Sunday, February 17, 2008

Obama’s Surge; Clinton’s Last Stand

Obama had a good week, winning eight additional primaries and caucuses in a row, some by a wide margin. He now leads Clinton by 67 delegates according to Washington Post’s RealClearPolitics. Obama surpasses Clinton in fundraising and is projected to win Wisconsin and Hawaii (his birth place) this Tuesday. Once an underdog and insurgent candidate, Obama is now the indisputable front-runner. Momentum may be on his side, but the nomination contest is far from over - the delegate ratio between Obama and Clinton is less than 1% and there are 16 remaining races with more than 800 delegates at stake. Moreover, as the front-runner, Obama is fighting a three-front war – not only against Clinton, but also countering McCain, the de-facto Republican nominee, and the media – that will potentially strain his resources. Obama’s momentum will bring increasing press scrutiny on his legislative records, speeches, and policy proposals and positions. The next few weeks will test the strength of Obama’s surge.

On the other hand, Clinton’s painful losses to Obama has threatened to derail her candidacy. Gone are her campaign manager and deputy manager, fundraising prowess, and front-runner status. As political pundits and commentators begin to write her political obituary – many are reminded that the Clintons have been down this road before, and time aftertime, they managed to comeback and beat their opponents with a stronger zeal. This is certain – battle lines have been drawn and for Clinton to be viable, her last stands are in Texas and Ohio. She is currently leading in the polls and if she wins these two states on March 4, Clinton will be competitive in the remaining races, especially in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Vermont, and West Virginia. Clinton may be down, but she is not out.

One thing is for sure, whoever emerges as the democratic nominee will be a stronger and formidable candidate against McCain.


Andy said...

I think it's time for Obama to have front-runner status because Hilary Clinton has been vetted left, right and centre pretty much since Bill left the White House. You've right whoever comes out as the democratic nominee will be stronger for it - if it has to be Obama let him show everyone he is strong enough to do so.

Mike said...

Once the remaining races finish in the coming weeks, it'll be really interesting if the Superdelegates go against the popular primary votes. The candidate who is selected not only has the challenge of uniting the Dems, but beating the Republican nominee.