The best thing going for Hillary Clinton may be the proportional voting system. Without it the next few days might be rough. Barack Obama does have a batch of friendly states ahead. Next Tuesday offers three opportunities for him. In Virginia scant pollling shows him in the lead. (The combination of African Americans in the Richmond area and upscale professionals in northern Virginia seems ideally suited for him.) He also is expected to do well in Maryland and D.C., with large numbers of large African American voters.
Moreover, he is expected to head into Tuesday with a head of steam. On Saturday he has a caucus in Washington, where he again is polling well and received the endorsement of Governor Christine Gregoire. He also stands to do well in the Louisiana primary(again, with a significant African American electorate) and in the Nebraska caucus (where, if the Red state caucus contests on Super Tuesday are any guide, he will win). The one bright spot for Clinton may be Sunday’s caucus in Maine where Bill has campaigned and she has the governor on her side. (But, yes, Maine did not do too much for Mitt Romney.)
In short, Obama trails Clinton by 70 delegates today, but after this weekend’s 228 delegates and Tuesday’s 238 delegates are tallied, he will likely be in the lead. Once again, the proportional voting system will keep the total delegate count close, but in four days expect to hear that Clinton is now the “underdog.” (And matters will not get easier for her when they head to Wisconsin on February 19 and Obama’s “Yes we can” cheer will resonate well in the land of La Follette.) With that new status she may be the “scrappy fighter” or the “fading star,” depending on the media spin.