1.30.2008

The ground is shifting in Obama's favor, but does he have enough time?

With 6 days to go to Super Tuesday and with the GOP having gone a long way towards settling on a nominee last night, all eyes are now on the Democratic primary where the stakes of the next few days are much higher. Hillary Clinton is seeking to halt the seemingly unending stream of good news for Obama (South Carolina triumph, Kennedy endorsement) by putting forward her Florida win. And the campaign must be happy with the controversy over whether Obama snubbed on the floor of the Senate. Images of that "incident" are now being widely covered by the media, and every news cycle Clinton can own this week could make the difference come Super Tuesday.

The poll numbers indicate that the ground is shifting in Obama's favor and that he is getting closer to his rival. But with 6 days to go and the campaign now national, does Obama have enough time to make his case in the states he needs to do well in come Tuesday, for example in California? That is the huge question we are facing right now. And unfortunately for those of us who are accustomed to relying on polls to get some idea of where an election is heading, it will be very difficult to assess the state of the race in the next week. For one, most polls that are being released yesterday and today were taken late this week-end or on Monday, in other words in the immediate aftermath both of Obama's South Carolina victory and of Ted Kennedy's endorsement. Is that a lasting bounce like the one McCain got out of New Hampshire and South Carolina? Or will it subside in a few days like the one Obama got post-Iowa? It will be very difficult to assess this for a few more days.

Second, John Edwards's withdrawal dramatically alters the race, freeing 10% to 15% of the electorate who will have to choose a second choice. While some will probably stick with Edwards, this could significantly change the dynamnics between Obama and Clinton, and we will not have much indication of where the Edwards vote is going for a couple of days. And third, there is a debate tomorrow night that will probably be watched closely by many Super Tuesday voters, and its impact will likely be decisive. Don't forget that we have already had a couple of game-changing debates, whether October's Philadelphia debate that was the start of Clinton's troubles, the New Hampshire debate on January 5th that caused the female vote to rally around Hillary or the South Carolina debate of last week in which the image of Obama being tag-teamed by two white candidates could have a lot to do with what we saw on Saturday night.

With those words of caution, let's launch into today's polls as nearly all states are tightening right now in what is shaping up to be a fascinating run-up to Super Tuesday. First, Gallup's national poll has some fascinating national numbers in its tracking poll:

  • In the latest poll that was in the field from Sunday to Tuesday, Barack Obama has risen to his highest percentage in yet (in the past 3 weeks) and is trailing Clinton by only 6%, 44% to 38%. Five days ago, it was 47% to 32% Clinton; two days ago, it was 44% to 33%. Yesterday, 44% to 34%. Clinton has been steadily declining for about a week now and this is a very worrying trend because a national lead is essential to her chances on Tuesday in what is essentially a national primary. Edwards gets 12% in the latest poll, double the margin between Obama and Clinton... The next few days could prove very instructive.
With that, let's move on to some state polls including in two states that Clinton should be winning very comfortably.

  • In Connecticut, in Clinton's backyard, a Rasmussen poll shows Clinton and Obama tied at 40%. The poll was entirely conducted on Sunday, the day after Obama's SC victory, and it has John Edwards at 11%. Clinton can hardly afford to lose one of the states of the Tri-State Area, so she better pay special attention to Connecticut. No previous poll confirms that this primary is heading towards a toss-up, but it fits with the narrative of Obama's rise.
  • Among the Republican winner-take-all primary, McCain is ahead big, 42% to 26% for Romney, as we would expect. Giuliani, still including in the poll, gets 12% in what was supposed to be one of his momentum-proof states.

  • Next, we have a PPP poll that has Hillary only up by 12% against Obama, 45% to Obama's 33%, with Edwards at 10%. The numbers are strange given the high number of undecideds, particularly among white voters who break 44-29 for Clinton and black voters who go 44-32 for Obama (a lower proportion than we are used to seeing). Clinton leads 64% to 31% among Hispanics, in what is clearly a key constituency for her. Also keep in mind that Obama coming in relatively close to Clinton in New York could get him a big number of delegates from Clinton's very own home-state.

  • And with that we move on to some better news for Clinton, a Tennessee poll that has her leading 43% to Obama's 32% with Edwards at 16%. Tennessee will be a disputed state come Tuesday but this is one contest where Edwards's withdrawal should benefit Clinton. He gets 2% among black voters, among whom Obama leads 60% to 20% but he ties Obama among whites (of which Clinton gets 50%).
  • The most worrisome numbers yet come from California, where a tracking poll conducted on behalf of an anti-gambling campaign (which is polling an initiative that is also on the ballot and including primary questions) shows Obama only 5% behind Clinton (36-31) in a period ending on Sunday. On Sunday alone, Obama is up 3%, but the margin of error of such a small sample is obviously gigantic. The point remains that Obama is tightening the race, but Obama supporters should not get carried away yet: (1) SUSA's survey that I reported yesterday is probably more reliable was taken entirely on Sunday and has Clinton up 11%; (2) California is one of those states Obama could have an early-voting problem, as about a quarter of the electorate has probably already voted and gone for Clinton big. Can Obama really make up for it?
Finally, let's close this poll post with a reminder of why many Democrats would have much rather seen Romney win Florida than McCain. The latest general election numbers come to us from Rasmussen and they have good news for the GOP:

  • John McCain defeats Hillary Clinton 48% to 40% and tops Obama 47% to 41%. That's a reversal from two weeks ago when both Obama and Clinton led McCain, albeit by a small margin.
Keep in mind that McCain has gotten a lot of good press lately with his rivals leaving him unscathed, which accounts for why he appears so strong at the moment. Rasmussen will start a daily tracking poll this week-end pitting McCain against both Democrats, so we will see if McCain's numbers go down a bit as the attention shifts back to the Democratic race.

Update: Add one more state in which Obama is rising fast, and this one is directly due to Kennedy's endorsement. A new Rasmussen poll from Massachusetts has Clinton only leading 43% to 37% in a state in which she used to be much stronger. There is no past Rasmussen poll to compare trendlines.

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11 Comments:

  • Unless McCain flips on his support for the war he's got no chance of maintaining that advantage. The debate tonight has him firmly planted in the 100 year war scenario. 7 out of 10 americans want the war over. The focus of the race is now on the economy and the economy is suffering because of the war. The people aren't going to support all of their money going to Iraq when the chips are down.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 30 January, 2008 22:07  

  • I am not entirely sure anonymous has it right about the 7 out of 10 Americans wanting us out of the war. Isn't that old news? Three, four, five months ago? We all wanted out because we were all depressed about the way it was going. Yeah, the money it costs is definitely a problem, but with the prospect of a good result; i.e. a stabilized Iraq and a stabilized Middle East in which Al Qaeda and Iranian ambitions are neutralized, aren't we all at least a little bit happier about the war drawing down in a more acceptable manner? The Democrats, to a person, decried the surge as a waste of time, money and lives. In their view, it was good time, good money and more lives, after lost money, needlessly squandered with poor results, wasted time on a poorly thought out military adventure that cost both American and innocent Iraqis their lives.

    Now, however, we are seeing that we can snatch a moderate victory from the jaws of a potentially ignominious defeat, by following a plan B that was selected out of desperation by the present leadership in the face of certain defeat after years of mistakes and poor leadership and an unbelievable amount of money spent by a conservative administration.

    And who is the visible champion of this new strategy? Well, General Pretraeus I suppose; but he is just the soldier, right. Bush went with it, but he had no where else to go. Very few want to give him credit anyway, after all the months of failure and a nearly disastrous result.

    So who gets the credit?

    Exactly - John McCain, who risked everything by staying with his support for this strategy in the face of losing big time if it failed and also in the face of almost the entire country that said no, it won't work.

    American's love someone who stands up and says what he or she believes; and when they are proven right at a time in our history when we all wanted so much to have a better result that offered a suitable way to draw down in Iraq without leaving a morass behind us; well, then that person is going to catch our attention. As much as conservatives have been unhappy with him for some of his principled stands, I think those people are also pleased that he was right regarding the “surge” and they will give him credit for standing his ground in the face of all the others that threw a little cut grass in the air to test the direction and the speed of the prevailing winds; people like John Edwards. Conservatives will from time to time acknowledge that they are wrong and they will especially do it when they see another person that has stood against the prevailing winds and said, "No, there is a path to a successful outcome and this is it" and the path turns out to be the right path. Hasn't Henry Kissinger quietly endorsed John McCain?

    Having said all of that, the Democrats will be unfortunate if Obama fails to get the nomination. Bill and Hillary won't be able to beat McCain/Reagan (could we get that?). Barack, however, could change voting patterns by swamping the ballot boxes with new voters and otherwise disaffected former voters. His power to reach the disenfranchised make him a candidate that all open minded voters will be willing to consider and many will passionately support. A vote for Obama could end up being a vote for inclusion, something in which even moderate conservatives can find value. There is an epiphany that one can have about Barack, when one acknowledges that he could truly have a great effect on our country, by extending the ranks of those who feel included and being a force for bring us all together. Yeah, that is dreamy stuff, but Americans also love dreams, and this is a good dream that they will like.

    Who doesn't love the "I have a Dream" speech, by Martin Luther King? Hey, take a look around; we could be there, we are a society that could knit together under Barack’s thoughtful leadership. It’s that optimism that leads the likes of Caroline Kennedy to support Barack. He has a shot at almost everyone’s vote and that could never be said about Hillary. She would be dead in the water with most of us. She's too clever to be trusted. She carefully gauges everything she does. She is a classic politician. At last check, they rate pretty low on our national likes and dislikes list, somewhere with Lawyers, Accountants and Political Spin Doctors (i.e. all of her handlers including Bill). Talk about having passion; does anyone think they are still a few people who would like a peace of Bill? McCain could sell tickets.

    Americans want authentic people as candidates. John McCain is one; Barack Obama is another. May the best man bring us together and choose the other as a member of his cabinet. Wouldn't that be something new?

    By Blogger waynonomous, At 31 January, 2008 03:14  

  • Barack lost his credibility when he lied at a nationally televised debate. He further eroded his support by using rhetoric that foments racial division. Mr. okie-dokie man is a loser. Even if 6 out 10 americans want out, McCain's achille's heel is the war. Where is the gain from the surge? Just because we killed every opposition fighter we could,doesn't mean we're still not creating generations more. This strategy of "fighting islamic fascism" requires hundreds if not thousands of years of slogging,especially if we allow christian jihadists to roam free here. How about we round up these anti-american theocratic subversives that want to shred our constitution and exile them there in some "return to Babylon" settlement program and let them fight it out on cable TV? We could use the Zardoz blimp to airdrop arms and just let out the sane ones that can pass an MRI examination. A new Netherlands if you will. The surge has failed in it's main objective and changing objectives half-way through to somehow invent success may fool the masses but it doesn't pass the smell test. Where's the profit sharing? Where's the democratic rule that this "surge" promised? It's a failure and no amount of perfume can cure this pig. McCain rides it to the dung pit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 31 January, 2008 08:22  

  • Billary will UNITE the REPUBLICANS
    Even the Religious Right will rush eagerly to the polls to defeat this evil candidate

    Billary has already DIVIDED the Democrats with their 'race baiting' of Obama
    That's what got Ted Kennedy to endorse Obama
    Ted bitch slapped Slick Willie into pipping down

    The damage is done, MANY LOYAL DEMOCRATS WILL NOT SUPPORT BILLARY

    Not even if Obama is on the ticket...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 31 January, 2008 13:21  

  • Another rabid Hillary hater. I hate to remind you that Obama was first to play the race card and Ted's endorsement wasn't wanted by Hillary. A little thing called "No child left behind" and a history of womanizing. The problem is that loyal democrats might not vote for Mr. Okie-dokie after he displayed such poor judgement in courting blacks. The Obama folks are more McCain material than democrat. Flipping party because of a personal dislike of a candidate hardly qualifies as loyalty.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 31 January, 2008 17:44  

  • 13:21_You obviously need to look up the meaning of "loyalty" because not supporting the ticket unless you get your guy is certainly not loyal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 01 February, 2008 08:41  

  • Obama’s efforts to connect to the Republican Party, specifically Bush, and Dick Cheney, of the Halliburton Company, dates back to the Presidents Grandfather, Prescott Bush, and indeed Cheney was once an executive officer of Halliburton.

    The American military pounds Iraq with Artillary, bombs, and the like, destroying large sections of cities, and infra-structures, then Halliburton comes in to rebuild. Halliburton and Halliburton associated companies have raked in ten’s of billions.

    Obama is just like the BIG HALIBURTAN. Haliburton has contracted to build detention centers in the U.S. similiar to the one in Quantanammo Bay, Cuba. Halliburton does nothing to earn the Two Dollars for each meal an American Serviceman in Iraq eats.

    http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

    Halliburton was scheduled to take control of the Dubai Ports in The United Arab Emiirate. The deal was canceled when Bush was unable to affect the transfer of the American Ports.

    Now we see what some might suspect as similiar financial escapading from the Democrats.

    Two years ago, Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity gave a $50 million contract to a start-up security company - Companion- owned by now-indicted businessman (TONY REZKO) Tony Rezko and a onetime Chicago cop, Daniel T. Frawley, to train Iraqi power-plant guards in the United States. An Iraqi leadership change left the deal in limbo. Now the company, Companion Security, is working to revive its contract.
    Involved along with Antoin “Tony” Rezco, long time friend and neighbor of Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama, and former cop Daniel T. Frawley, is Aiham Alsammarae. Alsammarae was accused of financial corruption by Iraqi authorities and jailed in Iraq last year before escaping and returning here.

    LIKE FATHER LIKE SON --
    Recently, Obama's campaign staff have been vetted by the IRS to disclose his connection to the criminal money generating underworld. Besides, his connections to the REZCO MAFIA types, his up-coming tax fraud charges — Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and disclose Obama's MUSLIM Farrakhan mob connection to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Its minister, and Obama's spiritual adviser, is the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In 1982, the church launched Trumpet Newsmagazine; Wright's daughters serve as publisher and executive editor. Every year, the magazine makes awards in various categories. Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness." That man is Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church are trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. Obama should stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It’s time to introduce this false, fake Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke "GLORK" Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He is MAD!!! --

    OBAM YOU'RE NO JFK --

    "GLORK" Obama looks like Alfred E. Newman: "Tales Calculated To Drive You." He is a MUSLIM "Glork" He's MAD!!! Alfred E. Neuman is the fictional mascot of Mad. The face had drifted through American pictography for decades before being claimed by Mad editor Harvey Kurtzman after he spotted it on the bulletin board in the office of Ballantine Books editor Bernard Shir-Cliff, later a contributor to various magazines created by Kurtzman.
    Obama needs to disclose why he is a MUSLIM "PATWANG-FWEEE" and stop suppoting our intervention in IRAQ. It’s time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek.

    Michelle Obama should be ashamed.

    "GLORK" Michelle Obama should be ashamed of her separatist-racist connection to Farrakhan and Chicago's Trinity United Church trumpeting Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama as the second coming of the messiah. If Michelle Obama new what her husband -- the Hope-A-Dope, Fonster Monster -- Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama did in Harlem, she would wash her wide-open, Hus-suey loving MUSILM mouth out, with twenty-four (24) mule-team double-cross X-boX-BorraX. He is a MUSLIM "Glork" It’s time to introduce this false, fake "GLORK" Xerox - X box Obama and invite the self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box to meet the Buffalo "GAZOWNT-GAZIKKA" Police Department Buffalo Creek. He's MAD!!!

    http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

    THE SPEECH --

    The Apologia has arrived and once again the self-indicting, separatist-racist Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama, promises to heal the wounds of the world. The speech is the rude awakening of mass messianism of his campaign. Apologetically, Obama the MUSLIM double-cross X-boX-BorraX has an astonishingly empty two-prawn echelon explanation of his misjudgment.
    In the first prawn: with regard to his connection to separatist-racist Rev. Wright; Obama summons voodoo and juju to express slavery as beginning and ending with the Rev. Wright.
    In the second prawn: Obama's speech takes credit for Ashley's dream. A dream of unity Martin Luther King, Jr. borrowed from Ashley for his historic "I Have A Dream" speech. In Obama's speech, the connective bond Ashley, the elderly black man and Obama's grandmother share; represents Obama's self-indicting rise to the Harvard Yard. For Obama, the grand flag of language is the semi-fore of words, bestowed upon our nation by the messiah-alumni from Harvard. Obama's Swoon-Song Apologia to the nation represents a failed hymn -- a hymn that fails to heal the nation, repair the world, or make this time different than all the rest. Obama's speech is a brilliant failure.

    http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

    MUSLIM LIES --

    The ILLIGITIAMTE MUSLIM MESSIA has blundered yet again!!! The self-indicting, separatist-racist Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama, lied about the politics of his campaign. The danger involved with this self-aggrandizing, -a-hoop, Hope-A-Dope, Fonster Monster -- Barack Obama AKA Barack Hussein Obama is that -- "Like Father Like Son" Obama is constantly wanting to impress America with "...his incapacity for sound judgment." On top of the horrible crime Obama committed in Harlem, the fact is, we have to hear it from Karl Rove about Obama's latest campaign crisis: "GLORK" Top Ten Obama Lies:

    1. Obam said his parents met at the Selma march -- Reality: He was born 4 years before that.

    2. Obam said he was a constitutional law professor -- Reality: . . . Obama Made This False Claim In His 2004 Senate Race. “Several direct-mail pieces issued for Obama's primary [Senate] campaign said he was a law professor at the University of Chicago. He is not. He is a senior lecturer (now on leave) at the school..

    3. Obam said he spoke fluent Indonesian as a child -- Reality: . . . Obama has claimed on numerous occasions to have become fluent in Indonesian in six months. Yet another Phi Beta Krakatau lie from Obama. Those who knew him disputed that during recent interviews. Israel la Pareira Darmawan, Obama's 1st-grade teacher, said she attempted to help him learn the Indonesian language by going over pronunciation and vowel sounds. Truth-be-told: Obama's Indonesian teachers say Kaku-Pooh.

    4. Obam said he was involved in community asbestos and housing project for the poor -- Reality: Didn't happen. This was the basis for Barrack and Michelle's claim, that he was a community activist on the South and East Side of Chicago. Usher United Arab Emirates (UAE) A+ lie both he and his twenty-four (24) mule-team, Hus-suey loving wife Michelle Obama have been claiming in the campaign -- Reality: The Chicago Newspaper's, Obelus -- Kiss-A-Cuss:...NO-MAMA.

    5. Obam said in his book that he received his racial awakening at age nine reading a Life/Ebony Magazine story about a black man who was scarred trying to dye his skin white -- Reality: Didn't happen. Both Magazines (Life and Ebony), and the Rev. Wright and Farrakhan MUSLIM Trumpet Newsmagazine say, just didn't happen.

    6. Obam’s Campaign Didn’t Have The “Technical Capacity” To Produce The “1984” Ad:

    Obama: “But it's not something that we had anything to do with or were aware of and that frankly, given what it looks like, we don't have the technical capacity to create something like that.” (CNN’s “Larry King Live,” 3/24/07) -- Reality:...The Creator Admitted All It Took Was A “Sunday Afternoon” On His Mac. Phillip de Vellis: “I made the ad on a Sunday afternoon in my apartment using my personal equipment (a Mac and some software), uploaded it to YouTube, and sent links around to blogs.”

    7. Obam’s Campaign Claimed His High School Friend Tried To Extort Money From Them:

    “According To The Obama Campaign, [Obama’s Punahou Classmate Keith] Kakugawa Explicitly Raised The Possibility That He Could Make Up False Stories About Obama, Implying He Would Do So If The Campaign Did Not Give Him Money.” (Maurice Possley, Kirsten Scharnberg and Ray Gibson, -- Reality: “...An Old Friend's Troublesome Return,” Chicago Tribune, 3/25/07).

    8. Obam voted to bring low-cost foreign labor into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina -- Reality:...This was a slap in the face against the African-Americans who were displaced in that city. Obama also voted to place Michael Chertoff, the man responsible for the Katrina catastrophe, in charge of Homeland Security. Obama voted for Senate-Bills that gave Blackwater the funding they needed to shoot the folks of New Orleans who were only trying to save their own lives. The towel head voted to allow Michael Chertoff to waive all applicable laws, including murder, torture, kidnaping, and he suppoted water-boarding.

    9. Obam voted more than five times for USA-PATRIOT ACT renewal -- Reality:...This is a Senate-Bill patently offensive to most Americans. City after city has passed resolutions condemning USA-PATRIOT ACT. Obama chose to side with tyranny over freedom and Bush over the folks on this issue. The Real ID Act, which would allow Michael Chertoff to declare martial law and imprison Americans, was supported by Obama, as noted above.

    10. Obam is not a MAD MAN. Senator Obama Is not involved along with Antoin “Tony” Rezco, long time friend and neighbor, now-indicted businessman (TONY REZKO), or Tony Rezko and a onetime Chicago cop, Daniel T. Frawley. Senator Obama is not involved in any nuclear security, bribery, money payoffs, or cronyism in the state of Illinois; or criminal activities related to the BIG HALIBURTAN and V.P. Cheney's Halliburton bribery case; or any political misjudgment in his escalating campaign crisis. "GLORK" Senator Obama is not a self-indicting thief plagiarizing pipsqueke Xerox - X box. Obama executed no crime in Harlem. Obama is Not America's Poison -- Reality:...He's Radio-Active.

    http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 31 March, 2008 19:51  

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