Look to NASCAR to understand Democratic race

If NASCAR governed the 2008 race for the Democratic nomination, this would be called "The Chase." In NASCAR, that is the period when the regular season is over and the winner of the season-ending cup championship is named based on who won the most points in "The Chase."

For Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, they easily dispatched the likes of John Edwards, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson, Christopher Dodd and the others. Now it's down to both of them, and much like NASCAR's final 10 "Chase" races, Obama and Clinton are duking it out in the final 10 primary contests to see who will get the nomination.

In NASCAR, the points are reset during "The Chase," but that doesn't happen in politics. Clinton is down by a small &

but large &

margin. Why small? Because it's about a — percent difference. Why large? Because she would have to win at least 60 percent of the votes in all remaining primaries to close the gap between her and Obama in pledged delegates, and that's not going to happen.

Now what I'm befuddled by in the wake of Clinton's huge win in Pennsylvania &

a victory that gave her the ability to raise $10 million in the first 24 hours afterward &

is the media narrative that either candidate can't close the other out.

Frankly, it's pretty silly.

On one hand, you have Sen. Hillary Clinton, who began this campaign as the inevitable nominee. She's well-known as the former first lady; married to former President Bill Clinton; has spent 16 years on the national stage; served seven years representing New York in the U.S. Senate; and has put together an impressive campaign machine, even with all the bumps.

Obama? He has captured the nation's attention with his speeches and themes of hope and change; has spent eight years in the Illinois Senate and three years in the U.S. ; has raised in excess of $200 million; is driving plenty of new voters to the polls; and also has an impressive campaign machine, even with their inexperience showing.

But the real reason Clinton and Obama haven't been able to give one another the fatal blow and end this thing is that they are just too darn good. And they are riding shotgun over strong constituencies.

For Clinton, her base is made up of white women, elderly voters and blue-collar white voters.For Obama, his base is made of African-Americans, young voters and high-earning voters.

If you look at the exit polling of all the races from the beginning of the campaign, both individuals have been able to consistently maintain their lock on their constituencies, thereby making it harder for the other one to break loose and pull away to the finish line.

And don't look for them to do so now. Clinton and Obama will remain in a tight race going down the backstretch because they can count on the people who have brought them to where they are now. It's somewhat silly for my media brothers and sisters to act as if something magical is going to happen: Clinton will begin to take core Obama voters from him, or he will take core Clinton voters from her. Nope. Sorry. Ain't gonna happen.

So I suggest, folks, you just sit back and let this thing play out. The notion that Obama, who is leading, is somehow going to step back and allow Clinton to secure the nomination while he graciously accepts the vice presidential nod is nutty. And why would Clinton just turn her engine off when she still has a shot at overtaking Obama by persuading enough superdelegates to come to her side?

In NASCAR, you never let your foot off the pedal until you see that checkered flag waving. For the Democrats, until someone hits 2,025 delegates, you can bet these two will fight it and not leave anything in the tank.

Isn't that really a good thing?

Roland S. Martin is an award-winning CNN contributor and the author of "Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith." Please visit his Web site at .

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