By Josh Marshall,TPM
Howard Fineman just did a brief segment on MSNBC gaming out the delegate count and where it's likely to end up when the last primaries and caucuses are over. He said he based his comments on conversations with people in both campaigns. And the gist of it was that both sides agree that it's highly unlikely that Clinton can end up with more pledged delegates than Barack Obama. And the issue now is how close she can keep the margin.
If she can keep it within a couple dozen delegates, he argued, it would be credible to try to make up the margin with super delegates. On the other hand, if Obama's ahead by 100 or 200, the pressure against trying to make up the margin with non-elected delegates would just be too great.
Now, Fineman is something of a paragon of the mainstream media. So his comments probably raise some suspicion among some readers. But this is a pretty straightforward mathematical question. Doesn't really matter what Fineman or either campaigns say. Folks paying close attention are as likely to accurately predict the outcomes as the folks in the campaign. So is this true? Is a pledged delegate win for Clinton no longer a realistic possibility?