Barring a shock, Hillary Clinton is expected to pull enough delegates from the New Jersey primary Tuesday to effectively “clinch” the Democratic nomination.
Due to the difference in time zones, the Garden State’s polls will close while California Democrats and independents continue voting.
A New Jersey clinch would put her across a finish line close to home — right across the river from her adopted home state.
Maybe 2008 will be a guide.
That February, then-Sen. Clinton won New York 57 percent to 40 percent, and New Jersey 54 percent to 44 percent, against then-Sen. Barack Obama.
On April 19, she won New York with 58 percent to 42 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
So if history repeats, she’d land in the mid-50s in New Jersey’s primary once again. She led significantly through May in every major poll in the state.
Her widely anticipated “clinch” counts superdelegates who don’t vote until the convention. But her expected load of new pledged delegates is widely seen as choking off the last of Sanders’ paths to victory.
Clinton’s winning it in New Jersey also underscores the turn toward political pathos that the Chris Christie story has taken.
Still the governor, Christie spent much of his time out of state chasing the GOP nomination. After finishing sixth in New Hampshire in February, he dropped out.
Before that, he delivered some of the loudest anti-Clinton bluster. “The days of the Clintons in public housing are over,” said the term-limited governor, due to leave office next year. He even alluded to future prosecutions over her emails.
“I will be ready, I will take her on and when I take her on, I guarantee to you one thing — she will never get within 10 miles of the White House,” Christie said.
In a clear bid to keep up some home-state bravado, Christie said in April that “New Jersey will clinch the nomination for Donald Trump on June 7.”
“Take it to the bank,” he said.
Nope. Trump already locked up the nomination last month in North Dakota, rendering Tuesday’s New Jersey primary nearly irrelevant on the Republican side.
Nearly, that is, because former Republican Gov. Christie Whitman is calling on fellow party members to register their dislike for Trump by going to the polls and lodging a protest vote for Ted Cruz or John Kasich, who are still on the ballot.
The impact, if any, remains unclear.
The general election could be different. The latest Monmouth University poll shows Trump trailing Clinton in a head-to-head matchup by only 4 points in New Jersey.
For now, winning a bet in Atlantic City may be easier than predicting November’s outcome. But let’s jam that bridge when we get to it.