Serious question. If the party elite gets to pick the nominee, what’s the case for them picking her over Obama? Assume she wins what she has to win on March 4 to stay alive but limps on through the rest of the season, losing most contests. He ends up, as now, with more delegates, more states, more momentum, more money, more personal appeal, and more historic significance. Given all that, why would any uncommitted superdel back her over him? Most of the ones who would do so out of loyalty or fear have presumably already committed. If it comes down to simply buying them off, he’s in better position than she is to do that — as he’s already proved. Sprinkle on some racial politics, with the Dems’ snow white power brokers very leery indeed of thwarting the first black nominee (especially with black superdels breaking his way), and she’s up shinola creek. Her one serious argument is that she does better with the Dems’ traditional base than he does (for now) and may be stronger in purple states like Ohio and Pennsylvania (but not Missouri, Minnesota, or Iowa). Anyone seriously see that happening, though? They’re going to deny the nomination to a guy whose popularity has attained cultish levels because he didn’t win the “right” states — especially with the prospect looming of Hillary-hatred tipping independents towards Maverick in the battlegrounds? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Extra credit question: Why do they have superdelegates in the first place? I’ve read this piece and Captain Ed’s post and I still don’t understand. It sounds like they wanted a way to stop the left from carrying some Nader-type who’d get crushed in the general all the way to the nomination, which makes the superdels not only anti-democratic by circumstance this year but by conception. They should get rid of them and let the primary voters have who they want, and if they elect someone who can’t win and doesn’t represent the politics of most of the party, they’ll learn their lesson in the next election. Just like the GOP in 2012!

Update: Survey USA has her up 17 in Ohio, Rasmussen has her up 16 in Texas. But storm clouds are a-gatherin’.

Update: The bad news? Another poll has Obama up six on our gal in Texas. The good news? It’s ARG.