Based on early returns from this "Super Tuesday," it is clear that the race for the Democratic nomination is over. John Edwards never really had much of a chance; now he has no chance. And, from listening to Chris Matthews and the Edwards campaign spokesman on Hardball this evening, it is clear that John Edwards is about to pull out of the race.
This is too bad, for one major reason. The Kerry-Edwards race kept the Democratic race on the front pages and gave Democrats the opportunity, day after day, to bash President Bush, set forth the Democratic agenda, and continue to hone in on the differences between the Republicans and Democrats, differences that are distinct, and differences that matter.
I don't know if it was Hardball or the CBS Evening News, but a commentator on one of those shows made a very interesting point. This year, even more so than in 2000, the differences between the parties are very deep. But this year, the candidates are focusing on these differences, rather than focusing on the middle. Each party is making clear what it stands for.
This may work during the primary season, but it surely won't work during the general election. Why? Because 90% of the electorate is already committed as to how it will vote come November. The remaining 10% undecided will determine this election. And my guess is that the vast majority of this 10% is undecided for a reason. They do not "buy into" the complete agenda of either party. They are looking for someone who can bridge the divide.
This leads to my next post: Why Kerry's choice of a running mate may be the most important decision of his campaign.