Kevin Drum flags some dangers ahead for Democrats if the refuse to nominate Obama...and Hillary.
In the former case, Jerome Karabel notes that political loyalties are solidified in one's 20s. Coincidentally, that age group represents Barack Obama's base. If they feel spurned at the end of the primary process, they not only could sit out the election, their view of the Democratic Party could be jaundiced for the rest of their lives.
In the latter case, Amanda Fortini says women are beginning to get restless -- not that Clinton is losing, but that people are denying the role sexism is playing in the campaign. The Clinton campaign awoke "sexism in America, long lying dormant, like some feral, tranquilized animal," but too many (in the immortal phrase of Ann Bartow) supposedly liberal doods shout down any woman who dares bring it up (see also, Ampersand). If their frustration boils over, they could stay home election night.
Drum thinks that ultimately, neither will play a big role in the general, as the prospect of a McCain Presidency draws everyone back to the polls. Color me unconvinced. The politically engaged always over-estimate how much "the other guy is scary as hell" serves as a motivator. I will say that I'm more worried short-term about women staying home or crossing over than I am about the youth vote (not because I don't think nominating Clinton would have an effect, but because I think that Obama has pushed their engagement to such heights that at worst they'd "recede" back to normal figures). But of course, I think that if Clinton gets the nod after coming in behind in the pledged delegates, Democrats will also watch the Black vote disintegrate before their very eyes, which probably would be even worse. And the long-term harms of passing over Obama that Karabel notes are a unique danger that I hadn't thought of before.