Sen. Barack Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe argued on Wednesday that it is now "next to impossible" for his candidate to lose the pledged delegate lead he has amassed in the Democratic primary.
"We have created such a buffer in terms of the pledge delegate lead that we think it is highly unlikely that it will be eroded," he said.
Speaking on a conference call to reporters, Plouffe put Obama's delegate lead over Clinton at 136, following wins in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. that netted the Senator 25, 16, and 9 pledge delegates respectively.
The gap between the two candidates, he added, was now great enough that Clinton would have "to win most of the remaining contests in blowout form," if she wanted to catch up.
"It is next to impossible for Senator Clinton to close that pledge delegate count," he said. "The only way she can do it is win contests [later, he specifically mentioned Texas and Ohio] by 25 to 30 points. And we don't see contests were she can do that."
Later in the day, the Clinton campaign, on a conference call of its own, challenged the notion that Obama's pledge delegate lead was insurmountable.
"We think that at the end of the day on March 4 we will be within 25 delegates," said Clinton aide Guy Cecil, before adding that the margin would be less than 1 percent of total delegates committed.
Of course, super-delegates could also help Clinton close the margin, and Plouffe addressed that issue too, arguing that, come time to vote, those Democratic insiders should take their cues from the pledge delegates.
"At the end of the day we think the pledge delegate situation is going to drive events here," he said, and I think that's where the focus is going to be in regards to super delegates."