If the cacophony of pundits is to be believed, Hillary is now the Comeback Kid (I’ve lost count of how many times that mantle been passed between the two Democratic rivals), and we can expect a long slog, possibly stretching until the August convention. Super Tuesday Round 3 will be Pennsylvania on 22nd April, but this is only the first (or third, or sixth, depending on how you’re counting) in a series of past and future “final showdowns.”
What has tickled me most in the weeks since Super Tuesday Round 1 has been the increasingly high-pitched and, frankly, illogical noises emitted from the Clinton camp. As Obama’s 11-state streak gathered pace, Clinton HQ had even started making the baffling case that while the Illinois Senator was winning a lot of states, his victories were in states where Democrats had no hope of ever winning a real election (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, etc), and Clinton was therefore more legitimate because she could carry states “where it really mattered” – ie. where the Democrats were already likely to win in November.
Of course, this argument is absurd and I have no idea why it was not laughed at more at the time. The best candidate for the party would surely be the one who could entice the most people outside the natural Democratic constituency. But, as I will elaborate more on in a minute, logic has rarely been at the forefront of the Democratic mindset in this contest.
Now, with a convincing win in Ohio under her belt, Clinton’s electoral viability has genuinely begun to look more robust. Ohio is one of the big three swing states in US national elections —the other two are Florida and Pennsylvania. She is polling ahead in Pennsylvania (currently with a 9 point lead) and she won Florida. While her Florida victory was somewhat hollow because neither candidate campaigned there, all the data suggests she would have won in that state in a real contest too, because Obama is seen as soft on immigration, and willing to talk to foreign “despots” (not a popular stance among Florida’s vocal Cuban exile community).
But Florida is where the picture gets complicated, and where the real foolishness of the Democratic party begins to sink in. By breaking party rules, and having their state’s votes disqualified, the Democrats have made themselves very unpopular with a lot of Floridians—and this may…