Dems: Who Can Beat McCain?

As GOP rallies round McCain, Hillary must battle Obama and the Clinton negatives
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2008 10:43 AM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., speaks about the withdrawal of John Edwards from the Democratic presidential race, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008, during a news conference...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – With the presidential race narrowed by yesterday's big defections, David Broder sees a clear favorite in each party. Despite lingering opposition from "unelected conservative ideologues," McCain's got the nod, the payoff for dogged stumping in New Hampshire and huge endorsements heading into the big states. But on the Dem side, he sees "a remarkable shift of establishment opinion" from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama that makes the outcome harder to predict.

Obama is "not inevitable," but the longer the race goes on, the better his chances will get, as "Democratic elected officials and candidates come to view him as the better bet to defeat McCain in November." Broder blames the prominence of Bill Clinton's role in Hillary's campaign, especially his mean-spirited rhetoric in South Carolina, for reminding Democrats of the negatives of a Clinton return to the White House. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)