Clinton stays afloat in March 4th polls

Four new polls this morning from three states voting on March 4th show Clinton can still entertain hope of surviving March 4th:

  • Quinnipiac polled Ohio and found Clinton ahead 51% to 40%, on the strength of a 17% lead among women. Quinnipiac's previous poll had Clinton up 21%, so her lead has been cut in half in a week -- but it is still looking solid.

  • The University of Cincinnati poll has Clinton up as well in Ohio, 47% to 39%.

  • In Rhode Island, Rasmussen shows Clinton ahead 53% to 38%. In what looks like an outlier internal, she leads by more among men than women.

  • Meanwhile, Obama crushes her among in Vermont, 57% to 33%.
The ARG polls of Rhode Island and Vermont posted almost exactly the same numbers: A healthy Clinton lead in the former and an Obama rout in the latter. In fact, it is remarkable how consistent March 4th polls have been, especially compared to the Super Tuesday surveys which were all over the place.

The big prize among these three states, of course, is Ohio, where Clinton absolutely has to win. In fact, the early conventional wisdom that Ohio would be the true swing March 4th swing state has been reversed with Clinton looking to be in much more trouble down in Texas. (If Clinton keeps her lead in those two states, you can credit SNL's Tina Fey and her Saturday call for Ohio and Texas to "come on board.") But in Ohio at least, she still looks strong. Obama's catching up by 10% in the Quinnipiac poll mostly comes from college-educated voters (a 30% swing) with Clinton staying strong in other constituencies -- and unless Obama makes major inroads there as well (as he did in Wisconsin and Virginia), Clinton will stay on top in the Buckeye state. Another internal numbers that is holding consistently in Ohio polls: Clinton is typically viewed more favorably than Obama is among primary voters (76% to 64% in the Quinnipiac survey), and that is not something we have seen in many other states.

There is no new poll from Texas, which is emerging as the key state to watch for and that could determine Clinton's post March 4th state. Rasmussen advertises a new Texas poll they will release later today, however, so we should get some new numbers from the Lone Star State soon.

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