The experts (Rob Christensen and Andy Taylor, anyway) are apparently skeptical, but a look at the numbers makes it kind of hard to understand how it is that North Carolina won't play an important role in choosing the Democratic nominee. Right now, as best as anyone can tell, Clinton and Obama are running neck and neck somewhere in the 700 to 800 delegate vicinity. Now, not everything from last night has been sorted out, but it seems pretty clear that neither candidate's gonna' have a heckuva lot more than that when all the dust settles later today or tomorrow. Edwards only has 26 that he might "donate" to someone.
Now, it takes 2,025 to nominate. Between now and May 6 (the date of the North Carolina primary) there are, by my count, 1,295 up for grabs. Unless one of the candidates makes a clean sweep (or drops out), there's no way that either can have amassed 2,000+ by then. Obviously, A LOT can happen in three months, but it's kind of hard to see how either of the two will crash and burn at this point.
Here's another interesting angle to all of this that my colleague, Chris Fitzsimon pointed out this morning: Assuming the nomination is still up for grabs and North Carolina gets a chance to get inundated by Obama and Clinton ads and campaign stops, how will that impact the various state wide primaries? Do they get lost in the shuffle? Will the energy and turnout that such a turn of events would generate favor Moore or Perdue?
To hear Chris discuss these and other interesting permutations with another expert, Prof. David McLennan of Peace College, be sure to tune into the News and Views radio show this coming Sunday morning (or catch the online version on the Policy Watch website next week).