The Obama win in North Carolina also "makes it harder for her to make the claim that he's unelectable," said Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster who is neutral in the race. The tight race in Indiana "doesn't seem quite powerful enough to dislodge superdelegates from what appears to be their natural inclination" to back the person who's won the most delegates.
The next primary will be May 13 in West Virginia. Clinton led Obama 56%-27% in the state in a Rasmussen Reports poll released this week. Even if Obama spends the whole week there, says Robert DiClerico, a presidential elections expert at West Virginia University, "I would not expect that he would be able to improve his chances here significantly." He said the Clintons are popular and the state is full of the types of voters Clinton has done well with elsewhere — white, working-class and rural.
Kentucky presents more friendly demographics for Clinton on May 20. Obama is likely to win Oregon that day. Steve Murphy, a Democratic media strategist, said Obama also needs to win Montana and South Dakota on June 3 to avoid causing "some raised eyebrows."
He said Clinton's odds are long. "We as a party are not going to deny the nomination to a deserving African-American candidate who's won the most delegates."