Hillary’s firewall holds

Clinton wins Ohio and Texas, achieving her campaign’s oft state goal of stopping Obama’s momentum with wins in those two large states. So what does this really mean?

Back on Feb. 14 we noted that Clinton would have to win the big “Critical Tuesday” primaries by relatively large margins to really eat into Obama’s delegate lead. She won Ohio by a good 10 points. But Texas is another story. With 98 percent of the vote counted Clinton has a narrow 3 point lead, and in the Longhorn State’s weird “primacaucus” contest she is actually behind Obama by 3 points in the caucus portion of the contest, with about 40 percent of ballots counted.

Unlike California Texas does not automatically award a big chunk of the delegates to the overall winner, so even if she wins the caucus by the same margin as the primary (or if Obama holds his slight lead in the caucus) then they are pretty much gonna split the state’s nearly 200 delegates. Not good for Hillary.

As this article by the AP points out, splitting the vote with Obama at this late point in the primaries does not help Hillary, since Obama still maintains the overall delegate lead:

…even if she wins every contest left, Clinton still would have a hard time overcoming Barack Obama‘s pledged delegate lead. In fact, her task got even harder because even though she won Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island Tuesday night, she didn’t do much to close the delegate gap and with every contest that passes, the number up for grabs drops.

Obama focused on the math while addressing supporters in Texas. “We have nearly the same delegate lead as we did this morning and we are on our way to winning this nomination,” he said. 

My take? Unless Hillary wins Pennsylvania by a landslide — even with that she may not be able to catch up in the pledged delegate count — she is pretty much finished. Obama will likely hold on to a (however slight) lead going into the convention, and the superdelegates will have to roll over to whoever the popular winner is at that time. Obama wins the nomination.

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