Should she stay?

In recent days, a growing chorus of pundits, prominent Democrats and some Obama supporters have been asking Hillary Clinton to step aside for the unity of the party. The reasoning is based on the fact that unless Barack Obama implodes, Hillary Clinton will be unable to catch up in the number of pledged delegates and in the popular vote. She has already lost the majority of states. The Clinton camp counters with the fact that she has won the larger states such as New York, California, Ohio and Texas, and is asking for revotes in both Florida and Michigan. They believe that those revotes will be compelling evidence that she is the best candidate to beat John McCain in November. The super delegates could then evaluate whether Obama has the momentum to win the White House or whether Hillary Clinton is indeed the surer bet.

It is my belief that Mrs. Clinton should stay in the race for now because it provides a stronger legitimacy for whoever wins if the process advances further. This does not mean that the final choice must be made at the convention. It simply means that the Democratic Party has established rules that have led to this ambiguity and the current totals remain unclear as to who would fare more effectively against the Republicans. It would also be better that Barack Obama be able to test the waters even more after the Pastor Wright controversy. If Obama wins in these circumstances, he will be a stronger and a better candidate.

This being said, I do believe that leads in the pledged delegate vote, the popular vote and the majority of states should not be overturned by super delegates. In recent weeks, we have seen many more super delegates choosing Obama because of his current frontrunner status. This augurs well for a more unified party. It does also provide a better rationale for Mrs. Clinton to decide when and if she wishes to withdraw. She will most likely win Pennsylvania and consequently will challenge into the month of May. The attention then shifts to North Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky and Oregon. It is possible that Obama’s lead might be confirmed in some of those races and we may know this as early as May 6. This would mean that the only hope for Mrs. Clinton to win the nomination would rest with super delegates and at best the margin would be slim. Winning this way would be a sure recipe for disunity and would seriously compromise the November election for the Democrats.

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