We went to bed last night knowing the GOP nominee would be John McCain. We woke up this morning (or maybe some of you will be waking up a little later) to see that Senator Clinton won Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island at least temporarily ending Senator Obama’s momentum with his win in Vermont. There is a lot of spin from both camps and there’ll be all sorts of analysis but this post Josh Marshall is as good as it gets.
Josh makes many points including the fact that Clinton’s net gain in pledge delegates was quite small and Obama will likely go into the convention with a small lead. So what’s his take on those superdelegates?
The super delegates are going to break for the winner of the primary/caucus process, as long as it’s relatively clear. Who the ‘winner’ (in the perception of the supers and Democrats around the country) is will also be heavily informed by what the available evidence suggests about who’s going to be the stronger candidate in the general … At the end of the day, the winner of the pledged delegate race has the strongest claim to the nomination. Everything else is spin. But it’s a strong claim, not incontestable … if neither candidate has it locked by the convention, the super delegates will want to pick the candidate who looks like the general election winner and is the favorite of Democrats at the time of the convention
Josh notes that Obama is still likely to be our nominee but he has to show that he needs to show he can stand up to the kind of assault that Team Clinton levied against him. While they were rough, we also know that the GOP is currently plotting a much more nasty assault. We still have a real fight for the nomination over the next few weeks. I just hope that both sides figure out how to wage this thing in an effective way that does not give the GOP slime machine more ammunition.