Texas and Ohio – The last polls

With voting on the 4th of March, the latest (and probably the last) round of polls have come out. These will have been taken after the last debate, the attacks ads from Clinton, and the ‘Many Faces of Clinton’ performance over the weekend prior to the one just finished. So they will be more accurate than previous ones that were released through the week.

Starting with Texas, and last time I reported I was able to bring the news of Obama’s first poll lead in the Lone Star state. He had gained an 8% lead in 1 poll, and 4% in another. Through the week, a Reuters/Zogby poll put Obama at 48%, with Clinton behind by 6% at 42%. This was followed by a Fox News poll that had Obama up as well – 48% to 45%. A 3% lead there, but a lead nonetheless. Rasmussen found a 4% lead for Obama – 48% to 44%. And then, finally, American Research Group, which was the company that had the 8% lead for Obama a week ago, has Obama up by 7% now – 51% to 44%.

There were more, but they were all pointing towards another Obama victory. Then came the overnight polls, and they too indicated an Obama win. Reuters had a 4% lead 47% to 43%., up from the 2% lead they had him with on Saturday. Saturday actually had quite a few tight polls released – Obama by 2%, Clinton by 1% – which had shook up the blogs for a while, and certainly fed the news cycles that maybe the Clinton campaign isn’t dead just yet.

But that line of thought would have been blown out the water come the latest news cycle. Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson, a man whose endorsement as a superdelegate is being courted hard by both Obama and Clinton, came out and said:

I just think that D-Day is Tuesday.

And he went on to say that Clinton should pull out of the race if she doesn’t really impress on March 4. Richardson wasn’t the only one to say this either. John Kerry, who did endorse Obama, said the same sort of thing:

Hillary Clinton has to win a big victory in both Ohio and Texas. It’s not just winning a little bit. In order to close the gap on pledged delegates, she’s got to win a very significant victory.

And fellow endorser and superdelegate, not to mention an Illinois Senator himself, Dick Durbin, had a few things to say as well. Saying what a lot of us have been saying for some time, even if Clinton split the delegates, the rest of the calender puts her at a very bad place in terms of numbers and Obama’s advantage in the upcoming states. He went on to say:

If, in fact, there is no measurable change on Tuesday [she would need] extraordinary percentages in the remaining states. I hope ultimately she makes an honest appraisal of her chances. I hope after Tuesday her decision is made on the basis of the unity of the party.

Durbin had some numbers on hand as well. He said that if the two broke even in terms of pledged delegates won come the close of counting in Texas and Ohio she would need 62% of all the delegates yet to be decided to actually win the nomination. That might not sound that har, but rephrased: Obama only needs to win 38% of all the delegates yet to be decided. And considering the states coming up – Mississippi, North Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, South Dakota (all these Obama is expected to win) – then that 38% is going to shrink rapidly.

Turning to Ohio now, and what we have going on here (in terms of the polls) is identical to Texas, just lagging. Obama’s numbers in Ohio are where they were some 2 weeks ago in Texas. Clinton is leading, but only by single figures. I guess this (and Texas) proves the theory that the longer between states and the longer Obama can campaign in one place, the better his polling and votes become.

The best poll that came out in the past week for Clinton was a Fox News (so who knows how reliable it is) one that had her up by 8% – 46% to 38%. There is a huge uncommitted vote there that could turn things bad for Clinton though. More common though was a 5% lead or less. American Research Group had 50% to 45%, Clinton’s way, Rasmussen had 47% to 45%, Clinton’s way, and Reuters had 44% to 42%, Clinton’s way. The 2% leads are within the margin of error, so all these do is point towards a close contest.

I don’t think anyone is expecting Obama to turn around and win Ohio. Texas yes, but Ohio seems to have taken just a little longer to make in-roads. Maybe it’s the demographics there – very much suited to Clinton. Similarly, she had a massive lead there for a long period of time. While she had a big lead in Texas since last year, there was only ever one poll taken there, and that was the only way people positioned Texas as a Clinton ‘lock’. Public opinion could have swayed there some time ago, and we would have never known. But Ohio seems to have been consistently reporting as Clinton favourable. The race will be tight, but Clinton might just be able to net a few delegates more than Obama.

The way that Texas is structured though, there are scenarios where Clinton could win the popular vote, but still lose the delegate count to Obama. This, along with other crud that’s been happening in Texas, has led the Clinton campaign to threaten lawsuits against the Texas Democratic party to ensure that they don’t report on caucus results (that Obama always wins) for a few days later. This means that the news cycles won’t be nearly as negative as what they would be should Obama win Texas on delegate count.

And should that happen, the day will be a split. Vermont and Rhode Island haven’t changed, and Ohio and Texas will even each other out. With Bill Richardson’s statements, what we find is probably another subtle message from the Democratic party (like the Chris Dodd one) that she needs to win Ohio and Texas and by big margins in order to justify staying in the race. This won’t happen, and with superdelegates lining up behind Obama more frequently than Clinton (she has actually gained none and lost 6 through February, while Obama has gained 36), as well as some party ‘elders’, then surely she won’t be silly enough to stay in the race past March 5. I only say March 5 because it gives her a day to write the most effective concession speech.

Thomas.

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One thought on “Texas and Ohio – The last polls

  1. The current Clinton signage situation is merely the latest example of how Team Clinton has chosen to stage events, such as planting people who asked her rigged questions. Of course, it’s a free country and they’re breaking no laws. But contrary to their intentions, they’ve hurt Mrs. Clinton’s chances to win as well as Bill’s legacy, which, before this race, was reasonably respectable. Why?

    Because we all didn’t fall off turnip trucks out here. Because most of the people can’t be fooled most of the time. Yet, Team Clinton, relying on Mark Penn’s Focus-Group polling, decided from the beginning to discover common gullibilities and then exploit them. It’s proved to be a miserable failure, first because it didn’t work. Second, because it proves how inauthentic Team Clinton is.

    Team Clinton woefully underestimated the American skill at detecting snake oil. We may buy it for a while, but don’t keep shoving it down our throats after we’ve seen it for what it is. Mrs. Clinton didn’t get that memo.

    There are basically two areas that Team Clinton claims to have experience in – foreign affairs and economics – that seem to be convincing some people of Mrs. Clinton’s superiority. But a brief reading of some historical documents, and many individuals have come to realize just how damaging the Clinton Administration was.

    First, Mrs. Clinton has insistently claimed that she didn’t know that W was intent on going to war with Iraq, which is why she voted to give him the power to go to war. This is clearly not true. In 1998 the Project for the New American Century – a Neoconservative think-tank with Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz as members – wrote Bill Clinton a letter, urging him to seek regime change in Iraq. See: http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm .

    In Dec., ’98, as a result of the Neocon pressure to attack Iraq, Clinton conducted Operation Desert Fox – the bombing campaign against Iraq (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Desert_Fox ). Then in ’00 the same team that had urged Bill to attack Iraq moved into the White House. It was only a matter of time before W was going to attack Iraq and both Clintons knew it. By ’02 Mrs. Clinton had no doubt whatsoever that W and his Neocon Administration were inevitably going to attack Iraq.

    There may be an argument for attacking Iraq, but there’s no defense for Team Clinton’s deceit regarding the issue. Also, what her flipflopping has done, which she never seems to realize, is that, like the previous Democratic loser, she was for the war before she was against it. How will that fare against McCain if she were to win?

    Team Clinton also exhibits a disturbing pattern of deception regarding Bill’s Administration and Mrs. Clinton’s original support for NAFTA. First, the econmy wasn’t doing well mostly because of Bill, but because of the prevailing circumstances in the country. They included, oil that was $10 a barrel, a computer and digital revolution, low interest rates, low inflation, early golbalization, inflation of housing prices that bolstered home owners’ portfolios, as well the deregulation of financial institutions. That deregulation, in part, set the stage for the current subprime meltdown.

    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm-leach-bliley . This bill enabled banks and lending institutions to restructure and focus on credit and debt. It repealed Glass-Steagall, which had been constructed specifically so the country could avoid another Great Depression. It all changed, however, because of Bill’s allegiance to Big Business and to the Third Way (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Way_%28centrism%29 ) – a capitualtion to right wing economics.

    If you’re happy with the Neocon foreign policy of the past 8 years, if you’re content with the loss of American manufacturing, static and lower wages, trade that disproportionately favors Big Business, cheap labor, illegal immigration, and weakened unions, then, by all means, vote for Clinton. If you’re unhappy with those conditions, then there’s only one choice – vote Obama.

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