When Will Hillary Quit the Race?
Senator Pat Leahy called on Hillary to drop out of the race because she can't win, and the Democrats need to take John McCain on sooner rather than later. "She has a right to run" he said, "but not a very good reason."
Billary said they were in it to the end, again. But politicians always say that, until they announce they aren't in it anymore. The question is, when is that likely to happen with Hillary?
I don't think it will happen in some scenario of party elders going to her and asking her to. A Saturday NY Times story suggests that people in her campaign will tell her it's time to drop out if she loses PA or, two weeks later, she loses Indiana.
But she might not quit even then. It might take a movement of super delegates to seal the nomination for Obama in May.
But there are circumstances under which she could decide to quit. The first is if she doesn't have enough money to go on. That's how the calls for her to quit, and the stories that she can't win, really hurt: they hurt her fundraising. I doubt that many of those millionaires who back her can legally contribute any more.
The second depends on whether she wants a career in the U.S. Senate from New York, or any political office in that state. If she does, she will be watching the polls--not everywhere, not even in upcoming primaries, but in the state of New York. If she sees voters there turning against her, she will have to pay attention to that. She can't afford to continue a long-shot run for the presidential nomination at the cost of alienating voters from returning her to the Senate, or for a possible run for governor of New York. If she stays in the race too long, and her attacks lead to Obama's eventual defeat in November, her political career as a Democrat could be over.
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