The Note: Lonely Hearts

Is it still possible to be in it to win it when all is lost? Will she jump before she's pushed?

In a week to be marked with a final set of poll-watching and a possibly not-final set of death-watching, five lessons coming off of a wild weekend on the trail:

1. There is fight yet in Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (and another one of those landslide/meaningless victories makes for one last case to the superdelegates -- though some signs, at least, point to the exit).

2. Clinton may wind up being the last person standing in an empty arena, unless she won't be (and she knows it doesn't necessarily take surrender for the match to be deemed over).

3. Sen. Barack Obama knows how to learn lessons (but sometimes needs extensions on his tests -- and it's easier to quit a church than to erase clips from YouTube).

4. There's a new magic number (for now) for the Democratic nomination -- 2,118 -- and a new magic number for Camp Clinton -- 17 million. (But the Clintons aren't the only Democrats who know how to count.)

5. Sen. Clinton drags more than just the baggage of trailing in the delegate count (superdelegates have long memories -- and most want long futures).

The upshot out of the weekend's wild developments: Obama, D-Ill., drew closer to clinching the nomination, while Clinton, D-N.Y., grew lonelier in her determination to fight on.

Obama will only get closer after the final voting takes place Tuesday -- and we're nearing the end, whether Clinton wants to admit it or not (and that questions has multiple -- and conflicting -- answers as of Monday morning).

"What he needs is 30 or fewer superdelegates. The only mystery at this point is, when is he going to get them?" ABC's George Stephanopoulos reported on "Good Morning America" Monday.

He said the lines of communication are open between the campaigns, and predicted a "very gracious" concession speech after Obama reaches 2,118 -- possibly Wednesday. "We're in the endgame right now," Stephanopoulos said.

With Obama set to declare victory this week, Clinton's campaign is set to make a final argument to the superdelegates -- yet she's hinting she may continue even if Obama appears to clinch the nomination.

Said Clinton, to the traveling press: "One thing about superdelegates is that they can change their minds." (Funny -- they have been, just not in her direction; she held a 212-138 edge on the morning of Feb. 6, and he leads 331.5-284.5 as of Monday morning, per ABC's count.)

In an interview with The Washington Post's Anne Kornblut, "Clinton stressed that she will press forward through the final contests of the primary season on Tuesday, brushed aside the idea that she was searching for an exit strategy, and said she will continue to weigh both her immediate- and longer-term options in the race."

Clinton tells The New York Times' Adam Nagourney: "In recent primary history, we have never nominated someone who has not won the popular vote." x

And this, to make things really interesting -- asked whether she would accept 2,118 as the true magic number: "That's a question we're going to be considering," Clinton told reporters Sunday.

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