Election 2008

Blogger: Despite Clinton Wins, Obama Tough to Beat

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Bill Scher on today's 'BPP'

Despite Sen. Hillary Clinton's string of primary victories Tuesday, left-leaning blogger Bill Scher of LiberalOasis.com says she'll have a hard time beating Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Before Tuesday, Obama had won in 11 straight states, and in more than two dozen contests overall. "Let's not forget, Obama has won 27 states," Scher says. "And he has a clear lead in delegates. It's gonna be extremely difficult, if not impossible" to beat him.

Clinton won Tuesday in Rhode Island, Texas and Ohio, the last a bellwether state she took by more than 10 points. Obama won in Vermont. The Clinton wins, as many commentators suggested they would, seem to have infused new life into Clinton's campaign, allowing the senator and her supporters to stake a claim to a "comeback."

Her plan going into Tuesday's contests was to take no prisoners, only delegates. Advisers to her campaign said they would pursue a "kitchen sink" policy of attacks and appearances. Scher was dubious. After Obama won Iowa, he says, he thought there'd be a bandwagon effect. "I thought voters would rally around the first person who could eke out a lead," he says. "Wrong!"

The new approach by the Clinton campaign seems to have worked, as evidenced by an impressive win in Ohio. No one in the last 40 years has won the presidency without carrying the Buckeye State in the national election. Exit polls indicate that Clinton's efforts led to support from voters who made up their minds in the contest's last three days.

Does Scher think a still-hot Democratic race benefits the Republicans? Sen. John McCain swept the four contests yesterday to clinch the GOP nomination. Meanwhile, Clinton and Obama must continue to compare themselves and fight for support from their own party faithful, Scher argues, handing McCain the best scenario he could hope for.

McCain has his own obstacles, Scher says. Because of a deal McCain made this summer when his campaign went broke, he may be stuck with public campaign financing. If he loses in a pending ruling from the Federal Election Commission, the total McCain could spend between now and the summer convention is $5 million — "which will render him fairly mute," Scher says.



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