At one time, the Democrats might have been defined as Far Left, Centrists and Leaning Right, (the Reagan Democrats as an example of the latter.) From evidence coming out of the exit polls during recent primaries, the divisions are now more numerous and held with such deeply felt emotions that it could result in permanent political damage.
Those polls provide a good picture of that decimation. Clinton received the support of 60% of white voters in both states, while Obama got 40% of the white vote in Indiana and 36% in North Carolina. He won the overwhelming majority of black voters: 92% in Indiana and 91% in North Carolina. The problem here is that Obama generally wins in states with very large black populations, which would not happen in those with a smaller percentage in this category of voter.
Clinton supporters, 38% of whom have indicated that they would stay home or vote for McCain, could be the deciding factor in November because of the wider spectrum represented, including working class whites, older women, and Reagan Democrats among them. Add to that Florida and Michigan Democrats who will be disillusioned if votes cast in the primaries are ignored or discounted. And although they would only siphon off a small number of votes in a few states, those that go to the Green or Independent party are ones lost to the Democrats which can be vital in a tight race.
Meanwhile, while the DNC alienates Clinton supporters by trying to force her to drop out before the convention is held in August, the Republican National Committee continues to build the "Rally Round McCain" movement, making progress state-by-state as party leaders dangle the image of more conservative judges in the courts during the next eight years as a reason to unite.
Could it happen that, in spite of the huge Democrat registration during 2008, it would be offset by a record turnout among Republicans and if the number of Clinton supporters who choose to abandon the party by staying home or deciding to vote for the man who is being touted as a true American Hero?
It seems the DNC is ready to take that risk even if it means a broken political party which, like Humpty Dumpty, may never be put back together again.