Obama has two chances to blow the world’s mind tonight. One of them just passed him by.
Hillary took her home state of New York, as expected. (As a colleague put it, “How many home states does she have?”) Obama’s camp was hoping he might surprise people. But Clinton’s margin of victory—57 percent to 29 percent—is decisive enough that the Obama camp has no better-than-expected narrative to turn to.
His second chance will come in California, where polls are still open. But things are not looking good. Clinton has already claimed victory in Massachusetts, where she’s leading 58 percent to 39 percent, despite Obama’s vaunted Kennedy endorsement. (She’s calling it the “upset of the night.”) She appears to be overwhelming him in delegate-rich New Jersey, too. These have no bearing on California’s numbers, except that in big liberal states, Obama isn’t outperforming expectations.
Keep in mind that all of this is proportional—the winner gets only a few dozen more delegates than the loser in any given state. But if she keeps racking up 30-point leads, those delegates will add up fast.