Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's Over Now, Right?

It's not over yet, but last night's results sure helped things along a bit. With Obama barely losing Indiana and dominating the North Carolina vote things are looking pretty good right now. Obama added to his lead in the delegate race and is now closer than ever to having cinched the nomination.

Perhaps more importantly, he staked his claim to the popular vote, no matter how's it's counted. Since Pennsylvania, Clinton has been claiming that she was leading in the popular vote. Of course, her counting to get that fact meant counting Florida (which isn't being recognized by the DNC), counting Michigan (where Obama wasn't even on the ballot), and not counting Iowa, Nevada, Maine, or Washington (caucus states that didn't keep records of turnout (and which Obama won most of)). So her claim was already a little dubious. Now, according to Real Clear Politics, even if you use the Hillary Clinton fuzzy math, Obama still has a lead of 89,076 votes. If you do something fair (like count the votes in the states that count for the DNC) Obama has a lead of 822,379 votes. Obama is now the clear winner in terms of votes (no matter how they're counted), delegates, and states won.

Despite this, Hillary is pledging to go "full speed ahead." What? She's losing by every single metric and given the lack of big states left to vote, she doesn't really have a shot at overtaking Obama in any of them. As such, her claim to the nomination is pretty much nil. And yet she perseveres. Give her credit for persistence, but come on now. What does it take? Is she really going to go through all the way to the bitter end at the convention when rather than having the opportunity to bow out gracefully she'll be rejected by the party? I'll be looking forward to reading her increasingly desperate spin in the coming days.

The shame of there not being any more big contests coming up is that there won't really be another opportunity to knock Clinton out of the race with a decisive win. Now it's just a matter of waiting for the inevitable while the race slogs on. Not a pleasant thought. It's up to Obama now to seize the narrative of the campaign again so that people start to forget that there's anyone else in the race. Because for all intents and purposes, there isn't.

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