NEW YORK TIMES: With Florida And Michigan Off The Table, Clinton Nomination Becomes ‘A Longshot’ At Best

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NEW YORK TIMES: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton needs three breaks to wrest the Democratic presidential nomination from Senator Barack Obama in the view of her advisers. She has to defeat Mr. Obama soundly in Pennsylvania next month to buttress her argument that she holds an advantage in big general election states. She needs to lead in the total popular vote after the primaries end in June.And Mrs. Clinton is looking for some development to shake confidence in Mr. Obama so that superdelegates, Democratic Party leaders and elected officials who are free to decide which candidate to support overturn his lead among the pledged delegates from primaries and caucuses. For Mrs. Clinton, all this has seemed something of a long shot since her defeats in February. But that shot seems to have grown a little longer.

hillary-agonistes56.thumbnail.jpgDespite Mrs. Clinton’s last-minute trip to Michigan on Wednesday, Democrats there signaled that they are unlikely to hold a new primary. That apparently dashed Mrs. Clinton’s hopes of a new showdown in a state she feels she could win, and it left the state’s delegates in limbo. The inaction in Michigan followed a similar collapse of her effort to seek another matchup with Mr. Obama in Florida, where, as in Michigan, she won an earlier primary held in violation of party rules. Without new votes in Florida and Michigan, it will be that much more difficult for Mrs. Clinton to achieve a majority in the total popular vote in the primary season, narrow Mr. Obama’s lead among pledged delegates or build a new wave of momentum. MORE

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