So, what's next?

With Pennsylvania in the rear-view mirror, Indiana begins to loom over the Democratic race.


Steve Benen
April 23, 2008 7:07PM (UTC)

After waiting for the Pennsylvania primary for six weeks -- it seemed like longer, didn't it? -- it seems a little awkward, 12 hours after learning the results of the contest, to say, "Pennsylvania, schmensylvania; what's next?"

Barring intervention by uncommitted superdelegates, here's what we have to look forward to:

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Saturday, May 3: Guam

Tuesday, May 6: Indiana, North Carolina

Tuesday, May 13: West Virginia

Tuesday, May 20: Kentucky, Oregon

Sunday, June 1: Puerto Rico

Tuesday, June 3: Montana, South Dakota

(Other than Guam, all of the remaining contests are primaries, not caucuses.)

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Based on the available evidence, several of these contests will have a clear favorite. Hillary Clinton is leading in West Virginia and Kentucky; Obama is ahead in North Carolina and Oregon.

Indiana, though, is poised to be the next big one.

The Indiana primary, on the same day, poses another make-or-break moment for Mrs. Clinton, according to several of her advisers, who said they would urge her to quit the race if she lost that state. Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Clinton and their allies have campaigned frequently in Indiana in recent weeks, and she has some important endorsements, including support from Senator Evan Bayh, the state's former governor.

"She has to win Pennsylvania and Indiana -- pretty much everyone in the campaign agrees on that," said one senior Clinton adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the campaign's electoral expectations.

For a must-win state, Clinton is hardly a lock. Whereas she was always considered the likely winner in Pennsylvania, with two weeks until the Indiana primary, there are some polls showing Obama looking fairly strong in the state.

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Expect to see a flood of Obama advertising. Indiana will quickly become the latest, and probably last, state to offer Obama a chance to "close the deal."


Steve Benen

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