinton have begun laying out scenarios under which they would abandon her for Obama."

Tell us if this line sounds familiar: To those who say Barack Obama can't win, what if he's already winning?

It might be Murtha, D-Pa., whose comments linger the longest. "She has to be ahead in the popular vote to have any chance at all of getting this nomination," Murtha tells HuffingtonPost's Sam Stein.

That as Corzine, D-N.J., sends word that he's "reserving the right" to switch to Obama if he holds on to the lead in delegates and the popular vote. "It would be a very hard argument to make if you didn't have the delegates. I think you need at least the popular vote," Corzine said Thursday on CNBC.

Another Clinton superdelegate, Gov. Martin O'Malley, D-Md., has his finger in the wind: "I heard Nancy Pelosi say the superdelegates should not reverse the popular vote, and I think that's a very important consideration that will weigh heavily on all the superdelegates," O'Malley tells the Baltimore Sun.

ABC's George Stephanopoulos, on "Good Morning America" Friday: "What the Clinton supporters are saying is, she's got one hope, and that means blowout victories the rest of the way. If she doesn't do that, they're going to go with Obama, the superdelegates will break for Obama. He'll be the nominee."

Like that long-ago wakeup call (which came at a more reasonable hour than 3 a.m.) money is once again placing Obama's support in perspective. March was rough for him -- Ohio and Texas plus Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- but he raised $40 million last month, double the impressive-in-any-other-year $20 million haul by Camp Clinton, ABC's Kate Snow and Sunlen Miller report.

It takes its toll: "Obama's immense cash flow -- he has raised more than $240 million to Clinton's $175 million -- allows him to compete as aggressively in the final primary contests as he did in the early days of the race," The Washington Post's Matthew Mosk reports.

"He is vastly outspending Clinton in Pennsylvania, with $3 million in television and radio ads, including a Spanish-language TV ad airing in the Philadelphia area, compared with an estimated $500,000 that Clinton is spending in the state, which will hold its primary on April 22."

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