There’s never been much legitimate doubt that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president, and by now there’s probably not even much unreasonable doubt left. Clinton doubles up her main rival Barack Obama in the latest CNN poll (40 percent to 21 percent, with 13 percent for the unbearably light John Edwards).
Even in Iowa, where Edwards once led Clinton, two recent polls (University of Iowa and ARG) have Clinton leading him (27-22 and 30-21 respectively). Iowa was never going to be very important to the process, and may be even less so if certain key primary dates move up. However, Clinton’s lead over Edwards in a state where he’s been camped out for months, and one that can be partial to his sort of candidacy, speaks volumes about her gathering strength and his serious weakness.
JOHN adds: Not long ago, most of my smart Democratic friends were looking for a more electable alternative to Hillary. Remarkably, with hindsight, some cast John Edwards in that role. Without the primaries even having begun, Hillary has benefited from the process, as she has been able to position herself as the relatively sensible Democrat in the race. I’m not hearing much about finding an alternative at this point.
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