Bottom line: With just 600 delegates up for grabs and front-runner Obama 658 short of the 2,025 needed for victory, it is mathematically impossible for either candidate to clinch the nomination before the process is scheduled to end with Puerto Rico's June 7 caucuses.
Obama remains in the overall delegate lead, 1,567 to 1,462, according to Associated Press estimates.With neither candidate able to wrap up the nomination during the primary season, Clinton and Obama must try to seal the deal by courting the 350 still-uncommitted superdelegates, including 14 from Texas.
I have to presume that the Supers will not stampede together in either direction.
A potential wild card is the continuing battle inside the Democratic National Committee over the seating of delegates from Florida and Michigan, two states whose convention votes have been taken away because they scheduled January primaries in violation of party rules.
But governors of both states are talking about arranging for a June re-vote if private funding can be arranged to cover the costs. For very different reasons, the idea unites Clinton and GOP leaders.
Republicans see these "do-overs" as an opportunity to drain Democratic resources and create additional tension between the two foes. Clinton's strategists eye an opportunity to erase Obama's edge.
This report indicates that Governors Crist of Florida and Manholm of Michigan are demanding a pardon from the DNC, while Howard Dean -- apparently he will be making the breakfast television rounds this morning to explain -- indicates that it's up to the Credentials Committee at the national convention to decide it, or the two states must re-vote. By June 10.
The sooner the Clinton and Obama camps come to an agreement on something and stop fighting, the better off everybody is going to be. It doesn't matter to me at the moment what it is they come to an agreement on: delegate counts in FL and MI, a unity ticket, something. Anything.
Can it happen? And how long will it be before it does, if it does? Can Hillary suppress her ego and be vice-president a second time? Or will she demand that Barack wait his turn and hold the bucket of warm spit? How much blood needs to be spilled? Can the bad blood remaining be leached out in time to beat George W. McCain in November?
Betting windows are open ...