Nagourney: "At least one scenario where Clinton could win"

The prominent New York Times political reporter says a Clinton victory, though unlikely, is still possible.

By Alex Koppelman
Published March 25, 2008 4:17PM (EDT)

There has been no end to talk of the Hillary Clinton campaign's impending demise lately, sparked especially by a recent article on the subject from the Politico.

One of those reporting on the subject, actually before the Politico, has been the New York Times' Adam Nagourney. Last week, Nagourney was writing about how Clinton's long-shot chance for the nomination "seems to have grown a little longer." This week, he's striking a different note from those who, like the Politico, see no light whatsoever at the end of Clinton's tunnel. Nagourney writes:

Make no mistake about it; Clinton's task in trying to overtake Senator Barack Obama of Illinois is daunting. And it grew even tougher last week, when the collapse of efforts to redo the Florida and Michigan primaries almost certainly ended her hope of narrowing Obama's lead in pledged delegates and being able to claim a majority of the popular vote when the voting is done.

But it is still not impossible. There remains at least one scenario where Clinton could win. It is an increasingly unlikely one and one that could traumatize the Democratic Party. Still, it gives succor to her supporters, and presumably Clinton herself, and is something to keep in mind watching the two of them head toward the endgame of their contest ... What Clinton is going to need is for Obama to suffer a collapse in polls by the time superdelegates are being pressed to make up their minds.

Nagourney adds that this "is going to take a near-perfect confluence of forces in Clinton's favor, a turn of luck that has evaded her this year."

Elsewhere, the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder, who has previously taken on the arguments in the Politico article, writes, "I reached the conclusion more than a month ago that Barack Obama is likely to be nominated by the Democrats, although a Clinton comeback was possible, although not likely. That's still where I am ... The party elders, as I've written, haven't forced anyone out of the race. The superdelegates are NOT making up their minds. And many, many Democratic voters are still expressing their preference for another candidate."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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