People like to back a winner. Sports fans are much more likely to attend a game if the home team has a winning record. Politics is also a sport, and voters are much more likely to back a candidate if they think he or she is likely to win.

I’ve always thought of politics as a team sport; one of my guiding principles has always been to back my friends to the hilt, whether or not they were considered likely to win. Some of my greatest political triumphs have been to come close when winning was considered impossible.

I’m proud of that.