On Monday, we predicted Clinton’s margin of victory in Pennsylvania: “Clinton will win by eightpoints—just high enough for her to stick around, just low enough forObama supporters to claim she’s done.” As it turns out, we were off; itwas more like 10 points. But our conclusion still stands: Clinton nowhas an excuse to drag her delegate-hemorrhaging candidacy around for afew more weeks. But despite the gloomy prospects, we’re hiking herchances of winning the nomination up 0.8 points to 10.7 percent .
Whythe raise? Two words: popular vote. As we and everyone who can readknows, Clinton has no shot of closing Obama’s pledged-delegate lead.Her candidacy therefore depends on convincing superdelegates to votefor her despite that lead. But vague claims of “electability”aren’t enough. She needs numbers on her side, and the popular vote isher last shot at beating Obama by a legitimate metric. WithPennsylvania under her belt—the primary netted her a little more than200,000 votes—Clinton now trails Obama by about 500,000, according to RealClearPolitics . And that’s before the spin. If you count Florida’s and Michigan’s votes, which she nodoubt will, Obama’s popular-vote lead shrinks to about 100,000. Whetheror not she closes that gap, she’s close enough to argue that they’retied.
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