Where's the Bandwagon?

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: May 13, 2008 12:31 PM

Numbers like these (reported here today in the New York Post) have to be worrying the Obama team:

[A] new poll says 64 percent of Democrats nationwide, want [Hillary] to stay in the race.

Even 42 percent of Obama's supporters in the ABC News/ Washington Post  poll, said they don't want Clinton to throw in the towel. . . . . 

Separate polls released yesterday show Clinton beating Obama in West Virginia, 60 percent to 24 percent, and in Kentucky, 58 percent to 31 percent.

If I were on the Obama campaign, I'd want to know why so many Democrats want Hillary to stay in.  It's one thing if they're just enjoying the excitement and coverage the race is generating -- quite another, however, if they want to keep their options open and not be locked in yet with Barack as their nominee.

As a more general matter, it's worrisome that Hillary Clinton is beating Barack so soundly in West Virginia and Kentucky.  Usually, when it becomes clear that one person is pretty certain to be the eventual winner, that person picks up support and electoral momentum because of a "bandwagon effect" -- most people want to go with a winner.  That's why so few campaigns or candidates are ever willing to admit that anything is less than great . . . they know such an admission can begin (or accelerate) a downard spiral for them.

Given all this, it's hard not to wonder:  Where's Barack's bandwagon, and what does it mean that he doesn't seem to have one?