Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yet Another 'Last Stand'

Today voters in West Virginia will go to the polls to add another chapter to this already prolonged primary season. Pundits are labeling this as Mrs. Clinton's "last stand" (I think we've heard them say that before).

Irrefutably, Mrs. Clinton does need to win West Virginia by the huge margins preliminary polls have been showing. The average gap in most polls conducted in the Mountain State has her up by thirty points. One element of the West Virginia primary that goes in her favor is that unaffiliated and independent voters are allowed to endorse a candidate. Registered Republicans are barred from voting but the aforementioned groups, where Mrs. Clinton is gaining in popularity, may participate in the process.

Everyone knows that it is incredibly onerous for Mrs. Clinton to make the argument to the super delegates that she is the more electable of the two remaining dems. However by winning big today, she can exploit a weakness that has been plaguing the wrong Reverend Wright's protégé for months: his weakness in country areas. Rural voters are not saying "Yes We Can" to Senator Obama, they are lining up in droves to oppose his candidacy. Except for the states where there is a significant African American population (North Carolina's 22% for example) Senator Obama continuously comes up short. The task is even more daunting in Appalachia, where Obama's negatives are considerably higher than other regions of the country. Senator Clinton's argument to the DNC has to be that if she loses the nomination then this entire region would convert into 'McCainiacs' come November.

We are getting closer to the end and a growing number of prominent Democrats want to see a conclusion to this chaos by June. A big win tonight and another strong showing next week in Kentucky might provide her with the necessary momentum to last until convention time.

While the Maverick is certainly enjoying the show being put on by these two, he should not bask in it for too long.

Right now either candidate defeats him in a head-to-head match up.

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