Hillary Clinton earned a razor-sharp, 1 percent win over Barack Obama in Thursday’s New Mexico Democratic caucus. It was her first victory, however narrow, since Super Tuesday nearly two weeks ago. Unfortunately for her, Obama’s sweep of the intervening primaries in Washington, Lousiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Virginia and D.C. still has him ahead in delegates, 1,276 to 1,220 according to the Associated Press.
If a 1,700 vote advantage is all Clinton can muster in a heavily Latino state such as New Mexico, she has a lot to worry about. Her win there gave her only 2 more delegates (14-12) than Obama, hardly the kind of margins she needs to catch up. Even if she wins the biggest prize remaining — Texas, with its sizable Latino population and nearly 200 delegates — she better win it by a larger margin in order to really eat into Obama’s lead. It seems Texas’ complicated “primacaucus,” as The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder calls it, allocates most delegates proportionally (by senate district), with about 70 more delegates divided by caucus through some wierd mathematical formula. And unlike California, the overall winner in Texas does not automatically get a chunk of delegates, which means that unless Hillary wins by considerably more than she did in New Mexico, she will end up pretty much in the same place as she is now.
So a Texas loss (or a razor-thin win) by Hillary would pretty much make Ohio and Pennsylvania do-or-die country.