The short answer to your question, Vic: I think it's a good possibility that Clinton wants the nomination enough to risk the view that she got it over the will of the primary voters. Bill Clinton was never one to give up a fight early, and Hillary appears to have the same kind of determination. If she believes that she can pull it off, then she'll do whatever it takes, with the belief that we Democrats will return to her campaign when this fight's over.
The longer answer to your question -- right now, the odds on the Democratic nomination are running about 3:1 in Obama's favor (see www.intrade.com for up-to-the-minute changes), so when I'd "put my money on Clinton" given the changing nature of this campaign, it's with those kinds of odds.
You are correct in your mathematics. From a delegate-collection point of view, Obama will win -- by about 100-120 delegates, by my math -- in pledged delegates (assuming no change in MI and FL, a 60-40 Clinton split in PA, a 55-45 Obama split in NC and other contests evening out), and with Clinton's current small lead (about 40) in superdelegates, it'll take about a 2:1 split in her favor of the uncommitted superdelegates to win the nomination. It's certainly possible, and given the nature of this campaign, I'd be tempted to give it a 35-50% chance of it occurring.
It would seriously damage the party if this is to happen. But neither her campaign nor Obama's campaign seems able to control the message, so as certain nasty issues raise their heads -- and racism is one of them -- the campaign season may take a turn that favors one candidate or the other.
My point in the article is that as long as racism remains a simmering and just-under-the-conscious-radar issue (an issue that appeals to people's subconscious fears), the campaign dynamic will favor Clinton.
A couple of items on my post that I'd like to clarify:
First, I wrote that piece on Wednesday morning, after the Mississippi results were in and before the Ferraro story (which had been out for several days) went "nuclear". It was also a day or two before the issue with Obama's pastor's statement came out. It had struck me that the "momentum" of this campaign season had changed somewhat, and the only item I could see changing it was the bubbling to the surface of the "race issue" in a way that the "gender issue" was not being seen. My point was not that the Clinton campaign was behind this (at least not directly). It was that her campaign's interests get served as people racial fears are aroused in a subtle manner.
In the 3 days since I wrote this piece, several items have happened that give me hope that the subtle racism of the past month will be replaced by a full-force media spotlight on this issue.
First the Ferraro quote received the full media spotlight, and she (unwisely) was quite uncontrite in her expressions about it. Most of the mainstream media is pretty unsympathetic to her statements, even if many Americans agree with Ferraro (but are unwilling to admit it). We'll see the level of agreement with Ferraro's statement when we see exit polling results in Pennsylvania.
Secondly, Obama's pastor recently made some statements that were pretty offensive, and have elevated race into the political dialog, and have put Obama on the defensive with this issue. Barack Obama has had to repudiate his pastor's statements (as well as those of Louis Farrakhan) even as John McCain accepts the endorsement of pastor John Hagee -- whose statements about Muslims have been comparably racist. It's a fine line that Obama has to tread here, and his ability to deal with it in a way that doesn't cause Americans to react to their own prejudices will be a test of his ability to deliver an inclusive message and have us (the voting public) believe it.
Finally, Hillary Clinton herself issued an apology for Ferraro's comments. Her apology appears to be sincere, and if it is, then she will do what she can to emphasize that this primary is about something other than race or affirmative action or "lack of experience".
Unfortunately, the "Obama is unqualified to be President" card is all she can play right now, and that card represents a subtle form of racism on her campaign's part. If this issue goes away, her campaign is sunk. Like Obama's needing to deal with his pastor's messages, this talking point will a tricky one for her campaign make, and it'll only work if we (the voting public) don't see it as an appeal to our own prejudices.
So it's an interesting campaign season, and within the last couple of days, we've seen both candidates need to directly grapple with an unwanted issue of racist behavior in their midst. Obama's campaign will be helped if we're either able to believe it's not an issue, or if we have to deal with the issue directly. Clinton's campaign will be helped if we don't deal with this issue directly, but we still spend the campaign season thinking about it.
I know it's a long answer to a pretty short question. But I hope it clarifies a few things.