If, by improbability, Clinton wins the Nom': will there be anything to fight for?
There's two ways of looking at this, it seems:
Firstly, Clinton is less favoured among swing voters than Obama. She's said to be more divisive. We can go on about whether the reasons are fair, but the fact is that she is - judging by the polls. Women might want a woman president and begrudge Obama snatching it away, but their rights and concerns would be much better represented under Obama's presidency than McCain's.
What is more, black voters are mostly core Democrat supporters. If Clinton takes this to the death and wrests victory from Obama, she is going to have an uphill struggle to then galvanise those same voters to support her at the ballot box in November. Losing swathes of the black vote would be disastrous to the Democrat campaign in key states like Florida, Ohio and PA. Of course, blacks are represented far better by the Dems than by the Republicans, and Bill Clinton was popular among black Americans, but you could understand why black voters who keenly anticipated Obama becoming the first black president would be embittered and could never forgive Clinton if she received the nomination. After all, she is behind in the national vote, she cannot catch Obama's delegate count, most states have plumped for Obama, and therefore she has, in many eyes, a weak case for becoming the Democrat candidate. If the required amount of superdelegates supported Hillary, then to many fervent Obama supporters, but also to swing voters and the generally apathetic electorate who Clinton will seek to mobilise, the decision would whiff of political skull duggery acting against the will of the people.
But there's another side to all of this:
Clinton has built her campaign largely on an image of being tough-talking and resilient. Most recently she has used the card of being the underdog in order to garner support. There is no question that for the last couple of months, Clinton has been the underdog, and at times has been written off.
If Clinton took this to the wire, and finally won the nomination, then while some would begrudge her, surely as many would commend her for refusing to give up in the face adversity both on a campaign and on a financial level. She has even dipped into her personal funds to bolster her at times flagging effort. Nobody will ever be able to doubt Clinton's ambition to become the first woman President again, nor that her motives are laudable and heartfelt.
She would then take that image to the voters, as the sturdy, wily, indomitable leader who would not -- and you can hear the soundbites now -- give up on America, just as she did not give up on her campaign.
And she'd also have a strong case when trying to persuade superdelegates that she has won comfortable margins over Obama in most of the key states, and it is those states in which she is clearly popular, and on which the last two general elections have hinged. Obama has won big in states which almost never go blue: would CLinton be more likely to tip the key states in favour of the Democrats?
By the way...does anybody have the actual total vote count at this stage, or before today, of Clinton against Obama, taking all the primaries into account?