Pundits have a poor history in this election season, but their bad luck can’t continue forever. So here we present one of the best, Charlie Cook, who is perhaps the top election handicapper in the nation. This is from his “Off to the Races” e-mail list.
With Obama’s sweep this past weekend, he has effectively pulled even with Clinton in the delegate battle and he is building a formidable advantage in money. If Obama’s fundraising remains at this level for long, that alone could change the delicate balance in this evenly matched contest.
Obama was expected to win the bulk of the delegates in the Nebraska and Washington state caucuses as well as the Louisiana primary, although his victory in the Maine caucus was considered to be less of a cinch. He is also expected to prevail in today’s Chesapeake primaries in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
This should give Obama a respectable advantage over Clinton in terms of delegates. But Clinton is expected to be strong in Ohio and Texas on March 4, which should swing the delegate advantage back to her, albeit narrowly.
Given Obama’s fundraising, wins this past weekend and likely strength today, he is very likely to end up the Democratic nominee if he can diminish or even thwart Clinton in Ohio and Texas.
With more than half of the pledged delegates to the Democratic convention already picked, and given the vagaries of the proportional representation system Democrats use, it’s hard to build up a significant delegate lead. But once a lead is built, it is very difficult to overcome.
Colby College political scientist and delegate selection expert Anthony Corrado calls Wisconsin’s Feb. 19 primary “the gateway to Texas and Ohio.” Indeed, Wisconsin will likely play a decent-size role, as it bridgestoday’s primaries and the March 4 Buckeye and Lone Star state primaries.
If Obama’s winning streak continues through Wisconsin, it’s entirely plausible that his momentum going into Ohio and Texas will prevent Clinton from having a sorely needed victory week. Should that happen, it would be quite hard for Clinton to get back in the race.
Labels: 2008 Election, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Politics