Hillary Clinton’s campaign is pulling out of Wisconsin a day early according to press reports:
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton has scaled back her Wisconsin campaign schedule by a full day, and is now planning to leave the state after Monday morning instead of Tuesday morning.
The move suggests the campaign does not think it can overtake rival Barack Obama here. Obama has already campaigned in the state Tuesday night, Wednesday, Friday, and today. He also has single events planned for Sunday (Kaukauna) and Monday (Beloit).
While the two have exchanged hard-hitting TV ads here, Obama began airing ads a week earlier and has spent much more on TV.
Today is Clinton’s first day of campaigning in the state, with an event in Kenosha and a state party dinner in Milwaukee, where Obama also will appear. Clinton will campaign Sunday in De Pere, Wausau and Madison, and is expected to do one event in the state Monday morning before leaving.
All the polls that have come out in the last week show Clinton within 4-5 points of Obama. Why then, is she pulling up stakes and abandoning the state when she’s within striking distance?
Obama has won the last 8 primaries by double digits - the last three by margins of 3-1 and 4-1. Perhaps Clinton’s internal polling is showing another double digit disaster looming and rather than waste resources on a lost cause like Wisconsin, better to spend time and money in Ohio and Texas where she has put her campaign out on a limb by saying she needs to win both states to stay viable.
If, as expected, she loses Wisconsin - and loses big - she will have two weeks to watch Obama work his magic in Texas and Ohio. She will be outspent and outgunned everywhere by an Obama organization that suddenly can do no wrong. It is very possible that her own double digit poll leads in both states will vanish and by March 4 Hillary Clinton will be fighting for her political life.
Can she hold off this juggernaut anywhere? It seems that as each succeeding contest moves to the fore in the Democratic race, Obama’s numbers skyrocket and hers plummets. It’s as if once voters start to concentrate on a race, they abandon Hillary like yesterday’s stale donuts and attach themselves to Obama’s crusade.
Frankly, unless she can level the playing field, she’s toast. And by level the field I mean she has to find a way to bring Obama’s campaign back down to earth from that elevated, ethereal plane it currently occupies - somewhere between a religious movement and a revolutionary army.
Otherwise, the same thing will happen in Texas and Ohio that has happened in Wisconsin and elsewhere; Obama will play do his pied piper thing and the Democrats in those states will follow him to the polls.
How do you defeat a political phenomenon? If you find out, you better tell Hillary quickly because she’ s running out of states - and time.