Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hillary's death by 1000 cuts

On Wednesday, I said, "If Obama is to win, it will be because Hillary suffers a "death by a thousand cuts" over the next 3 weeks."

That bloodletting may have begun. Yesterday Obama overwhelmingly won in 4 contests. Today Obama and Hillary compete in the Maine caucuses. Given Obama's ability to organize and his history of winning caucuses, he may just win in Clinton's Northeastern backyard. That would make him 5 for 5 in post-Super Tuesday contests.

Coming up on February 12th, Virginia, DC, and Maryland vote in the Chesapeake Primaries. Obama will win DC. In Virginia, Obama has strong support among rich, white citizens of northern Virginia and the Africa-American population around Richmond. He also has the endorsement from Governor Tim Kaine. He should win that primary pretty handily.

In Maryland, it will be a close race. Clinton has the support of Governor O'Malley and there are a lot of blue collars in Maryland, especially out on the peninsula and around Hagerstown in the west. However, Prince George's county and Baltimore county have large concentrations of African-American voters and Montgomery county has the "latte" white crowd that likes Obama. The state will be close, but Obama could win it.

If he sweeps those 3, he'll be 7 for 7 on post-Super Tuesday primaries and will certainly be in the delegate lead.

On February 19th Hawaii and Wisconsin vote. Obama is something of a native son in Hawaii, so he'll win there. Wisconsin could be Clinton territory. It is too far out to predict who will win that, especially with no polling available. It is a blue collar state with few African-Americans, but so are Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Unlike the previous 4, it will be a primary. Clinton could carry Wisconsin, but there is little reason to think Obama couldn't carry that, too.

It is perfectly feasible for Obama to go 9 for 9 from February 6th to March 3rd. None of these victories are enough to finish off Clinton. And Clinton's team believes they can stop Obama on March 4th in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont. All of those states are better suited for Clinton's message and her standard base of support.

However, will nearly 4 weeks of "Obama wins (again)" as the news story be too much blood loss to keep Clinton from being a political corpse?