I'm watching the Indiana results carefully, though I'm pretty confident Hillary will win. I also think the margin in North Carolina will narrow, given the counties that have not yet reported in.
The exit polls in each state reflect the condition of the Democratic primary electorate - Obama gets a super-majority of AA votes which makes up for his weakness with other voters. The "youth" turnout was not that big. The trend that spells out the party's fate in November continues to hold, which is that Hillary is consistently winning white males votes. These are the people who are most likely to defect to McCain in November, and they are already indicating that they don't much care for Obama.
It has come down to race, though not in the way the Blogger Boyz want to admit. It is about the wine track candidate getting a boost from AA voters, not any surge of anti-black racism on the part of working class voters. There may be some white backlash against Obama now, but that is a direct result of the way his campaign hs dissed working class voters by painting them as racists, as well as his own dirty laundry beginning to be aired.
The wine track candidate has been a consistently losing bet for the party since Stevenson. Kennedy barely eked out a victory (and there are reasons to believe he didn't win the vote), and Jimmy Carter was simply an anomaly, though it is telling that he was center-left southern technocrat. Mondale, Dukakis, and Kerry were more centrist than the competition, but they hewed to the Yankee technocratic line rather than try to connect to the increasingly disaffected working class. Gore won the popular vote but lost the election because he tried to be more Bill Bradly than Bill Clinton. The "hardcore" wine track competitors - Dean, Bradley, Hart, Tsongas, Brown, Teddy Kennedy - were never seriously competitive even in the primaries because they simply did not appeal to people for whom politics was more than an intellectual enterprise. Candidates who make voters feel both vulnerable and stupid just aren't going to go very far.
There are two reasons why the hardcore winetrack candidate is winning this year. What Obama did to the situation was unify the AA vote behind a single candidate by virtue of his race. Obama is winning because he is black. Aside from that one quality, he would have been polling down with Dennis Kucinich in the primaries. The other reason is because Hillary Clinton is running. If Hillary had not been in the lineup, all the party power brokers would have been behind Edwards and Obama would have been offered a VP slot. He offers nothing of substance on pocketbook issues, doesn't appeal to working class voters in the slightest, and is carrying more incendiary political baggage than you can shake a stick at. Were it not for his AA support, he would not be competitive.
Before anyone spouts off in the comments, let me make it clear that I don't consider AA support of Obama to be pernicious. Electorally frustrating, yes, but, unlike the Hillary Haters who want to attribute the worst possible motives to her supporters, I don't think that is so of the majority Obama's black supporters. They see an opportunity to vote for a candidate who reflects them, and they will do so, no matter the odds. Given my unwavering support of Hillary despite the long nomination odds, I can't really cry foul on someone else's supporters who feel just as strongly as I do. Obama's campaign is certainly doing pernicious race-baiting, but mostly to initimidate critics and shame wavering white voters. I don't think it's earning him more than a few slivers of votes from the AA community, and is probably costing him more votes on the whole when white attrition is counted against black gains.
The problem, of course, is that Obama is having less and less appeal beyond his unique coalition as time goes on. His political baggage is pure gold for Republican ratfucking operations as we already see in their attacks on politicians who endorsed him. He has insulted the working class voters (who are not just white) the party must hold to defeat the Republicans over and over again, his class snobbery on display with some new gaffe almost every week.
So, what now? Local variations will give supporters on either side arguments about relative strength, but the larger picture is that Obama is losing 60% of white voters within his own party, let alone across parties. His scorched earth campaign to claim white racism as the sole and overwhelming cause of his losses puts the party between the Devil and the deep blue sea. He has alienated voters of all ethnicities by forcing the campaign into a black/white racial divide, angering Democrats who are voting against his lack of substantive policies, not his skin color (in truth, at this point, the only things about him that appeal to me are his skin color and his proposed Cuba policy), and antagonizing AAs with his claim that white politicians are conspiring to deny him the nomination, which will make a significant number stay home if he is not the nominee. The political question for me is whether, should he lose the nomination, will he support Hillary? If he does, Democrats win. If he doesn't, Democrats lose.
The party is at a stalemate now. Neither candidate will win with just pledged delegates. Super delegates will break it in favor of one candidate or the other.
Do we want to win in November or not?