Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Corrections Department

Yesterday, I went with the common wisdom and said that in the Pennslyvania primary that the more strongly Clinton regions would be reporting late. Meaning that her margin would only be growing as the night wore on. Seem that didn't happen after all. Whoops. Don't think it changed much in the final equation, really, but goes to show that no one really knows how these things are going to play out and we'd all be better off shutting up and letting them happen instead of trying to glimpse into our crystal balls.

Not that the vote itself changed anything. As Atrios says here, nothing's changed, yes. But not changing anything means that Clinton's even further in trouble since the clock keeps ticking and she's behind on points. The status quo is that Clinton is losing.

And, of course, playing out the string while hoping that Obama gets struck by a live boy or a dead girl on live television during the middle of one of his speaches. Or something.

It's like this: PA was a favorable state for Clinton. Almost perfectly ideal, sitting in that corridor of rust belt states like Ohio and Michigan that are shot through with that peculiar strain of blue-collar conservatism and deeply buried but not forgotten histories of racial tension. And Clinton carried the state by a healthy margin of the overall vote.

But thanks to solid returns in Philadelphia and elsewhere and the way the state awards its delegates, she's not going to be cut too deeply into Obama's lead. And she needs to keep that margin close or it's all over for her.

She didn't win big enough in a state that was tailor made for her to do well. She couldn't close the gap even with an impressive win. And her opportunities to do so in the future have just gotten smaller by the count of one primary.

Where is can she be expected to do better than she did in PA from now on in? Where can she make up the gap?

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