Will the Democratic presidential fight go all the way to the convention? Obviously, it could, and my colleague Jen Rubin has been chronicling the myriad possibilities.
I’m a skeptic. If, by the middle of March, there is genuine evidence that Barack Obama has outdistanced Hillary Clinton in committed delegates, number of states won, and overall vote totals, and that she can only prevail by muscling the party leadership, she will not stay in it. Continuing her bid won’t make sense from that point on.
At that point, the chance of her prevailing at the convention would be very low, and at the end, she would be finished as a force in her own party. A victorious President Obama would freeze her out — indeed, he would have to freeze her out if he wanted to be seen as someone who can’t simply be walked over without consequence.
Or, if her hijinks were thought to have contributed to a Republican victory, she would become the pariah of all pariahs — a Ralph Nader who didn’t even do it out of principle, but just out of raw hunger for power.
Now, if she should pull out big victories in Texas and Ohio, she might well be tempted to battle on, claiming that she prevails in states with major populations while Obama primarily wins lightly attended caucuses. But how likely are big victories in those states? Obama is certain to do pretty well in them, which suggests she might eke out a one- or two-point margin. That is not enough to stop an avalanche.