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Welcome back to PNN (Political News Network)!
First, here are the numbers from Indiana and North Carolina. Next, here is Jason's take.
So, what happened?
Simply this: Senator Clinton would never have enough delegates to beat Senator Obama by hook. Even if she says that she is shutting down her campaign does not mean that she cannot take the fight to the floor of the convention in Denver.
Senator Clinton was not known for her positive ratings. In the beginning, Republicans hated her. As the campaign wore on past Super Tuesday, Senator Obama supporters aligned with the Republicans to understand why they hated the Clintons back in the '90's.
She never had enough early wins to propel her over the top. Senator Obama defined the Primary campaign. He defined it by announcing first, and allowing his issues to come forth. "Guilt by Association," a tactic Democrats frequently use on Republicans, was used on Senator Obama. He survived his association with Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers for the Primary.
In the General, those same factors might play out differently. It all depends on two factors:
A) Does Hillary drop out and allow Senator Obama to raise funds and support for the general? Or will he keep fighting her in Denver?
B) How well those associations play among the General public?
Now, the Clintons are defining the rules of how the Democrats will fight in the General. Can't say the republicans didn't warn you during the 90's or give you cover back then to stop this extended Primary from occurring. All it required to stop Hillary was a Goldwater to Nixon moment in Winter 1999. Now the Democrats are paying the price.