I haven't a clue what will happen in the Pennsylvania primary. It looks like Hillary will win, but perhaps not by the decisve margin that she is said to need. If so, Obama will declare victory and urge Hillary to withdraw.
I look at it a little differently. Obama has had six weeks to go head to head with her. He has overwhelmed her with cash. She has continued to be a singularly unattractive candidate persisting in embarassing lies about her visit to Bosnia and childhood affinity for shooting. If Obama can't beat her under these circumstances, he is a candidate with significant weaknesses. These weaknesses, moreover, seem to stem from an association with the worst of American liberalism that Hillary Clinton, of all people, is poorly positioned to exploit. (Although at least one commentator thinks that Obama will learn. I'm skeptical. He doesn't seem to think that he ought to.)
Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe the prospect of a Republican win is just doomed by Bush's unpopularity or the fact that the election comes at the wrong place in the business cycle for the GOP. (I am not persuaded that the war hurts McCain.) We can be sure that, no matter what the economic reality, that the media will treat any economic slowdown as if we are on the brink of Depression. And there are, after all, polls that show Obama beating McCain in PA.
But don't Democrats have to be worried about a guy who can't put away such an empty suit? And no matter what the polls say about a race that hasn't started, it's hard not to conclude that Obama has left folks in places like Pennsylvania and Ohio unimpressed. You can make a fairly strong argument that, for a Democrat to win, Pennsylvania shouldn't even be in play. How do you get to 270 if, after McCain actually campaigns there, it's in the GOP column?
That being said, McCain has a tough road ahead. Our youth obsessed culture is not going to look kindly on a 72 year old candidate. Will McCain turn out to be Bob Dole? We are almost certainly going into some kind of slow down (one is rather overdue) and the credit crisis makes for good footage.
But I don't know that the blue tsunami that some of my liberal friends are already celebrating is going to happen.