Las night, as I returned him to review the results from West Virginia’s primary, I wondered how different things would have been had West Virginia held its contest last week, with the Indiana and North Carolina primaries this week. With that thought in mind, I concluded my post on the Mountain State’s returns thusly:
In that case, Hillary might have tightened the margin in North Carolina and widened it in Indiana. And we wouldn’t be talking about Obama today as the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Even after the thumping the Democratic frontrunner took last night, “he picked up three more superdelegates after the West Virginia loss, offering fresh recognition from Democratic leaders that he is likely to secure the nomination.”
What if the schedule had been different this year? Would those three superdelegates have moved to Hillary had she won West Virginia before getting shellacked in the Tarheel State and holding on only by the skin of her teeth in the Hoosier State?
One of the great ironies of this presidential election year is that so many states rushed to hold their primaries as early as they could so as to increase their influence, but all crowded together on the same day in February, they did not get the focus some contests held later in the cycle enjoyed.
Perhaps it was Obama’s solid win in Wisconsin (58-41) on February 19 that secured his status as likely Democratic nominee. But, what if West Virginia had held its contest that day, would Hillary have then been able to move into the lead?