Barack Obama needed a boost, and tonight North Carolina gave it to him.
Hillary won’t leave the race. She’s on a mission, she’s got two sympathetic states coming up shortly, and she can fight to narrow the popular vote margin as much as possible. Then she and her allies can fight with sharp elbows to get Michigan and Florida counted. With that, she might be able to say, “look, in this light, from this angle, I have the popular vote margin.” But I think few superdelegates will see it that way.
Tonight, the chances of that triple-bank-shot working, and the superdelegates biting the bullet, alienating the young voters, infuriating the African-American voters, and putting her over the top seems exponentially less likely.
UPDATE: One mild note of caution – a lot of North Carolina coastal counties, which have the older white retirees that are more likely Hillary voters, have yet to report any results, including Currituck, Perquimans, Chowan, Washington, Tyrrell, Hyde, Pamlico, Onslow, and Brunswick. (Although I would note Obama has won some coastal counties.)
ANOTHER UPDATE: I’m hearing some grumbling from media folks who have no dog in the fight regarding the wait to declare Indiana: “69 percent of precincts reporting? A 50,000 vote lead for Hillary? Come on, let’s call it.”
Obama said he wanted to congratulate Hillary on “what appeared to be her victory in the great state of Indiana.”