In final Super Tuesday polls, California is all over the place

After SUSA's massive wave of polls comforted Clinton supporters earlier today, we knew that the next batch of surveys could only bring some good news to Obama supporters. And Zogby's third and last day of tracking polls confirms that pollsters are very divided in what to expect in the Democratic race. Their Republican results are much more consistent, suggesting that the Democratic primary is still very fluid with many people still making up their mind.

And with that let's review the latest numbers from Zogby, and first off California where two polls show widely different numbers.

  • Zogby shows Obama has stormed to a stunning 13% lead, 49% to 36%. Just yesterday, Obama was up 46% to 40%, so he had some very good single nights Sunday and Monday. Zogby explains that he progressed among Hispanic voters and women, two key Clinton constituencies.
  • Among Republicans, Romney remains stable, leading 40% to 33% for McCain with Huckabee at 12%.

  • That California's polls are all over the place is confirmed by SUSA's second California poll of the day. They supplemented the poll they had this afternoon with numbers from Monday night and found Clinton up 52% to 42%. Clinton's advantage among Latinos is a large 67% to 31%. The key to Clinton's good numbers here lies in the fact that more than a third of the electorate have already voted, and they indicate having chosen Clinton by 17%. Obama will need to have a big day tomorrow to offset that.
  • SUSA shows Romney facing the same problem: SUSA explains that conservatives are now racing to vote Romney (who has tripled his support among conservatives in three weeks) but Romney will have to offset his disadvantage among early voters who are locked in for McCain by 6%. Overall, Romney has pulled into a tie, 39% to 38%. In the poll released this afternoon, Romney was down 39-36.
The second state from which we have more than one poll is New Jersey:

  • First, Zogby has Clinton rising to a slight lead, 46% to 41%, after being stuck in a tie at 43% last night.
  • Rasmussen finds a similar margin in New Jersey, showing Clinton coming in 49% to 43%. Rasmussen's poll is still an improvement for Obama who trailed 49% to 37% a few days ago, suggesting that undecideds are breaking his way.
Zogby's other polls are less surprising and less unexpected, albeit the Missouri numbers are interesting:

  • The Missouri Dem race is in a toss-up, with Obama up 45% to 42%, a slight downturn from yesterday's 5% lead.
  • The Republican Race is perhaps the GOP contest to watch tomorrow given that McCain getting those 58 delegates could be too much for Romney to survive, still looks to be leaning McCain though his lead against Romney has decreased by 5% in two days. Right now, McCain gets 34% to Huckabee's 27% and Romney's 25%.

  • And in polls from unsuspensful races, Zogby has McCain up 53% to 24% in New Jersey; 56% to 20% in New York (it is worth noting that's a 10% improvement for McCain in 2 days). Obama is leading by 20% in Georgia, 49% to 29%. Clinton has to improve her situation a bit to prevent Obama from getting too large a delegate lead out of the state.
On the Republican side, a McCain victory in California, Missouri or Georgia would go a long way towards coronating the Arizona Senator. But the situation will not be clear at all among Democrats. As I will attempt to analyze in more depth in the coming hours, a breakdown of the delegate fight shows that, whatever happens tomorrow, neither Clinton nor Obama will come out with that much more than a 100 delegate lead. And if neither makes such a symbolic coup by winning on the other's turf or sweeping most states, the delegate count could be so close that the race would increasingly look like it might last until August...

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