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No. This isn't another diary calling for Hillary Clinton to drop out. Like it or not, folks, we're going to need Clinton's supporters in November, and they need to feel like Barack Obama beat her legitimately. She successfully set the terms of the contest in Ohio and Texas after Super Tuesday. She is now moving the stakes to Pennsylvania.

This is the simple truth: Until she loses, she won't have a reason to drop out.

Hillary Clinton's path to the nomination is narrow and bloody. It involves a large group of superdelegates overturning the majority of pledged delegates at the convention in Denver. It will likely result in a brokered convention, a long nomination fight, and almost certain defeat in November.

But as long as she keeps winning primaries, she can't drop out. As long as there is a sliver of hope left for her winning the nomination, she will hang on.

But the superdelegates can't step in and end this. Not publicly. Not yet. Not with roughly half of Democratic voters still supporting Hillary Clinton. If the voters feel that the contest was ended while she still had a chance, it would hurt us even more than the short-term damage of a primary fight.

We have to end this. And by that, I mean, Barack Obama has to win. He has to win decisively. He has to make it impossible for Hillary Clinton to stay in this race. He has to give the superdelegates the only excuse they need to step in and declare a winner: a victory in a battleground primary. If we want this thing to end before it goes to 12 rounds, we need a knockout.

Unfortunately, we still have four weeks until the next primary. The demographics in Pennsylvania favor Clinton, but Barack Obama has time to build an organization and meet with the voters in Pennsylvania. Four weeks is an eternity in politics, and there's no telling what might happen in between now and then.

But this is an opportunity. It won't be easy, but no one ever said this would be. On April 22 in Pennsylvania, and May 6 in North Carolina and Indiana, Barack Obama has the opportunity to knock Hillary Clinton out of this race.

It's up to us to end this.

Yes we can.

Originally posted to ptmflbcs on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:24 PM PDT.

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