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Sen. Barack Obama
Central to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s argument that she would be the better Democratic presidential nominee are her Ohio victory, her wins in the West and lead in Pennsylvania - with her underlying message that Sen. Barack Obama can’t carry such swing states in November.\ \ Mr. Obama, who rallied more than 20,000 at Penn State yesterday, disagrees, and charges that her campaign is using an old map in a new environment. His advisers say Mrs. Clinton is writing off potential Democratic pickups such as North Carolina, Virginia and Missouri.\ \ “Red states are going to matter this November,” Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat who supports Mr. Obama, told reporters recently.\ \ Mr. Culver pointed to a Des Moines Register poll in his state showing Mr. Obama would beat presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain 53 percent to 36 percent in Iowa, which Democrats lost in 2004.\ \ Mrs. Clinton is quick to remind voters that if Democratic Sen. John Kerry had captured Ohio in 2004, he would have won the presidency.\ \ “As Ohio goes, so goes the nation,” Mrs. Clinton, of New York, said after beating Mr. Obama by 10 percentage points there on March 4.
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THE PUNDITS\ Hillary Clinton will lose New Hampshire and the race will be over\ THE REALITY\ Hillary Clinton wins New Hampshire, defying the predictions and the polls\ THE PUNDITS\ Hillary Clinton will lose the big states on Super Tuesday and the race will be over\ THE REALITY\ Hillary Clinton wins the big states on Super Tuesday - and wins them by double digits\ THE PUNDITS\ Hillary Clinton will lose Texas and possibly Ohio on March 4th and the race will be over\ THE REALITY\ Hillary Clinton wins both Texas and Ohio on March 4th - and she wins Ohio by double digits\ THE PUNDITS\ Despite Hillary Clinton’s big victories on March 4th, “the math” works decisively against her and the race is essentially over\ THE REALITY\ The math is simple: neither candidate has reached the number of delegates required to\ secure the nomination and either candidate can win\ THE PUNDITS\ Barack Obama is substantially ahead in the pledged delegate count; pledged delegates are the only measure of success; therefore the race is essentially over\ THE REALITY \ The candidates are within fractions of one another on delegates; Barack Obama needs super delegates to win; and a marginal pledged delegate lead does not determine the outcome\ THE PUNDITS\ Barack Obama is substantially ahead in the popular vote; Florida and Michigan don’t count; therefore the race is essentially over\ THE REALITY\ The popular vote is virtually tied; half of Barack Obama’s narrow vote advantage is from his home state; and his lead excludes Florida and Michigan\ THE PUNDITS\ Once the remaining states vote, Barack Obama will be substantially ahead in delegates and votes and the race will be over\ THE REALITY\ The race is a dead heat now and no one knows where things will end up after millions of remaining voters in the upcoming states make their choice\ THE PUNDITS\ Hillary Clinton’s situation is dire; her campaign is struggling; her supporters are disillusioned and desperate \ THE REALITY\ Hillary Clinton and her supporters are calm, confident, and focused heading into the key state of PA, where she is running strong\ THE PUNDITS\ Hillary Clinton’s campaign lacks significant grassroots energy; only one candidate has mobilized supporters to take action for the campaign\ THE REALITY\ Hillary Clinton’s supporters across America have written letters, blogged, donated tens of millions of dollars, volunteered millions of hours and made millions of calls\ THE PUNDITS\ There is a loud and growing chorus of voices asking Hillary Clinton to withdraw from the race\ THE REALITY\ Precisely the same number of voters (22%) think Barack Obama should drop out of the\ race as Hillary Clinton\ THE PUNDITS\ Hillary Clinton is the candidate running a negative, divisive campaign; she is throwing the “kitchen sink” at Barack Obama\ THE REALITY\ Barack Obama has been throwing the sink, the stove, the plates and the garbage can at Hillary Clinton, attacking her integrity and character every day\ THE PUNDITS\ For Hillary to win the nomination, super delegates will have to “overturn the will of the\ people”\ THE REALITY\ The will of the people is split and both candidates need - and are making their case to - super delegates\ THE PUNDITS\ Hillary Clinton is threatening to poach pledged delegates from Barack Obama\ THE REALITY\ Barack Obama is reportedly already trying to poach pledged delegates from Hillary Clinton\ THE PUNDITS\ Florida and Michigan’s voters won’t be heard and their delegates won’t be seated all\ because of complicated procedural roadblocks\ THE REALITY\ Barack Obama is intentionally disenfranchising voters in two critical states for purely political reasons, namely, that he’ll lose his small advantage if they count\ THE PUNDITS\ Every single word or action from Hillary Clinton, her campaign, her surrogates and her supporters is part of a calculated and cynical political strategy\ THE REALITY\ Hillary Clinton is a loyal Democrat, a lifelong public servant, a tireless and tenacious candidate, and is fighting hard - and fair - to win with the help of millions of dedicated supporters

Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter, The Washington Times

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