Give Hillary Clinton credit for a hard-fought win in Pennsylvania. Her comfortable 10-point margin, while less than the blowout she needed, gives her some breathing room to continue her primary battle against Barack Obama.
But party officials must ask: To what end? Time is running out, as this Associated Press analysis points out, and she faces very long odds and dwindling campaign funds. Obama, flush with cash, is widely expected to win delegate-rich North Carolina on May 6, and he has a good chance of taking Indiana the same day.
Clinton has no chance now to overtake Obama in elected delegates, meaning that Obama must somehow collapse or be fatally crippled as a candidate for her to plausibly emerge as the party’s nominee.
The scenario that Clinton proposes – superdelegates handing her the nomination over the will of elected delegates and a majority of voters and primary states – would cause nothing short of a civil war in the party and leave Clinton’s touted “electability” against McCain much in doubt.
In short, how does Pennsylvania change the hard realities of the race?
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