The next Democratic primaries will take place in two weeks in North Carolina and Indiana. North Carolina falls within Obama’s wheelhouse, so the focus will be on Indiana.
When I was young, the Indiana primary often was a big deal. The racist George Wallace made a splash there in 1964, and Robert Kennedy took some of the steam out of Eugene McCarthy’s campaign by winning the Indiana primary in 1968. I don’t recall any consequential Indiana primaries since, though there may have been a few.
To be consequential this time, Clinton needs another big win. I’m no expert on the Indiana electorate, but it strikes me that the two best indicators of how Indiana Democrats will vote are probably Ohio and Kentucky (Illinois might also be a decent indicator were it not Obama’s home state). Clinton won big in Ohio and, based on several reports I’ve received, is way ahead in Kentucky. Moreover, Clinton has the support of Indiana’s popular Senator, Evan Bayh.
The RCP poll average shows Clinton with only a small lead. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if she wins pretty handily.