Another bad idea

The Clinton campaign is sounding a little desperate:

Mrs. Clinton’s aides said she could still pull out a victory with victories in the biggest primaries still to come, including Ohio and Texas next month. But Mr. Obama’s clear lead in delegates allocated by the votes in nominating contests is one of a number of challenges facing her after a string of defeats in which Mr. Obama not only ran up big popular vote margins but also made inroads among the types of voters she had most been counting on, including women and lower-income people.

Should the cracks in her support among those groups show up in Ohio and Texas as well, it could undermine her hopes that those states will halt Mr. Obama’s momentum and allow her to claim dominance in many of the biggest primary battlegrounds.

With every delegate precious, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers also made it clear that they were prepared to take a number of potentially incendiary steps to build up Mrs. Clinton’s count. Top among these, her aides said, is pressing for Democrats to seat the disputed delegations from Florida and Michigan, who held their primaries in January in defiance of Democratic Party rules.

I find it hard to believe that Clinton really entertains the notion that she can win by seating those delegates. One might be able to offer an argument for Florida, even though it would cause some party unrest. But if she manages to get delegates counted from a state where Obama wasn't even on the ballot, Obama's supporters will believe, rightly, that she stole the nomination. Even as she energizes the Republican turnout machine, this move will, at the very least, suppress turnout on the Democratic side.

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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