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The Most Important Primary Evar OMG

Just as I predicted prior to Wednesday’s debate.  As Jane Austen might say if she were a political pundit instead of a 19th century novelist, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a Democratic presidential candidate in possession of a minority of pledged delegates must be in want of a huge landslide victory in Pennsylvania.

On the one hand, the PA primary is huge because Hillary is running out of chances to make up ground.  On the other hand, it’s maybe not so huge because the Democratic primaries aren’t all-or-nothing like the general election or the Republican primaries.  So anything but a Monster Landslide Victory only cuts Obama’s lead by a handful of delegates… or maybe a couple of mutant handfuls:

As of now, I think that Hillary Clinton will garner 85 pledged delegates to Barack Obama’s 73. The best-case and worst-case scenarios that I laid out previously haven’t changed at all. While Clinton will be able to spin her Pennsylvania results as some sort of validation for continuing on, the margin of victory won’t be large enough to change the impending media narrative – namely, that her candidacy rests on convincing superdelegates that Obama is unelectable….

Will Hillary top that?  Will it be enough to keep the drop-out-now sharks at bay?  Well, probably not.  A net gain of 12 delegates isn’t a whole lot, not with a 144 delegate deficit to make up, and only 566 total ordinary mortal delegates left to do it in (she’d need about 63% of them). Even the 18-point gain that PsiFighter initially predicted might not be enough to stop the drop-out drumbeat.

Worse yet, Hillary is running out of money:

The latest federal statistics showed that the Clinton primary campaign had fallen in the red as of March 31, with more debt than cash available for pre-convention spending. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, had $42 million available for the primary.

To use a sports analogy, Hillary is trailing in the fourth quarter and needs to make all of her three-pointers against a much more well-rested opponent (energy = money, in case it sounds like I’m referring to their actual physical conditioning).  It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy, either.

Note1: If there are any PA primary voters out there whose vote was somehow interfered with or observe any troubling irregularities, please use this VoterStory widget to report it to voter protection groups.

Note2: I am at Pittsburgh Drinking Liberally tonight, but will rejoin the comments when I return, hopefully with some incredibly juicy and insightful local intel.

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