Although it seems like it may never arrive, the Pennsylvania primary is April 22. With 187 delegates at stake, Senator Clinton needs to get most of them to get close to Senator Obama in the Democratic race.

Recent polls say voters favor her over him 49% to 39% in the Keystone State. Since this only adds to 88%, let’s tack on another 12% to her to give her 61% to his 39%. This would mean 114 delegates for her and 73 for him. I know it could well be different due to the proportional voting setup but this is about as predictive as I can make it and it’s only for illustration. The spread then is 41 (114 – 73)  that she gains on Senator Obama.

CNN has the delegate count at 1,625 for Senator Obama to 1,486 for Senator Clinton as of March 28, including those super delegates who have committed to one or the other candidate. Take my assumption for Pennsylvania and add it in and it’s 1,698 to 1,600.

So we have a conundrum here. Neither candidate has enough to clinch the nomination. Senator Clinton wants badly to wait until after Pennsylvania to see if the tide might be turning in her favor. However, the pressure on her to cede is increasing.

Sen Obama - Sen Casey

Today, Senator Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, endorsed Senator Obama. This will likely give Obama a boost if only slight, that will make it very difficult for Senator Clinton to get that 61% in my illustration above. These slight boosts though are coming in daily for Senator Obama. If she doesn’t get close to 60% on April 22, she should concede to Senator Obama so that the Democrats can coalesce around a unified campaign to defend against attacks from Senator McCain and to actually go on the offensive.

Indeed the pressure on her will increase daily if more super delegates declare for Senator Obama. It makes it more unlikely for her to be able to petition the convention delegates to award her the nomination even though Senator Obama may have more total delegates. She has and is running a good campaign with some mea culpa’s here and there, but considering the intensity of this campaign season, it’s a wonder more candidates haven’t committed more error’s of a more significant nature.

Can she hold on for 22 plus days until Pennsylvania? I’m reminded of the Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie where King Arthur comes to a clearing to fight the Black Knight. The Black Knight, loses his one arm, then the other, then a leg, then the other leg, yet he keeps yelling at King Arthur not to leave but to stay and fight.

the Black Knight continues to threaten Arthur despite getting both his arms and one of his legs cut off]
Black Knight: Right, I’ll do you for that!
King Arthur: You’ll what?
Black Knight: Come here!
King Arthur: What are you gonna do, bleed on me?

At some point, you have to realize it’s a lost cause.

Photo: Associated Press