Morning delivery of South Carolina and Nevada polls

Polls open in 24 hours in Nevada and South Carolina, and we are getting a new batch of polls, starting with the Mason-Dixon survey of Nevada that was leaked last night. I reported that Clinton and Romney were leading, but here are the actual numbers:

  • Among Democrats, Clinton leads 41% to 32% for Obama. Edwards is far behind at 14%. And while it is difficult to poll these caucuses, the trendlines ought to be very instructive: In last month's poll, Clinton led by 8% so Obama has picked up no ground.
  • Some important internals: Clinton leads 50% to 29% among Hispanics, and Obama "only" leads by 7% among union households.
  • Among Republicans, Romney gets 34% to McCain's 19%. Huckabee has 13%, Thompson 8%, Paul 7%. And Giuliani who led the previous Mason-Dixon poll of Nevada, is once again sixth, at 6%! Could Rudy get in behind Paul in both SC and NV tomorrow?
We also have another Nevada poll from Zogby, and it shows a tighter race -- though it agrees that Edwards is far behind:

  • Clinton gets 42% to Obama's 37%, with Edwards at 12%.
  • Clinton leads Obama in Las Vegas (48% to 36%) while Obama leads her in the race of the state (41% to 31%). Here again, Clinton leads among Hispanics 51% to 27%, and Obama crushes her among black voters (81% to 16%) -- remember, this did not use to be the case.
As I have been reminding you for the past few days, these surveys cannot tell us that much since no one knows who will show up tomorrow. With no previous caucuses in Nevada to compare this contest to, it's impossible for pollsters to really know what is going on. And we won't have to wait for long, as we will get results in the middle of the day tomorrow. The Democratic caucuses start at 11am Nevada time and the GOP caucuses at 9am.

Finally, here is the Zogby tracking pollL from South Carolina:

  • McCain gets 29% to Huckabee's 22%, just like yesterday. Romney rises 3 points to 15%, Thompson is at 13%, Paul at 4% and Giuliani collapses to 2%.
  • However, Zogby points out that there is a lot of day-to-day movement. This is a three-day poll, and the Tuesday (pre-Michigan numbers) have McCain up by double-digits. But, says Zogby, "In the single day of polling on Thursday alone, Romney hit 19%, while McCain’s lead over Huckabee stood at only 3.2%. If Romney continues to gain after Michigan it will hurt McCain."
Naturally the one-day numbers are always tricky since they have a large margin of error, and they are a way for Zogby to protect himself if the results are different from what he showed in the poll. But insofar as the trendlines are very much what we would expect post-Michigan, the results are certainly instructive.

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