The Note: Tides, Floods, and Bounces

And so the drama continues -- even if we may still know how this play ends.

Stop us if you've heard this one before: The frontrunner is facing fundamental questions concerning electability. The underdog is gaining momentum. The leading candidate has whiffed on an opportunity to put the challenger away (four strikes you're out?). There is one solitary candidate who remains extremely likely to win, and yet . . .

The race goes on -- for two weeks at least, and probably six weeks -- if not all the way to the convention.

Many things didn't change on Tuesday: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is still the favorite, flush with cash and armed with a delegate lead that shrank by barely 10 percent, despite a 10-point loss in the biggest state left on the calendar.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., retains only a tortuous path to the nomination -- lined with temptations to take the Democratic Party tumbling down the mountain with her (and, perhaps, Obama).

But Clinton's margin in Pennsylvania -- powered by demographics that gave her 60 of 67 Keystone State counties, including newly Democratic Bucks and Montgomery -- are surely enough to keep Clinton in the race a while longer.

"Mrs. Clinton's margin was probably not sufficient to fundamentally alter the dynamics of the race, which continued to favor an eventual victory for Mr. Obama," Adam Nagourney writes in The New York Times. "But it made clear that the contest will go on at least a few weeks, if not more. And it served to underline the concerns about Mr. Obama's strengths as a general election candidate."

By one (rightly disputed) metric -- the popular vote, including Florida and Michigan -- Clinton has pulled ahead of Obama. But without the rogue states, Obama is still up by 500,000 -- and if you can find another objective measurement by which she's in the lead, let us know.

It's enough for Clinton: "I think that's one of the most important factors that people have to take into account," Clinton told ABC's Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America" Wednesday. "But of course, the votes in Michigan and Florida were official -- I mean, they were certified by the secretary of state. It's just that the Democratic Party can't figure out what to do with all those votes, and try to seat delegates."

"I actually have more votes from people who actually voted for me," Clinton added. "Last night's win should give a lot of fresh information to our superdelegates, because after all, the road to Pennsylvania Avenue does lead through Pennsylvania."

From a Clinton campaign memo out Wednesday morning (subject line: "The Tide is Turning"): "By providing fresh evidence that Hillary is the candidate best positioned to beat John McCain in the fall, the Pennsylvania primary is a turning point in the nominating contest," the memo reads. "And with both candidates under the microscope at the same time for the first time, Hillary took more than a few punches and came out stronger while Sen. Obama emerged weaker as voters learned more about him."

Don't expect a flood, not with Clinton winning key battlegrounds: "It is an argument that stalls superdelegates right now," ABC's George Stephanopoulos reported on "Good Morning America." "They're still going to hang back. . . . He's not going to get the wave he needs -- this is going on to Indiana and North Carolina."

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