2.17.2008

Sunday polls: Wisconsin and Texas remain tight and Obama takes a lead in general election polls

Hillary Clinton just got some good news in the form of two primary polls:

  • A new poll from Wisconsin shows her with a 49% to 43% lead. There is a huge disparity between the 62% of registered Democrats who favor Clinton by 26% and the 38% of independents who favor Obama by 25%.
  • Meanwhile, the latest poll from Texas, released last night by Insider Advantage shows a 48% to 41% lead for Hillary Clinton. No internals are provided besides the general statement that Barack Obama leads among black voters and Clinton among Latinos.
(1) The Wisconsin poll should not alarm Obama supporters too much, however. The previous ARG poll (released a week ago) had Clinton up 9%, and it was the only survey showing her ahead. If anything, the trendlines (always a very important measure, since it measures momentum within a pollster's stable methodology) is favoring the Illinois Senator.

(2) In Texas, the race is also obviously tight, even more so when you consider that Clinton will have to beat her rival by a healthy margin to get any sort of delegate lead. As I explained on Friday, the Texas system will boost Obama's delegate share both because a third of delegates will be attributed through a caucus and because most of Clinton's strongholds are 4 delegate districts, meaning that the split will be 2-2 unless Clinton gets 62% of the vote.

It will be a very interesting dynamic to see whether the Clinton campaign can spin a victory in votes but no in delegates better than it did in the Nevada caucuses. Considering that the race is now a delegate fight and that Clinton has to make up her deficit (which stands at 127 according to Campaign Diaries's latest count, the failure to cut that margin in Texas could be dramatic. But it could also provide an opportunity for Clinton to make an argument against looking at the delegate count, perhaps providing cover to some superdelegates who are wavering.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen released two state general election polls, and confirms that the polling group is now consistently showing Obama running much better than Clinton in most states that are being polled, as well as in the national numbers where the disparity between their numbers when paired up with McCain keeps growing. In fact, McCain is improving his position in the daily national tracking against both Democrats. That suggests that the treatment McCain is getting right now (as the newly presumptive nominee) is strengthening him for the general, and that only Obama's press is able to match McCain's at present:

  • First, Rasmussen released a Pennsylvania poll, an all-important battleground, that shows Obama leading McCain 49% to 39% with McCain leading Clinton 44% to 42%.
  • In Oregon, Obama trounces McCain 49% to 40%, but the Republican edges Clinton 45% to 42%.
Oregon has been one of the states -- with Washington and Colorado -- where Obama has looked consistently more electable than Hillary has. The Pennsylvania numbers contradict the Quinnipiac poll released a few days ago that shows Clinton running 5 points ahead of Obama when paired up against McCain.

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3 Comments:

  • Hey Taniel, just thought I'd mention this -- I found your web site three or four months ago, and I've become an addict! Your reviews and analyses of the election cycle are as good as or better than what I find on the major news networks, without all the BS that the networks inject into their reporting. I really appreciate having such a reliable source for political news -- reading campaigndiaries.com has become almost a daily ritual for me. Good work!

    By Anonymous scott, At 17 February, 2008 19:25  

  • I agree with Scott - this is a fantastic website and much better than any network news channel. Interesting to see how well Obama does in OR compared to Clinton. OR is a must win state for the Democrtats - they have 6 weakly held states (PA, MI, OR, WA, WI, MN) they must hold and then go and win 20 EV's more (OH, or VA/CO or FL)to win the GE. Obama does seem the best bet for the GE.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 18 February, 2008 09:42  

  • I agree with Scott - this is a fantastic website and much better than any network news channel. Interesting to see how well Obama does in OR compared to Clinton. OR is a must win state for the Democrtats - they have 6 weakly held states (PA, MI, OR, WA, WI, MN) they must hold and then go and win 20 EV's more (OH, or VA/CO or FL)to win the GE. Obama does seem the best bet for the GE.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 18 February, 2008 09:42  

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