Bad news: Hillary likely to force war of attrition well beyond today

Remember how, in my Sunday column, I cited how undecided Pennsylvania voters were, according to Zogby? Specifically, I cited his figures as of last Thursday, which he said showed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama "deadlocked." I wrote my column Thursday night.

On Friday, as I was editing the column and putting it on the Sunday page, I noticed that Mrs. Clinton had gained a little ("Clinton Edges Ahead"). But it was still within the margin of error, and could easily go the other way, so I didn’t make too much of it. On Saturday, it was "Clinton Builds Lead by Inches."

Apparently, those were not just fluctuations, assuming Zogby’s doing his sums right. The trend continued Sunday and Monday, and as of this morning, he announced that she had was she was looking for — a 10-point lead.

That means at the very least that she’s beyond the margin of error, and probably that she’ll get the magic double-digit win today that "conventional wisdom" says she’s got to have.

And that means this thing drags on. It’s still highly unlikely that she could win, but she can keep drawing blood from Obama as the days and weeks drag on.

If you’re a Democrat, this is awful news, because polls already show McCain tied with Obama (and beating Hillary, quite consistently, which continues to make me wonder what people who are voting for her are thinking). And if you’re a Republican, you’ve still got to be tired of this, right?

I know this UnPartisan is.

14 thoughts on “Bad news: Hillary likely to force war of attrition well beyond today

  1. Michael

    Are you so concerned that the Democrats of Indiana, North Carolina, etc. will get to have their say in the process the same way South Carolina did? I don’t see that as a horrible result.

  2. Doug Ross

    I agree with Michael. What’s the big deal with letting the entire country get involved in the process? What this year has proven is that we need to stop frontloading the primaries with states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
    The first primaries should be in Pennsylvania or Ohio, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and California.
    Just wait til McCain becomes the target. By the time it becomes a two person race, American’s will be bored with all the negative stuff against Hillary or Barack. The hits on McCain will be fresh and new and keep the media pumped up through the summer.

  3. Lee Muller

    It’s good for the nominating process to go the entire schedule, just like the old days, so we get below the surface imagery of the candidates.
    As the facts come out on Obama, he falls apart. The same will happen with Hillary.
    The hardcore 34% who just want someone else to pay their doctor bills, mortgage, and retirement don’t care what kind of monster delivers for them – but the rest of us do.

  4. Mike Cakora

    What if the Dems had a meeting — they could call it a “convention” — where all the delegates could rub shoulders (and other body parts, these are the Dems after all) and get about the important bidness of selecting their party’s candidate? They could vote! Yeah, that’s it, the delegates from all of the states could vote for their candidate, and the one with the most votes wins. They could have rules about the number of votes needed and conduct multiple rounds of voting until they have a winner. They could televise it and have speeches. What do you think?

  5. Steve Gordy

    Mike, I think it’s a great idea, but the networks would never go for it. Televised coverage would get slaughtered by “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars.”

  6. frank lee

    Every McClatchy newspaper that endorsed anyone endorsed McCain and Obama.
    But only six of the 31 McClatchy dailies endorsed anyone.
    Standing up to be counted has apparently fallen from favor in journalistic circles.
    So subscriptions are off and McClatchy is neck-deep in red ink.
    Meanwhile, The State, which had the guts to endorse exactly the same candidates every other McClatchy newspaper endorsed, wants Columbia smoke-free and taxed to the max.
    So The State embraces the status quo and opposes free will.
    No wonder Gamecock BS and philharmonic fervor knocked real news off he front.

  7. James D McCallister

    Free will? Smoke free is a good thing. Helps keep the will of non-smokers free from other people’s ruinous, polluting drug addiction.
    And Hillary isn’t trying to be president, she’s trying to destroy Obama so that one-termer McCain will win and then she’ll be all set in 2012 to say, see, we told you so…

  8. Mike Cakora

    The Jaws and French Connections.
    Growing up around Chicago got me used to the notion of the dead voting, but I didn’t think that they’d go so far as to contribute to a campaign. It seems that Obama’s blessed by a gift from beyond the grave in the form of a contribution last month from actor Roy Scheider (of French Connection and Jaws fame. The bad news is that old Roy died the month before.

  9. frank lee

    Funny thing, James: You contradicted me with your smoke-free comment, and yet I agree more with that than I do with your speculation about Hillary.
    You seem to have a talent for being contrary.

  10. Brad Warthen

    Steve and Mike — the networks would love a brokered convention. So would newspapers, to the extent that they seek their own self-interest. It’s a hell of a story, and one that news people who love a scrap (which includes most) have wanted their whole lives.
    I just got to the point, years ago, that I care more about the good of the country (or, in a different context, the state or local community) than about “a good story.” To give an example — back when we were about to have the lottery referendum, I happened to mention to someone who was then a senior editor in The State’s newsroom (now long gone) my concern about the potentially corrupting influence of the state being in the gambling bidness. (I forget the exact context, but it was something like that.) His reaction was something like “corruption? great — that’ll make a helluva story.” He was the way I was 20 or 30 years ago — the story’s the thing, and the ONLY thing.
    Nowadays, I’d rather not have the corruption to start with.
    And in this election, I’d like to see a straight-up contest between these two candidates I like and admire, McCain and Obama. I’ve been looking forward to that all year, as the first win-win proposition I’ve seen for the country in a presidential contest in my career.
    But Hillary just keeps dragging us through the same old negative junk that I’m sick of. And I’m ready for that to be over.

  11. Mike Cakora

    McCain has always been comfortable with the press, while of late Obama’s been reporter-shy. There’s a mettle gap that’s becoming apparent.
    You’ve got to admit that Hillary has a fair claim for the nomination. When was the last time Obama won a primary, sixty days ago?

  12. Lee Muller

    It doesn’t take much to emasculate Barry Obama. It comes naturally to bully Butch Clinton.

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