Drop out? I'd be shocked

As we wait to find out whether Hillary did in fact pull out Indiana, I'm seeing some speculation that Hillary might drop out.*

If so, that'd be utterly inexplicable. Why stay in this long only to drop out before you're going to win West Virginia by 30% in 7 days and crystallize your argument that Obama can't connect with white working class voters? Follow that up with a win in KY and a close loss in Oregon (I assume, haven't checked the demographics), and Hillary can reasonably continue to claim momentum.

Nothing has changed in the race for nomination. Everything has happened exactly how it was foreseen to happen back in early to mid February. Clinton and Obama are tied, in every sense of the word. But Hillary has momentum now. Or seems to have momentum because she now has demographically-friendly primaries, not caucuses. In truth, there was never really ever a time in which Hillary or Obama had any sort of significant bandwagon effect/momentum. Barack and Hillary have fought to a draw; except that Obama is a prohibitive favorite to win the nomination because Democrats know they can't compete in the long-term if they lose their near monopoloy on black votes. Obama and Axelrod made the correct strategic decision to invest resources in caucus states, whereas Hillary and Bill (her primary strategist all along; don't be fooled) hubristically thought the delegate count wouldn't matter. So now, we're at the end, and it's a draw. Hillary can only hope that she can suade superdelegates with the appearance of momentum. Though it's false momentum, people are easily fooled -- superdelegrates and media types included -- and they'll look at Hillary's string of mostly victories and probably be impressed. Will it be enough? Probably not, but the writing was on the wall the day after Super Tuesday (Feb 6, if i recall correctly).

Or at least, that's what Clinton's campaign has to be hoping. Because otherwise, why would she have stayed in this long?

Stranger things have happened. But if HRC drops out for BHO now, it would defy logic.

*This is probably worth a separate post -- but I don't put too much time into blogging these days (including this post, obviously) -- most of the speculation is overblown on the deleterious effects on the Democratic nominee's chances to win in November (and further it helps them in downballot races). Yes, it has increased McCain's chances, but, among other things, politicos tend to forget that McCain must re-introduce himself and he can't do that right now. That will make the convention very important for McCain, as he MUST cement himself as completely different from George W Bush to have a chance at victory. Further, ceterus paribus, McCain is a significantly better candidate than Obama or Hillary. If this weren't such a drastically Democrat-friendly political environment, McCain would win hands-down. As it is, it will be very close.

Posted by Evan @ 05/06/08 11:59 PM


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