Daily Archives: March 20, 2008

As I’ve said before, don’t count her out just yet. Jay Cost at RCP has a new post summing up his earlier argument that Hillary has a path to the nomination which is “plausible, but unlikely”. I think his reasoning is correct, but I would add a couple of things. (And to head off my own batch of emails accusing me of being a Hillary stalwart, I will first repeat right now that I much prefer Obama as the Democratic nominee.)

A first point, which should hardly need to be made, is that this race is close. Clinton and Obama have divided the party right down the middle. If you look at that fact alone, what can people calling on Hillary to give up now and drop out be thinking? We know that the pledged-delegate count will not settle this. The outcome will depend on the superdelegate vote, and that is not pre-ordained. Hillary would be mad to surrender in this situation.

Second, especially if Hillary can narrow (or overturn) the various vote-count gaps by August, the candidates’ standing in the polls will count too. This is the main thing I would add to Jay’s take. Suppose that Obama has a small lead in pledged delegates, and Clinton has forced, in effect, a tie in the popular vote. But also suppose that by then the national head-to-head polls show her with a ten-point lead or better over Obama. That will sway some of the superdelegates–as it damn well ought to, since their most important task is to get a Democrat elected.

A lot can happen between now and the summer. (Despite Obama’s fine speech on the subject, it is not yet clear how much harm the Wright affair has done to him. There might very well be more such setbacks, for either side.) By the summer, the polls might be tied too, of course–which would be bad for Hillary, because she has to overturn Obama’s pledged-delegate advantage. But they might not be tied–and if they aren’t, that will matter.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

Clive Crook’s blog: A guide

Comment: To comment, please register with FT.com. Register for free here. Please also read the FT's comments policy here.
Time: UK time is shown on Clive's posts.
Follow the blog: Links to the Twitter and RSS feeds are at the top of the blog.
Schedule: Clive's column appears in the FT on Mondays and you can read an excerpt of it on this blog.
FT blogs: See the full range of the FT's blogs here.

Archive

« Feb Apr »March 2008
M T W T F S S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31