There is no calculation that currently gives the Clintons a majority of the popular vote. There is now no mathematical possibility of them getting more delegates. Obama has won by far the most states. He has raised far more money; he has 1.5 million donors, mainly small sums. He has crushed her among new voters and young voters; and as a black politician, his support spans all races and classes. And recall: he is a freshman senator with a very funny name against the biggest brand name in American politics and a worldwide celebrity whose chief campaigner was a former two-term president of the United States.
When you take a couple of steps back, you realize the astonishing success of this movement. In the last month, every brutal guilt-by-association smear has been thrown at him and the Clintons have been reduced to hoping that Rush Limbaugh will turn out their voters that Karl Rove’s tactics are worthy of the Democrats. He has somehow endured and survived and in North Carolina has won what looks like a stunning margin of victory. And when you look at the states that Clinton is, er, clinging to: Obama has gained among her demographic base from Ohio to Pennsylvania to Indiana. She’s going backward.
The Clintons will have to realize some day that their time is over. I cannot pretend to know how they think or how much more damage to themselves, to their legacy and to their party they want to inflict. But I do know who has won this nomination, whether they try to steal it from him or not.