Freedom New Mexico
Super Tuesday II gave a necessary boost for Hillary Clinton, who appeared to have picked up desperately needed victories after a dozen consecutive losses to front-running Barack Obama.
Clinton narrowly won in Texas, but did well enough to make the case that her campaign remains viable with comfortable victories in Ohio and Rhode Island earlier in the evening.
Was it too little, too late? Some people who attempt to calculate the bizarre distribution of Democrat delegates based on perplexing formulas devised by the party, estimate that even if Clinton wins nearly every primary left, it will be difficult to overcome Obama’s delegate lead.
Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter concluded Tuesday, for example, that “Obama will almost certainly end the primaries with a pledged-delegate lead, courtesy of all those landslides in February.”
Nevertheless, Clinton isn’t likely to concede victory to her opponent as long as unpredictable factors leave even a glimmer of hope.
For example, if Florida and Michigan, whose delegates are barred from the total because their primaries were held early in defiance of party wishes, are allowed a do-over or some other accommodation, they still probably may not be enough to put Clinton ahead — if she can win them.
Then there’s the super delegate problem. Those ostensibly uncommitted delegates increasingly are targets of old-fashioned, behind-closed-doors political persuasion. Some reportedly have defected to the Obama camp. Will they return to Clinton following her resurgence? Or will the wheeling and dealing merely intensify? Can Clinton or Obama persuade super delegates to go against the will of voters in states that favored the other candidate?
All of this probably is good news for Republicans, in a year when Republicans have little to cheer about, and Democrat voter turnout has far surpassed the GOP’s.
Republicans have to delight in the prospect of an increasingly bitter, confrontational campaign between Obama and Clinton with the potential of recriminations so deeply dividing the party it could prevent Democrats from unifying in the fall.
If the Democrat party’s nominee doesn’t emerge until the eleventh hour, it gives Republican John McCain more time to solidify his base while the two Democrats inflict perhaps irreparable damage on each other.