If you're an Obama supporter, Tuesday night was kind of depressing.
As you've no doubt heard ad nauseum for the past 36 hours or so, Hillary won Texas and Ohio as well as Rhode Island. Obama won Vermont.
If you're a Clinton supporter, simply watching the news is enough to keep your hopes up. But if you're an Obama supporter, then I think you'll be heartened to read this article from Newsweek. No matter how you look at it, the math is very tough for Hillary to overcome. If this thing gets decided solely on the basis of elections and caucuses, Obama will win the nomination. Here are some scenarios in which Hillary could win.
1.) Obama's involvement with Tony Rezco blows up. If Obama is seen to be much less than forthright about his involvement with Rezco (who's currently on trial in Chicago for corruption) or worse, Obama is found to have actually been a party to unseemly business, Clinton could make a case to the superdelegates that she's got less to hide than he does and would make a better nominee.
2.) Hillary goes after Obama with a scorched earth negative campaign. If she or her surrogates sully Obama badly enough among those Dem voters inclined to believe rumors about Obama's Muslim upbringing and his lack of patriotism, then she can try and make the case to the superdelegates that they should go against the will of the voters and caucusers and pledge themselves for her.
I'm doubtful that either of these scenarios is going to happen. I don't think Obama had much to do with Rezco's crimes, nor do I think Hillary's going to go overtly negative to try and game the election. If Jonathan Alter (who wrote the Newsweek piece) is right, then Hillary may be angling for a V.P. slot. I'm ambivalent about the prospect of an Obama-Clinton ticket -- I'd like to see someone running with Obama who more strongly neutralizes McCain's appeal -- but if that's what it takes to get this race settled before the convention, then it ought to happen.
Obviously, the worst-case scenario is that the Democrats find a way to blow the general election in a year when we ought to have it handed to us.