The past 24 hours have been a combination of sky highs and brutallows for Hillary Clinton. She won by double digits in West Virginia—oneof her biggest victories yet. But a superdelegate shutout (Obama wonfour today to her zero) and a crippling campaign debt suggest thevictory will be short-lived. We’ll bump her up 1.3 points to 2.9 percent , if only because tonight’s victory all but guarantees she’ll stick around a few more weeks.
First, the good news: Clinton’s West Virginia victory gives her what she most desperately needs— arguments .Her win, while expected, managed to suck away much of Obama’s normalcoalition (minus blacks, who made up 4 percent of the electorate). Shecan say Obama is weakening, that he’s vulnerable in the general, andthat voters want her to stick it out. Not even a landslide victorywould earn Clinton enough pledged delegates to challenge Obama’s tally,and Obama’s popular-vote lead remains daunting. But she now has an excuse to stay in. In the words ofMSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Clinton is now an “understudy candidate,”waiting in the wings to see if Obama catches the flu.
Read more at the Hillary Deathwatch .