Could Barack Obama “close the deal” on Super Tuesday?
When almost two dozen states are voting, the Democratic presidential campaigns of both Illinois Senator Obama and New York Senator Hilllary Clinton are prepared to spin things their way. That means that the best bet going into “Super Tuesday” is that it will be a wash, with both campaigns finding enough good news to carry on through the primaries and caucuses of February.
There is no way at this point that Clinton can win the day decisively. Obama had built too many firewalls in southern and western states.
But could Clinton lose the day? Possibly, and that’s what to watch for on Tuesday.
Let’s be clear that only something akin to a sweep would be enough to force the once-inevitable Clinton campaign to accept the new inevitability of Obama as the likely Democratic nominee and Clinton as also-ran. Patterns of early voting that favor Clinton argue against such a scenario. But Obama’s late surge in states across the country keeps the possibility open enough to be worthy of discussion.
What would a sweep look like? Obama would not have to win every state or every delegate, but he would have to dominate the map in a manner that left no doubt that Democratic primary and caucus voters prefer his candidacy to that of the woman who not long ago was busy outlining her Democratic National Convention acceptance speech.
To do this, Obama would has to begin by winning California convincingly. That’s possible. He’s moved even or ahead most Golden State polls. Clinton is drawing huge crowds and working the state aggressively; and Obama’s decision to focus most of his campaigning elsewhere in the final days is risky. But if Obama gets California and reaps the benefits of the broader focus, he is on his way to the kind of day that could transform American politics.
Obama then must come close to Clinton in her adopted home state of New York. To do that, he needs to carry New York City and do well enough statewide to pull at least 40 percent of the vote and roughly that percentage of the state’s delegates. This seems possible, although the Clinton camp is working hard — and smart — to keep the New York senator’s vote up in the city. The key may be the borough of Brooklyn, where the Clinton campaign is targeting women from the Caribbean — a very large and engaged voting bloc that they hope to keep with Hillary.