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Time to Call it?

I was feeling a little like a wuss most of yesterday, because yesterday, even though I was somewhat feeling it, I decided to hedge in my predictions and instead of just saying, it is over, Obama is going to win; I gave the three scenarios depending on if Clinton won two, one or zero of Texas and Ohio. I did say I that if I had to bet, I’d bet on her losing both. Obama is rapidly closing the gaps in both states. But I gave voice to the other two possibilities. Specifically, I said that if she won ONE of the two states we would have an interesting extension going on to Pennsylvania and beyond, continuing to fight.

But…

Bill Clinton: Texas Could Be Hillary’s Last Stand
(Rick Klein and Sarah Amos, ABC News)

Even Clinton’s most devoted surrogate — her husband, Bill Clinton — acknowledged the do-or-die stakes on Wednesday in Beaumont, Texas, conceding that a loss in Texas or Ohio would likely doom her candidacy.

“If she wins Texas and Ohio I think she will be the nominee. If you don’t deliver for her, I don’t think she can be. It’s all on you,” the former president told the audience at the beginning of his speech.

(via Huffington Post)

Now… the ABC folks seem to be reading slightly more into Bill’s statement than is actually there, getting confused about his negation. They say he said that a loss in Ohio or Texas would “doom her candidacy”. But what he actually said that if she wins both he thinks she will be the nominee and that if “you” don’t deliver then she can’t be the nominee. He was speaking to people in Texas. So he may have specifically meant Texas, not Texas or Ohio. Or he may have meant a collective you meaning both states. It is unclear.

ABC seemed to assume he meant the latter, and that a loss in EITHER state will be the end.

Given the really bizzare way delegates are allocated in Texas, Hillary would have to do more than break even in popular vote just to break even, and to actually make a significant dent in the delegate gap would have to win by absolutely enormous margins. I really don’t think she can “win” Texas.

If Bill is saying she needs BOTH Ohio and Texas, and his statements reflect at all what she is saying, then I think she is done. She still has a shot at Ohio, but I think Texas is done.

Of course… we have two debates between now and then. And all it takes is one stupid foot in moth moment by Obama, or one good hit from Hillary that knocks him off his balance, and the trends in the polls could change overnight… But I think Obama has to make a mistake for that to happen. Debates are his weakest area though.

OK, so I started this post thinking I’d be making the unequivocal “Obama is going to win this” statement, but here at the end I find myself hedging again. There are still ways Hillary could make a comeback. They are just getting less and less likely.

And then of course, she could play a Huckabee, saying she’ll stay in it until and unless Obama has the magic number, and even then, she’ll fight to change the minds of superdelegates, and maybe even pledged delegates, and take this right through to the convention. She *could* do that. But I think if Bill is out there saying they need to win both states (or even just Texas) or she probably can’t be the nominee… then that means they have already decided that if March 4th doesn’t do what they want, then they will be out of there.

And of course, I already predicted that Obama would come out ahead in the end. And I still think that is the final outcome.

And I really would bet right now that it will be over after March 4th. So, what the hell, lets go out on a limb. The out on a limb prediction is that Clinton pulls out of the race within 48 hours of the polls closing on the March 4th primaries.

Just watch though, now that I’ve said that, Obama will make HUGE mistakes in both of the next two debates, his poll numbers will plummet, Clinton will win the March 4th states with overwhelming margins, then ride that wave through the rest of the primaries, regaining a pledged delgate lead and making the superdelegates non-issses and Obama will drop out after Pennsylvania.

Hmmm… that does seem unlikely, doesn’t it.

Oh well, we’ll see soon enough. I’ll be watching the polls in Ohio and Texas very carefully over the next few days. That will tell us a lot.

Also, I am anxious to get this over with, so we can start tracking general election polls on a state by state basis and making electoral college predictions… I already have in my head the graph I want to make if none of the big places like pollster do it first.

Did I mention I like graphs?

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