She won. She won big. She did everything they said she had to do. Ten points? That's a landslide. And what's wrong with this Obama guy anyway? Clinton won white women, according to the exit poll; she won white men. Do Democrats want a candidate in the fall who can't carry those groups?
She has no reason to quit now; she may turn out to be the battered but triumphant nominee. I mean, you can see the bruises, but she's grinning. He must be starting to wonder what it takes to knock her out. Is he tough enough to do that? Maybe he should withdraw. He's young. He can always try again later.
Is all this hurting the party? Damn straight it is. Only 53% of the Clinton supporters in yesterday's exit poll said that would vote for Obama in the fall if he were the nominee. 26% said they'd vote for John McCain, and 17% said they wouldn't vote. Obama supporters were less partisan. 68% of them said they'd vote for Clinton in the fall if she were the one on the ballot. Still, those divisions are both bad news for democrats who would like a candidate who could unify the party and lead it to victory.
Obama faces a tough choice now. In the closing days of the Pennsylvania campaign, he went more negative than he had before , but it didn't do him much good. Ten points is a shellacking. Does he stay negative now? Go more negative? Does he have to win both Indiana and North Carolina, which vote in two weeks? For Clinton, it's simpler--keep slugging, hit him with everything you've got, throw the kitchen sink at him, why ever not?
I read somewhere that even if Senator Clinton gets 60% in the remaining primaries, she won't get to Denver with enough delegates to win. That, again, is because the Democrats don't have winner take all primaries; it's always proportional representation. So the super delegates--the office-holders and party officials who are delegates without having to be elected--will decide the nomination. They'd probably just as soon not--or at least not have to be seen deciding the race. That's bad for the party's image, you know--but it does seem to be where we're headed.