Analyst: Clinton Needs Big Win to Avoid Devastation

Sen. Hillary Clinton

Sen. Hillary Clinton is battling for Pennsylvania, which, with 158 delegates at stake, is the nominating contest's largest remaining prize. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Politico.com Executive Editor Jim VandeHei says Sen. Hillary Clinton must post a significant win in Pennsylvania to remain a viable candidate in the eyes of superdelegates.

"If she wins by only 4 or 5 points, in a state where the demographics heavily favor her, I think the campaign would be devastated," VandeHei says. "They know they need to win, probably by double digits, to keep the superdelegates really engaged."

VandeHei says the party leaders to whom other superdelegates look for direction — such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid — are willing to see Clinton's campaign continue only if she can make a plausible case for the nomination. And that case, VandeHei stresses, requires a commanding victory Tuesday.

"It's politics — nothing's fair," VandeHei says. "Truth is, a lot of Democrats want this thing to come to a close."

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