I typically try and hold off on the pronouncements of one candidate's campaign being kaput or another candidate obviously surging to an unstoppable victory, but it's pretty clear now that Hillary Clinton won't be president. The Obama campaign points out that Clinton needs Ohio and Texas landslides to gain a delegate advantage; the Clinton campaign, on a media call today, refused to call the states "must-win." They argued only that they were "critical, critical states."
Why are they pessimistic? Let's take Ohio, a state similar to Wisconsin in some ways (Midwestern, NAFTA-skeptic, largely suburban and rural) and dissimilar in some others (more black voters, more ethnic whites and Catholics). The Clinton campaign spun that Wisconsin was never going to be an easy win because of crossover voting (Republicans and independents can choose any primary) and same-day voter registration. Democrats were only 62 percent of voters in the Democratic primary.
Ohio's got to be better, right? Not much better. There is no same-day registration, but there is crossover voting. In 2004 about 72 percent of Democratic primary voters were Democrats. What would happen if the three kinds of Ohio voters cast their ballots in the same proportion that Wisconsin voters did? Obama would win with 56 percent of the vote—almost as big as his Wisconsin win.
That won't happen, but it illustrates the difficulty of Team Clinton fighting yet another primary with non-Democrat Obamacans crossing over to sandbag them. They need to win Democratic voters in a landslide. But now that the Clintons are losing, the ornery labor unions—who have never fully forgiven Bill Clinton for his New Democratic feints on trade—have lost their fear. They're going for Obama, driving the final nails into Clintonism. You can see how afraid Clinton is with her current campaign (bolstered by 527s) in Ohio. She sounds like arch-populist Sherrod Brown, or like an even less relatable John Edwards. I don't like what this says about the party, but it's the party she's gotten those precious 35 years of experience in.