Primary night...again

Behind The News
May 6, 2008 1:00:44 PM PDT
I'm not sure how many "crucial" primaries there can be in one election season, or how many "do or die" elections any one candidate can face. But it's hard to imagine that this race between the two Democratic contenders hasn't broken all records in those categories. Tonight, another one of those make-it-or-break-it election nights, especially for Hillary Clinton.

I will not go through the mathematical machinations about delegate counts and who needs what. Suffice it to say that unless Sen. Clinton beats Barack Obama by margins she has never won by to date - and beats him tonight and in the other primaries that eventually come to a merciful end on June 3 -- she will not have enough delegates to win the nomination.

Similarly, it is possible, even likely, that Obama will not have enough either. And now a new rub: Sen. Clinton is asking that the total number of delegates needed for nomination be raised by several hundred, to reflect the Michigan and Florida primaries, which don't count. That would ensure a floor fight and widen the gap between the first place finisher and the number of delegates required.

That the Democrats find themselves in this position is perplexing. And the finger, ultimately, will likely be pointed at Party Chairman Howard Dean. He was a less-than-stellar candidate for President in 2004, and he appears to carry that same moniker as head of the Democratic Party.

There are many experts who say the Dems should not have gotten themselves in this position -- having virtually wiped out the votes of primary voters in two big states, as punishment for their holding early primaries.

As a result, millions of voters will be disenfranchised from an election that was supposed to be inclusive and exciting.

Our political reporter Dave Evans is covering the election for us tonight, at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast (could the weather be any better than today?), and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.