2.28.2008

Obama outraises Clinton in February, continues posting strong poll numbers

News came yesterday that Obama was massively outspending Clinton in the March 4th state, which accounts for why it is now basically impossible for Clinton to get what she needs next Tuesday. Massive outspending does not necessarily win an election, but it certainly is enough to prevent a blow-out defeat, i.e. it prevents Clinton from achieving what she needs.

Now, the campaigns are releasing their February fundraising information: Clinton is announcing that she has raised around $35 million. Obama has not released definite numbers yet, but his campaign is indicating they have raised "considerably more" than $35 million. Estimations over the past few days have put Obama's fundraising somewhere around $60 million, which means about $2 million raised every day. Both candidates are raising much more money than they did in January (when Clinton had come out with $13 million).

But this does not explain why Clinton is being outspent so massively. She might have raised much less than her rival, but $35 million is not a low number by any means (it means more than $1 million a day, pretty much where Obama was in January). It is more than enough to get Clinton out of financial trouble, prove that she is financially viable -- and to allow her to blanket Ohio and Texas with advertisements and match whatever Obama spends. After all, there is so much that the Illinois Senator can spend without saturating the airwaves. So where are those $35 million going?

The situation is dire for Clinton in most polls that are now being released:

  • The Texas Rasmussen poll out today shows Obama leading 48% to 44% -- the first time he has taken the lead in this state in Rasmussen.

  • A People Calling People poll has Obama leading 40% to 33% -- a very high number of undecideds -- though Clinton is narrowly up among early voters (a statistic that is confirmed by the SUSA poll, and that could prove an interesting development given that it helped Clinton in California).

  • Finally, the Belo poll has Clinton maintaining the tiniest of leads, 46% to 45% -- but the trendlines are in Obama's favor, as Clinton was leading by 3% yesterday.

  • The Pennsylvania Rasmussen poll points an equally dramatic number, as Clinton is leading by only 4% -- 46% to 42%. PA doesn't vote until April 22nd (and if the OH and TX numbers hold for the next 6 days, Pennsylvanians won't really get to weigh in), but her drop there exemplifies the drop she has experienced nationally -- and speaks of her difficulties in neighboring Ohio.
As I explained yesterday, the big March 4th question was not whether Clinton would win and hold serve. Obama took a huge delegate lead in the February elections, forcing her to score big in Ohio and Texas. Now, we are looking at Texas polls showing her a little bit down or a little bit up, as if the interesting question is whether she will win the Lone Star State. All these polls show Clinton way under the true threshold she has to cross. When the question becomes whether she is going to win Ohio and Texas at all, it becomes hard to imagine how she will storm back to significant victories.

Update: Hope for Clinton? A new Insider Advantage poll shows a 5 point swing in her favor, as she now leads 47% to 43% in a poll conducted yesterday night, versus a 1% deficit in the Monday night poll. The pollster does insist that hte internals are pointing out towards a shift in momentum, and to the Latino vote solidifying Clinton's way. This is not confirmed by other polls, but yet again this is the most recently conducted survey.

But as I said above, this gives Clinton supporters hope that their candidate might win the state, not that she might win it big. And that is the key metric out of March 4th.

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