As I write this, she’s been nuked in Carolina and is, er, clinging to a bitter four-point lead in Indiana with 82% in. I said this morning that if she got blown out down south then she’d have to pull off a blowout of her own in the midwest to keep the superdelegates jittery about Obama’s Wright baggage. Hasn’t happened. Take it away, Steve Kornacki:
The North Carolina results do not suggest any significant erosion in Obama’s standing in the state during what has been a very rough few weeks for him.
This alone is enough to derail the Clinton strategy. A win in North Carolina would have been powerful evidence that Democrats are turning on Obama and that the character attacks had rendered him unelectable. A very narrow loss might have helped the Clintons make this case as well. But a landslide defeat?…
North Carolina also essentially locks in Obama’s edge in the popular vote. His margin should undo whatever benefit Clinton reaped from her win in Pennsylvania. No fair and reasonable calculation of the cumulative popular vote at the end of this process will show Clinton ahead. It is now mathematically inconceivable.
Against these realities, the Indiana results almost don’t matter. Obviously, if Obama ends up ahead when all the votes are tallied, the race will end on the spot, and Clinton won’t even have license to pursue meaningless wins in West Virginia and Kentucky. But even if Clinton hangs on, it will be for show.
Slate’s keeping an eye on RCP’s running popular-vote totals and notes that not only will Obama widen his delegate margin tonight, he’ll erase the PV gains she made in Pennsylvania. In fact, as of this moment, even if Florida and Michigan are counted RCP gives her a popular vote lead of just 3,000+ votes — a margin of less than one-tenth of one percent. And that’s assuming that the popular vote totals from the caucuses in Iowa, Washington, Maine, and Nevada (which weren’t reported) aren’t counted at all. If you estimate for those states, he ends up with a lead of more than 100,000. Which means she has nothing left to commend her to the supers except an electabilty argument unsupported by a single key metric or even circumstantial evidence that Pastorgate has done Obama grievous damage at the polls. Are they going to take the nomination from the first serious black candidate for president without any compelling data to hang their decision on? Not a chance. It’s over. Let’s move on.