Barack Obama won a decisive victory over Hillary Clinton in North Carolina, trouncing her by 14 points. She barely squeaked out a win in Indiana. Obama picked up four additional “super delegates” today. He’s about 170 delegates shy of the nomination. She is out of money and has had to loan her campaign $6.4 million in the last month.
The spirited contest has been great for the Democrat Party. At this point, it’s over. She should get out.
The big question that the Democrats need to ask themselves is which candidate will have the best opportunity to beat McCain. A lot of pundants have agonized over this. My view is that the answer is pretty simple.
The most important fact about the situation today isn’t who can attract the most “moderate” voters in the fall. Rather, it’s this: movement conservatives loath John McCain, but they have a visceral hatred of Hillary Clinton. If Clinton gets the nomination, they will hold their noses and line up behind McCain. If she doesn’t get the nomination, they might stay home on election day, or cast their vote elsewhere.
Where else could they go? Well, if Bob Barr can manage to get the Libertarian Party nomination a lot of folks could vote for him. Otherwise, a smaller number might opt for Chuck Baldwin who is the Constitution Party nominee.
Ron Paul demonstrated that a great many GOP-leaning voters are extraordinarily unhappy. The guy raised $34 million. He beat the presumptive nominee (Rudy Giuliani) in most of the caucuses. The latest news is that his new book is poised to top the New York Times best seller list. One of his most obscure issues – the problems created by the Federal Reserve – is starting to resonate with the American people, as evidenced by a new CNN/Opinion Research Poll.
Let’s not forget that 19% of Americans did vote for Ross Perot in 1992, even after we all knew he was nuts. So, it's not inconceivable that a 3rd party candidate like Bob Barr could make a big impact this year. A few points in a couple of key states and it's over for McCain.
A Hillary nomination will torpedo it all, because she is such a polarizing figure that people will line up behind McCain just to keep her out of office.