Pundits Mull Dems' Race the Day After

It might look bright for Obama, but he'll have to play expectations right
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2008 1:52 PM CST
US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama during a rally...   (Getty Images (by Event) Individuals)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are deadlocked after yesterday's nearly national vote. Here are four takes on their race:

  • Upcoming votes favor Obama heavily, Noam Scheiber argues. Primaries in black-heavy Louisiana, Virginia, Maryland and DC—and several caucuses—should break for him. Clinton has a March 4 firewall in Texas and Ohio, but Obama has time to contest those.

  • Dahlia Lithwick liked Clinton’s speech, saying Hillary “came as close as she comes to looking comfortable in her own skin.” She finally appropriated Obama’s line that this campaign is bigger than its candidates—and looked good because she got out of her own way.
  • The expectations game hurt Obama, Craig Crawford says—turning a decent night into “a public relations defeat.” Big spin had found a hold in the media, making his losses in Massachusetts and New Jersey look like upsets.
  • John Judis gives Clinton the Super Tuesday edge, but both candidates have big problems going forward. Hillary can’t win white men, losing them by 18% even in California, where she dominated. And Obama will need to find more whites to stand a chance in the Midwest.