The End is Getting Closer, Really

Washington Matters

The End is Getting Closer, Really

Barack Obama may be losing ground in the polls as a he battles to put the Rev. Wright controversy behind him, but he's gaining where it counts -- in the race for superdelegates. Today he bagged another big name -- Paul Kirk, the second former chairman of the Democratic National Committee to come out for Obama in two days. That suggests a convention fight -- Democrats' worst fears and Republicans' greatest hopes  -- isn't in the cards. 

If the trend continues, Obama may well wrap up the nomination by the time the last two primaries are held in Montana and South Dakota on June 3. At worst for Democrats, it will be over by mid-June when the last of the superdelegates weigh in.

There are stll some big names that have been silent, and they may well wait until the very end. They include former Vice President Al Gore, who has a cool relationship with the Clintons but has given no public indication of where he stands. Also uncommitted are former candidates John Edwards and Joe Biden. But likely to come down for Obama are former President Jimmy Carter and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who says superdelegates should not overturn the national will of voters.

After just a few of these big-wig superdelegates decide, any other holdouts will  follow whatever trend has been set. If they resist, party leaders will hunt them down and essentially order them to decide so the nominee is  determined well before the August convention.