(CNN) - A year and a half ago, I hired a young graduate from Brown, Jeremy Haber, to become my research assistant. He has quickly developed one of the finest eyes I have seen in politics, and as we await the verdicts of the voters today, I am paying increasing attention to his latest advice: “Watch the margins.”
As Jeremy has figured out, the way Democrats award delegates will mean more than one might think in today’s contests. Hillary Clinton is now favored in Ohio, but if she were to win there by less than 5 points, she would likely only gain a few more delegates in the state than Obama does. She has to win by 5 or more to harvest a sizable number of delegates — to cut into Obama’s pledged delegate lead — and by all indications, that will be hard.
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(CNN) - From about 30,000 feet, here's what the political landscape looks like to me today, just after Michigan and the Democratic debate in Nevada:
– The terrain for the general election is moving even more strongly in the Democrats' favor. With results in from four states, Republicans have at least four - arguably five - candidates bunched together at the top - each one of whom can win the nomination but no one of whom inspires all the party faithful. That's not a promising scenario for a party whose strength on election day has depended heavily upon an army of excited volunteers. Meanwhile, Democrats are choosing between two candidates, each of whom can win and can also rally the party in November.
Read Gergen's complete analysis over at the AC 360 Blog!