In today's last-big primaries left (187 pledged delegates up for grabs of the 404 remaining) day, Sen. Barack Obama scored a decisive victory (around 15 points or more) in North Carolina and Sen. Hillary Clinton holds around a 4 point lead in Indiana with around 85% of precincts in, as of 23:00 "fast time" (EDT). Insofar as North Carolina is significantly bigger than Indiana, and insofar as Sen. Obama's margin of victory there will be greater than Sen. Clinton's margin in Indiana, assuming she even wins it at all, Obama will improve on his around 150 pledged delegate (and 135 or so overall delegate) lead, with only 217 pledged delegates left for grabs, in contests in Kentucky, West Virginia and Puerto Rico (likely for Clinton), and in Montana, South Dakota and Oregon (likely for Obama)... i.e., they'll all net out or come pretty close to doing so, and Obama's lead will hold... and superdelegates will start breaking in droves... for Obama.
The game is called "delegates;" telling us that if you count Florida and Michigan, (and only count White people at that) that Hillary "actually won" the "real" popular vote... or that some poll tells us Clinton will do better against McCain in selected counties in Florida and Ohio... really tells us nothing. If Clinton supporters want to make the case that the Rev. Wright has rendered Sen. Obama unelectable, apparently, the voters in both North Carolina and Indiana don't seem to be accepting that, given the respective margins tonight, which, as noted above, will give Obama a net delegate pick-up, despite "Hillary's momentum" and wall to wall Rev. Wright coverage on broadcast media (and of course, the shameless pandering on the gasoline tax).
If we accept polls that show that raw racism is something that Democrats should respect (i.e., evidently, a significantly higher number of Clinton voters say they would not vote for Obama than vice versa, and, as their policies are pretty much indistinguishable, I think we know why they would say this), then the Democratic Party may as well start selling the furniture at DNC headquarters, because it will no longer have a reason to be, nor would it ever again be assured of its only reliable base (hint: it's neither unions, nor working class White people).
So... while this election may be too important for Democrats to lose, if it involves "winning" by elevating the candidate in distant second place in delegates, "winning" may well be a Pyrrhic victory: the end of the Democratic Party in any meaningful sense. Not that Sen. Clinton (and certainly Pres. Clinton) seem to care a jot about this. If the argument that Obama-- a man who was a state legislator just three and a half years ago, is unelectable, then the answer to that problem might well be "Al Gore" (Gore-Obama?), but it is surely not the candidate with every conceivable advantage of name recognition, organization and fund-raising prowess and a popular husband ex-President to boot who still couldn't beat the man who was a state legislator three years ago (because she ran one of the stupidest campaigns in the history of the world).
Does Sen. Clinton have every right to soldier on? Yessirree, and frankly, if I were her, I might well myself, because this may well be her last opportunity to run, and certainly, she may never be this close again. Of course, it's quite possible that her campaign is broke (again). And superdelegates are now going to start committing in droves, insofar as, while there are nominally 5 or 6 more contests, they are, combined, barely more than tonight's total, which included an Indiana that had many demographic similarities to Clinton-strongholds Ohio and Pennsylvania, and yet, it might well only be Rush Limbaugh's operation chaos that pushes her over the top there.
Is primary season and the race for the Democratically nomination technically or mathematically over? Not by a long-shot. Is it over? Yes, boys and girls, I'm afraid that it's over.
Hey, who knows? If Sen. Obama can wrap this up in the next few days, he might even have time to come to our Columbia '83 class reunion in three weeks time. No... crazy talk on my part. But unless Sen. Obama is videotaped on a boat called Monkey Business, or shows up on the client list of the Emperors Club, or some other outrageous scandal that involves sex, any doubt that he will be the Democratic nominee has by and large just been removed.
Update: It's around 00 45 on 6 May, and Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice tells us that votes are still being counted in Lake County, home of Gary, IN, and turnout was so high, that Obama might pull out a win in Indiana. If this is indeed the case, then, without mincing words, it's all over tonight. Stay tuned; follow along with Joe and TMV to keep up; Joe's in San Diego, so he'll be up a bit longer than I, who end my blogging evening... right now. G'night everybody!