“We cannot let this moment slip away,’ Clinton pressed. “‘For anyone who voted for me and who is now considering not voting, or voting for Sen. McCain, I strongly urge you to reconsider. I urge you to remember what we are standing for in this election.‘” In the aptly-named town of Unity, NH, Sen. Clinton campaigns with Sen. Obama. (They’ve also now maxed out donations to each other, and Obama continues to hire senior Clinton staff.)
In not-unrelated news, new polls put Wisconsin (+13) and Minnesota (+17) pretty firmly in the lean-Obama column. Says CNN: “The Illinois senator now has 231 electoral votes — 39 shy of winning the presidency,” and that’s not counting OH, FL, CO, NM, VA, or IA…all states we have a solid shot of picking up. Again, I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m feeling pretty confident about our prospects these days.
Keeping in mind that polls five months out from Election Day are basically meaningless, some good news on the swing-state front: Sen. Obama currently leads in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. (What, you mean Mark Penn’s swing-state argument was bogus? Who knew?)
This would seem to hinder McCain’s likely strategy of using Florida as a safe electoral base from which to make incursions into possible Obama territory in Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and elsewhere — Now, the mythical maverick will have to play serious defense in the Sunshine State. (Again, June polls say next-to-nothing about the state of play in November, but I’m glad we’re 4-10 points up rather than 10-15 down. Plus, these numbers are in keeping with my general feeling — knock on wood — that Election Day will be a trouncing.)
Update: More fuel for the fire. A new Newsweek poll has Obama up fifteen on McCain, 51%-36%. “The latest numbers on voter dissatisfaction suggest that Obama may enjoy more than one bounce. The new poll finds that only 14 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the country…Obama is [also] running much stronger at this point in the race than his two most recent Democratic predecessors, Sen. John Kerry and Vice President Al Gore…In a July 2004 NEWSWEEK Poll, Kerry led Bush by only 6 points (51 percent to 45 percent). In June 2000, Gore was in a dead heat with Bush (45 percent to 45 percent)“
Update 2: It’s not an outlier. LA Times/Bloomberg also has Obama up 15 (48%-33%) in a four-way race with Nader and Barr. Against McCain only, our man’s up 12.
“‘I read his national security and foreign policy speeches, and he comes across to me as pragmatic, visionary and tough. He impresses me as a person who wants to use all the tools of presidential power.‘” The good news from Indiana: Sen. Obama picked up the endorsment of Lee Hamilton, formerly an Indiana rep and one of the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission. (Obama has also continued to out-raise Sen Clinton, although the official numbers aren’t yet known.) The bad news from Indiana: A new poll puts Clinton up there by nine, 52% to 43%. Wins in both Indiana and North Carolina on May 6 remain Obama’s best chance to put this away before mid-June, so keep your fingers crossed.
Update: More on the fundraising numbers: Sen. Obama’s campaign raised over $40 millions in March. “The campaign, which did not release an exact total, said more than 218,000 donors contributed to the campaign for the first time, and the average contribution was $96.” Sen. Clinton’s campaign, meanwhile, raised only half that.
Meanwhile, over in his corner of the campaign trail, Bill Clinton does what he can to poison the well further, saying — now that chances of a re-do have come and gone, of course — that the Obama campaign was “desperate to disenfranchise Florida and Michigan.” Sigh…at this point, you have to wonder about the man’s mental health. Well, since the former president insists on continually behaving like an asshat, with no regard whatsoever for the Democratic party or his historical legacy, it bears repeating once more:
Honestly, it’s like they’re trying to beat us into submission through sheer, brazen, and unyielding idiocy. Mr. President, you will not be returning to the White House — deal with it.
Update: Today’s poll about disgruntled Clinton and Obama supporters is getting a lot of run. Now, one one hand, this illustrates the problem with the Clintons’ “audacity of hopelessness.” Their continued spewing of often-ridiculous vitriol, even despite the fact that everyone from David Brooks to Obama Girl now knows its over, is only breeding more angry and aggrieved dead-enders among the Clinton ranks. (Then again, have the Clintons ever put the good of the party before themselves? Nope.)
Still, to keep things in perspective, let’s look at the presumed defection rate in 2000: “In March of that year, the Pew Center for the People & the Press released a report titled ‘Bush Pays Price for Primary Victory.’ Following Bush’s victory in the 2000 primaries and McCain’s exit from the race, the Pew survey found that 51% of those who backed McCain during the primary campaign would vote for Gore in the general election. Only 44% of his supporters said that they would be casting their votes for Bush.” That purported 2000 defection rate is considerably higher than those causing consternation today. But, obviously that number didn’t hold up, or Gore would have been elected overwhelmingly in 2000.
The point being, this poll doesn’t tell us anything about the situation in November, only that tempers are running high here in March.
“Simply put: If Obama (and supporters) set expectations for a knockout punch in Pennsylvania, they will be giving oxygen to a gasping Clinton machine on its last breaths. But if they keep Pennsylvania in perspective (no single state has determined the nomination, although New Hampshire, Nevada, and Ohio were all frantically seen and spun as such in their moments), they’ll emerge from the coming Pennsylvania Clinton victory – a kind of Last Hurrah for the politics of the last century – to cross into the 21st century beginning in early May.” I added this link to the post below, but in case you missed it: Al Giordano crunches the numbers and argues that focusing on the Keystone State is not the way to go.
Along related lines, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe downplayed the importance of PA today: “Pennsylvania is only one of 10 remaining contests, each important in terms of allocating delegates and ultimately deciding who are nominee will be.” (And before anyone argues that this broader focus means Obama can’t win Pennsylvania in the general, take a look at the polling there. As in many other states, Obama does significantly better against McCain in Pennsylvania than does Clinton.)
As posted here awhile ago, national polls have consistently shown Sen. Barack Obama performing better against John McCain than Sen. Hillary Clinton. Well, the polling firm Rasmussen has taken the question a step further, and begun asking swing states what they think of the three remaining candidates. Check these out.
The only swing state studied thus far that can give the Clinton campaign any comfort is Missouri, which shows a statistical tie: McCain beats Clinton by 1 (43%-42%), McCain beats Obama by 2 (42%-40%).
On the issue of electability, the choice seems clear. Update: SurveyUSA has more, and they follow the same pattern.
It’s just one poll, of an almost meaningless sample, now that we’re past Super Tuesday. As we all know, polls have often not been kind to Obama supporters over the past month or so. And the last thing the Obama campaign needs right now is a false sense of security. But, since I’ve been willing these lines to cross every day over the past few weeks, screw it: I’m blogging it: Obama finally pulls ever-so-slightly ahead of Clinton in the Gallup daily tracker, 45%-44%. Onward and upward. Update: Sen. Obama takes his first statistical lead, 49%-42%. But will it hold?
“Generally speaking, the more education a Democrat has, the less likely he or she is to support Hillary Clinton, and the more likely to support Barack Obama.” For all the talk of age, race, gender, and class divergences, some analysts at Gallup see a different dynamic at work in the Obama-Clinton race: education. “In short, education is a highly significant predictor of Democrats’ vote choices…Gender, too, is a predictor, but is essentially overwhelmed by the impact of education.”
In fact, a worthy regression analysis of poll data over at dKos pushes the point further: “It is educational attainment, rather than income level, that appears to be the driving force behind Obama’s ‘upscale’ support. In fact, there is some weak evidence that Obama actually does a bit better in states with lower median household incomes, once we control for educational attainment (but, the effect was not quite statistically significant enough to make the final cut). Trust me — I looked and looked for this one, analyzing variables such as household income, per capita income, home values, home ownership, unemployment rates, and union membership. The idea that Clinton does better with working class voters seems to be a myth; she does better with voters without college degrees, but not working class voters per se. To the extent any such effects exist, they appear to point in the opposite direction of the conventional wisdom.” (Speaking of which, there are number of CW-defying findings in this regression analysis, and it’s worth a look-see.) Update: Poblano has more.
Update 2: The WP parses more data and finds the same education cleave. “In each of the states where the Post subscribed to exit polls (and voters were asked about their level of education), Clinton did better among non-college than college-educated white voters. She also outpaced Obama among non-college whites in all 14 of these states, but beat him by more than a single percentage point among college graduates in only five.“
“There is one thing on this February night that we do not need the final results to know: our time has come. Our time has come, our movement is real, and change is coming to America.” Obama takes the Super Tuesday hit, and not only stands his ground but deals some damage of his own. The result? We need more rounds.
It’s Wednesday morning, 3am, so I’ll keep it short for now. But, all in all, I’m pretty pleased with how Super Tuesday shook out tonight. Sure, I’d have liked to see Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California in our column, and was rather dismayed when those pesky exit polls — which had us winning in MA and NJ — turned out to be bunk. But, around 10pm or so, the tide turned, with Obama racking up a slew of states and drawing particularly notable wins in Connecticut, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, and Missouri. California didn’t fall, of course, but I’d written it off hours earlier thanks to that early exit poll data.
The thing is, Super Tuesday was meant to be Clinton’s knockout punch — as little as two weeks ago, she was up 20 in the national polls. And, now, Obama is not only still standing, it looks like he may be (ever-so-slightly, of course) in the lead. At the end of the night, we ended up with more states (13 to 8, with NM outstanding) and — more importantly — basically split the delegates (we should know the exact figures in the next few days, but the late tally is 841-837 for Obama, and, regardless, all we had to do is stay close.) And, while Senator Clinton’s support has held steady, Senator Obama has jumped 15 points nationally in just the past two weeks. Now, the Obama campaign has money to burn and time to spend on a smaller — and more favorable — playing field. We have a ways to go yet, but now that we’ve made it over the Super Tuesday hurdle, time is on our side.
Update: It’s still not absolutely official, but Sen. Obama seems to have won more delegates last night. And, as that was kinda the point of the evening, this is very good news.
As I said before, I don’t want to put too much emphasis on polls anymore — partly because of what happened in New Hampshire, partly because they’re all over the place. Still, it looks like Senators Obama and Clinton may now be tied nationally. (Obama even has a statistical lead in one poll.) And, again, while polls differ — some suggest an Obama lead, some don’t — all seem to indicate the Senator from Illinois is not only surging in California (Thank you, Maria Shriver!), but even threatening Clinton’s tri-state home base in Connecticut and New Jersey(!)
A lot of what happens tomorrow will depend on the ground game, and the race will go on past Super Tuesday in almost any event. Still, if we all get out there and make our voices heard, it looks like there’s an outside chance Obama could emerge the delegate leader tomorrow night. Sure, a sweep would be wondrous, but let’s face it — it’s extremely unlikely. There’s still a lot of game left to play, and — after tomorrow, of course — slow and steady wins the race. Let’s at least get Senator Obama in a good position to move forward. As long as he can keep it close tomorrow, we’re good to go.
Rasmussen has the first post-Iowa NH poll out for consumption, and Barack Obama has leapt up to ten over Hillary Clinton in the Granite State. “Rasmussen Reports, in a telephone survey of 510 likely Democratic voters on Friday, found 37 percent backing Barack Obama, 27 percent for Clinton, 19 percent for John Edwards and 8 percent for Bill Richardson…The poll’s admitted margin of error is 4.5 percent.” (Give me a second while I stifle a mighty Yawp! to the heavens.) Keep in mind, though, that late rush polls like this are more likely to have problems (particularly when done on a Friday), And, of course, there’s a debate tonight on ABC: Republicans at 7pm, Democrats at 8:45. Update: Don’t break out the champagne just yet. A new CNN/WMUR poll has Clinton and Obama tied at 33%. Hmm. I preferred the first one. Update 2: Two more post-Iowa polls: One Concord Monitor, has Obama up 1, 34% to 33%. The other, American Research Group, has Obama up 12, 38% to 26%.
With Iowa coming up tomorrow, one last look at the Democratic polls: Reuters/MSNBC/Zogby has Obama and Clinton tied at 28%, with Edwards at 26%. CNN/Opinion Research puts Clinton in the lead at 33% to Obama’s 31% and Edwards’ 22%. And the Des Moines Register/Selzer’s last poll — considered the most trusted in the industry, partly due to its getting the 2004 results right — has Obama up big at 32% to Clinton’s 25% and Edwards’ 24%. (This result presumes a large independent turnout for Obama, however, which is by no means a given.) In any case, the one good bet is it’s going to be a barnburner tomorrow evening. Sometime before then, most likely by tomorrow afternoon, I plan to put up a longer endorsement-style post, since the nomination could well be a fait accompli by the NY primary on Feb. 5. No real surprise who I’m getting behind, but at least y’all will be able to poke holes in my reasoning.
Another slew of Iowa/NH polls, most of which suggest that, as per the norm, turnout will be the key: ABC News/Wash Post has Obama up by four in the Hawkeye State: Obama 33%, Clinton 29%, Edwards 20%. But a new InsiderAdvantage poll says Iowa is Edwards’ to win, with the NC Senator pulling 30% to Clinton and Obama’s 26% and 24% respectively. (This latter poll — by a Republican firm — has been called into question as an outlier. And speaking of elephants, the elephant in the room at the moment, of course, is the Enquirer’s sordid and dubious “grandson of a millworker” story, which Drudge frontlined last night. But thus far it’s not getting the traction in the mainstream press one’s come to expect from the bimbo eruptions of the Bill Clinton era. Let’s hope it stays that way.) Update: Iowa Poll #3: Clinton 30%, Obama 28%, Edwards 26%. “Clinton is the favorite of women, older voters, liberals and those making less than $50,000 a year. Obama has an edge among moderates and younger voters; Edwards does best in union households and among married voters.” Two weeks to go…
On the national front, a FOX/Wash Times/Rasmussen poll (and consider the source) finds Hillary Clinton leads the nation in “anti”-votes, with 40 percent of Americans saying they’d vote for her opponent in the general election just to keep her out of office. (Second was Giuliani, with 17%. Obama had 11%, Edwards 2%.) Still, Clinton’s prospects look brighter in the Granite State, where a new poll puts her back up 12 over Obama, 38% to 26%. (Edwards comes in third at 14%) “Clinton gained some 7 percentage points over last week’s poll, with Obama losing 4 percentage points. ‘Nearly all of Clinton’s gains come among older voters.’” An 11-point bounce for Clinton in a slow news week? Looks like Shaheen-gate paid dividends for her candidacy after all (although some say it’s the weather.) Still, despite Clinton’s Boomer boom, NH remains up in the air: “A whopping 65 percent of poll respondents who identify themselves as likely Democratic voters, however, said they have not made a definite decision on their vote.“
Another new poll, by way of the Des Moines Register, puts Obama slightly in the Iowa lead at 28%, to Clinton’s 25% and Edwards’ 23%. (All candidates are within the margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.) Also, it seems Obama may well have cut deeply into Clinton’s impressive support among Iowa women: “In the new poll, Obama leads with support from 31 percent of women likely attend the caucuses, compared to 26 percent for Clinton. In October, Clinton was the preferred candidate of 34 percent of women caucusgoers, compared to 21 percent for Obama” Still, Clinton maintains her generational ace in the hole: “Clinton is the top choice among caucusgoers 55 years old and older. The largest share of Democratic caucusgoers — exactly half — are in this age group.” Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Mike Huckabee leads Mitt Romney 29%-24%, with no one else even close. “That’s a gain of 17 percentage points since the last Iowa Poll was taken in early October, when Huckabee trailed both Romney and Fred Thompson.” We have a ways to go yet, but it’s looking like we’ve got ourselves a barnburner on both sides of the aisle, and I’m obviously pleased as punch that Obama is not only in the running but leading the pack. Onward and upward.
Update: “Now the fun part starts“? Sensing the obvious danger to her candidacy in Obama’s Iowa lead, Hillary Clinton announces she’s going negative, and illustrates thus by insinuating Obama has character issues. “‘I want a long term relationship,’ she said. ‘I don’t want to just have a one night stand with all of you.‘”
As Hillary Clinton — still — spins away her debate performance of last week (You’d think she’d just let the story die of its own accord by this point — this doesn’t speak well for her campaign’s potential handling of GOP criticism in a general election, and they’re definitely watching carefully over there), the Democratic races in Iowa and New Hampshire start to tighten, with Clinton up three and ten on Obama in IA and NH respectively. (Edwards comes in third in both states at the moment.) And, in related news, a new USA Today poll further calls into question Clinton’s crossover appeal: “In a general election, the poll suggests that Clinton has the least potential for winning votes from Republicans — 84% say they definitely would not vote for her, compared with six in 10 for either Obama or Edwards. Independents show the least resistance to Obama and the most to Edwards.” (That being said, some tightening in the polls was inevitable as the finish line nears, and that same USA Today poll still has Hillary beating Rudy in a national contest, so there is a silver lining here for the Clinton camp.) Update: Slate‘s John Dickinson reports in from Iowa on the Clinton-Obama race: “‘Why isn’t he killing her?’ asked a colleague after Obama’s hour-long visit. It’s the persistent question for his campaign. He wows the crowds but lags in the polls everywhere but Iowa.“
“‘Democrats are reasonably comfortable with the range of choices. The Democratic attitude is that three or four of these guys would be fine,’ David Redlawsk, a University of Iowa political scientist. ‘The Republicans don’t have that; particularly among the conservatives there’s a real split. They just don’t see candidates who reflect their interests and who they also view as viable.’” Currently leading the Republican race for President: “none of the above.” I wholeheartedly agree.
TiVo time for the political junkies among us: Campaign 2008 begins in earnest this Thursday evening, when the first Democratic debate will take place in Orangeburg, SC. “Thursday’s debate will air live on MSNBC from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and stream live on MSNBC.com.“
And, in related news, a new Rasmussen poll has Obama now tied with Hillary at 32%, with Edwards coming in at third (17%). “Thirty-three percent (33%) of Likely Voters say they’d definitely vote for Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D). That’s the highest total received by any of ten leading Presidential hopefuls included in the poll…Opinions are most solid concerning the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, New York Senator Hillary Clinton — 78% have an opinion of whether they’ll definitely vote for or against her regardless of who she runs against. That includes 30% who would definitely vote for the former First Lady and 48% who would definitely vote against her.“
November’s returns and congressional oversight are already sticking in their craw, and now a new study by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press finds even more trouble ahead for the formerly dominant GOP: “The analysis of 20 years of polling data…says that half of the public identifies as a Democrat or leans that way. Just 35 percent align with the Republican Party. In 2002, the country was split, 43 percent affiliating with the Republicans and the same percentage with the Democrats.” 1968-2006…it was a pretty good run, y’all, but now it’s time…for you…to go.