So let's take a look at where the Democratic primary road is heading. Barack Obama's team likes the map over the next three weeks.
This Saturday there are caucuses in Louisiana, where the large African American vote should favor Obama. And Nebraska and the state of Washington both hold caucuses--a venue that favors Obama's grass roots organization.
More friendly territory follows on February 12. Delegates are selected in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, which have above average proportions of African Americans, college graduates, and high income Democrats--all favorable Obama constituencies.
The following week on February 19, another caucus in Obama's native state of Hawaii. And there's the primary in Wisconsin, next door to his home state of Illinois, and to the states of Iowa and Minnesota where Obama has already won.
But then Hillary Clinton’s campaign believes the road turns friendly for them on March 4.
That’s when there are primaries in Ohio, where her economic message to anxious blue-collar families may play well. and Texas, where the Hispanic constituency that favors her is roughly as large as it was in California, where she won.
The bottom line: both sides have opportunities to rack up victories and delegates over the next month.
One wild card is the role of money. A year ago it would have been hard to imagine Hillary Clinton’s campaign as the underfunded guerrilla operation, that's what she is compared to Obama right now.
But of course Obama needs more money to overcome her superior level of familiarity with Democratic voters. The question is whether either side can gain an upper hand consistently enough to tilt the race clearly in his or her favor.
Neither side is betting on that now. One top Clinton strategist told me overnight: "this is going to the convention."
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