Matt said recently that he “feels like Clinton is drawing close to checkmating her opponents.” Dana reminds us that it’s still early; Ezra avers that “it’s hard to make up 20 points when you won’t take chances.”
Understanding that a lot can happen, etc., and without quite being ready enough to say “lock,” I think that it’s pretty much over. What allowed Kerry to come out of nowhere was concerns about Dean compounded by the inept, undisciplined endgame to his Iowa campaign. Clinton, whatever else one can say about her, is a very disciplined campaigner; she’ll be very, very difficult to haul down from behind. I’m also inclined to think, given her strong basic political abilities and her lead, that the fact that she was two viable opponents probably helps her more than anything; both Obama and Edwards will stay in long enough to prevent a single anti-Clinton candidate from emerging until it’s too late. This is unfortunate, given that I think she’s both the least progressive and the weakest presidential candidate of the three, but I would be extremely surprised if she wasn’t the nominee.