Wednesday, February 6

A long campaign will benefit Democrats

"It's hard to see where this doesn't go all the way to the convention," quoth Josh Marshall, writing of the competition between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He's right. And it's the best thing that could happen to the Democratic Party.

The Democratic nominee will come out of the convention with an elated, motivated core of volunteers who have recent experience in canvassing door-to-door, making phone calls, stamping envelopes, and all of that drudgery that goes with working on a campaign. Having succeeded in putting their nominee over the top, there will be an army of volunteers, eager to topple the Republicans.

On the other side, a dormant McCain campaign will have to rouse itself from a six-month slumber when the general election campaign hits the stretch run from Labor Day to Election Day. In the general election, McCain volunteers will be inexperienced and rare in states that had late primaries. And the right-wing evangelicals will cross their arms and sit this one out.