Obama Notches 10th Victory in a Row, Can He Be Stopped?
The good news for Hillary Clinton is, there are no more Democratic contests in the month of February. The bad news is, any additional good news at this point is pretty elusive.
For the past week or so, Barack Obama was expected to do fairly well in Wisconsin and Hawaii, and he entered yesterday as the favorite in both contests. He wasn't, however, expected to do this well. With just about every precinct reporting:
* Wisconsin: Obama 58%, Clinton 41%, Edwards 1%
* Hawaii: Obama 76%, Clinton 24%
In the two weeks since Super Tuesday, Democrats have seen 10 contests (nine states and the Virgin Islands). Obama has won all of them -- at or near landslide margins. Indeed, the closest race of the 10 turned out to be Wisconsin, which Obama obviously won by 17 points.
The margin has to be especially disappointing for the Clinton campaign, because none of the usual asterisks apply. Wisconsin isn't a caucus state; it doesn't have a large African-American population; and Clinton actually tried to compete here. What's more, it has a large white, working-class population, which has generally leaned in Clinton's direction in previous contests.
Given this, yesterday's setback(s) are pretty tough spin. For that matter, the race for the Democratic nomination seems to be slowly slipping away from the senator from New York.
This is not to say that Clinton is finished; she's too talented a candidate to just quietly fade away, going down without a fight. But the road ahead isn't especially encouraging. Winning Texas and Ohio on March 4 will be challenging enough, but given Obama's recent successes, Clinton is now in a position in which she'll have to win big in two weeks.