Paths To Victory

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Josh Marshall on what Obama needs to do now:

I think the big question is, can he fight back? Can he take this back to Hillary Clinton, demonstrate his ability to take punches and punch back? By this I don't mean that he's got to go ballistic on her or go after Bill's business deals or whatever else her vulnerabilities might be. Candidates fight in different ways and if they're good candidates in ways that play to their strengths and cohere with their broader message. But he's got to show he can take this back to Hillary and not get bloodied and battered when an opponent decides to lower the boom. That will obviously determine in a direct sense how he fares in the coming primaries and caucuses. And Obama's people are dead right when they say, he doesn't even have to do that well from here on out to end this with a substantial pledged delegate margin.

At the end of the day, the winner of the pledged delegate race has the strongest claim to the nomination. Everything else is spin. But it's a strong claim, not incontestable.

Ross thinks Clinton has to earn the popular vote to have any claim to the nomination:

Hillary has a chance at victory, but only if she can pull ahead in the overall popular vote, including Florida (she's already ahead if you include Michigan, but of course Obama wasn't on the ballot there), and then argue, to the superdelegates but also to the public, that as the choice of the majority of voters in the Democratic nominating process she has a "moral claim" on the nomination.