3.03.2008

In last day of campaigning, Clinton appears to have stopped the bleeding

Polls in Ohio and Texas will open in less than 24 hours in Ohio and Texas (and Rhode Island and Vermont, not that anyone really cares at this point) and after showing a steady movement away from Hillary Clinton over the past two weeks, the latest surveys suggest that Clinton might have stopped the bleeding and perhaps even regained some of the lost ground.

Naturally, not all polls agree -- and whatever bump some of them are registering is very slight, and in no way guarantees that Clinton will have a good day tomorrow. The point here isn't that Clinton is strengthening her position but that her downward spiral in polls might have stopped, at least in Ohio.

  • First, Rasmussen: In Ohio, it shows Clinton up 50% to 44%, an uptick from the previous poll which had her up by 2% only.
  • Similarly in Texas, Obama now has a 1% edge (48% to 47%) but he was up 4% in the previous poll -- and he was gaining ground in every poll.

  • Public Policy Polling shows similar improvement for Clinton: In Texas, Clinton is now leading 50% to 44% -- up from a 48% tie in the previous poll. She does so by remaining very strong among Hispanics (67%) and regaining strength among white voters (58%).
  • In Ohio, PPP shows Clinton up 51% to 42% -- a marked improvement from her previous 50-46 lead.

  • The University of Cincinnati survey shows the same margin in Ohio, with Clinton up 51% to 42%.

  • Next comes SUSA's Ohio poll, which has Clinton leading 54% to 44%, fueled by a 27% lead among women. Clinton is ahead among those who have already voted by 13%. The trendline of the SUSA poll is very interesting: Clinton had a 17% lead, then a 9% lead, then a 6% lead -- and has now reverse this decline.
  • In Texas, SUSA shows Obama up 1 point 49% to 48% -- but just as in Rasmussen's, it is Clinton that has slightly improved, up from a 4% deficit last week. SUSA estimates that half of the electorate has voted early, and puts Clinton up 2% among early voters. She is leading the Hispanic vote with 64%.

  • Quinnipiac shows Clinton up 49% to 45% in Ohio, which is a sharp decline from her 11% lead last week (she was leading by 21% two weeks ago). But the poll was in the field starting on Wednesday, so it is unlikely to register any Clinton stabilization over the past few days. She is enjoying a 32% point gender gap, and is up 32% among white women.

  • Worth noting that the ARG polls that I reported yesterday also had good movement for Clinton, who progressed by 2% in Ohio and 7% in Texas.

  • That leaves us with Zogby, which shows Obama strengthening his positions! He is ahead 47% to 44% in Texas, and Zogby tells us to look at East Texas tomorrow.
  • In Ohio, Zogby shows Obama taking the lead for the first time, 47% to 45%. I believe this might be the first survey by any polling group to show Obama ahead.
If Clinton confirms tomorrow that she has stabilized herself and manages to win comfortably in Ohio and get a victory in Texas, Obama will have lost a huge opportunity to put an end to the Democratic contest. He would still remain the overwhelming favorite to win the nomination given how difficult the math of a Clinton comeback looks, but the next context in which Obama would have an opportunity to get Clinton out of the race is... Pennsylvania, on April 22nd. And let's not forget that he might be in for expensive and grueling races in Florida and Michigan if the DNC agrees to do-overs.

One last poll on this Monday morning, as Rasmussen released a survey for New Jersey's general election:

  • Obama loses against McCain, 45% to 43%, while Hillary crushes him 50% to 39%.
This gets us back to the old pattern of Clinton doing significantly better than her rival in the Northeast, with McCain waging strong contests in these must-win states for Democrats. She also used to poll much better in Southern states but Obama put an end to that pattern in the past few weeks.

Update: Here's one more poll bringing good news to Clinton, as she is up 52% to 40% in the Suffolk poll from Ohio.

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20 Comments:

  • I don't put a lot of stock in weekend polls. That being said, I have sensed a palpable shift toward Hillary in the past 24-48 hours in Texas.

    I wouldn't be surprised if she pulled out popular vote victories in TX and OH.

    Buckle up . . . this ride isn't over yet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 13:31  

  • So what if she wins both TX and OH by 5 points... That will translate to a gain of less than 10 delegates -- he will still be up by 90-100 delegates. The likely result will be that they will split TX and OH.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 13:39  

  • All within the margin of error.. Polls of 4-5 hundred responses mean nothing. Do not forget the youth vote. They only use cell phones and are not often called (smile)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 13:56  

  • Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war while Obama opposed it. We should not reward someone who made a costly and bad judgement call with the presidency. If someone makes a mistake on my job they get repremanded, they dont get a raise. Hillary Clinton represents gutter, devisive politics and I dont have the stomach for it. If she snakes the nomination MILLIONS will be oh so disappointed. I too noticed the trend over the weekend. Obama has gotten a lot of bad press. I hope the voters can see through these last minute smear politics and vote Obama..PLEASE..he is our best chance against McCain.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 14:17  

  • The poll that started all of this came out of Ohio. 85% of the respondents were over 50 and less than 15% were under 40. It was also done via snail mail. How many of you under forty use snail mail.

    Is this Obama's New Hampshire?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 14:32  

  • "Anonymous said...
    So what if she wins both TX and OH by 5 points... That will translate to a gain of less than 10 delegates"

    Point well taken, but, if she wind both TX and OH, then is PA, and she shoud do as well there as in the other big states. all she need to do is to make up 35 to 40 delegates before the June 7 primary in Puerto Rico....winner takes all...the clinton name is magic there, and there 63 delegates on the line!!! Think about that!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 14:46  

  • Early voting which helped Clinton in California may be what saves Obama's neck in Texas. I suspect he will still do better in the caucus portion. But that may be the difference between winning and losing tomorrow. My best guess is Clinton is about 5 points better than Obama in Ohio. Even if Clinton wins both TX and OH tomorrow she would need almost every break to go her way to secure the nomination. Clinton has little margin for error at this point. She could win both OH and TX and it is still hard to see how she gets the nomination.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 15:00  

  • And I don't know how this idea got circulating that Puerto Rico is winner take all. IIRC, winner take all has been banned in the Democratic Party since 1976. According to the Green Papers, Puerto Rico is not a primary--it is a caucus, with delegates allocated proportionally by senatorial district. Puerto Rico may be more open to manipulation than caucuses in the fifty states, but it is unlikely either candidate will be shut out (especially Obama with the governor having endorsed him).

    Of course, Puerto Rico aside, the party's problem is that if Hillary Clinton does make a 'comeback' tomorrow, the BEST-CASE scenario for her is that she pull even or come close to it when the primaries end. That is a nightmare scenario for the party (though heaven-on-earth for the political reporters and pundits) especially considering the level of hostility already generated between Clinton and Obama and especially their supporters, which can only increase the longer the race goes on.

    The last thing the superdelegates are going to want to see is a situation such as this, where THEY would have to choose between the two. Such a situation happened in 1984 when the superdelegates basically chose Mondale. The Hart people went away fuming and most sat on their hands. Didn't matter then--Reagan was going to win no matter what the losing Democrat's supporters did or didn't do.

    Quite a different situation now, one in which the superdelegates may almost frantically be seeking a way out. Some may want to find one by bringing in a third person (which of course they can legally do). Of course, there's really only one they could realistically turn to...you know who I'm talking about...rhymes with Sal Bore...

    By OpenID sjberke, At 03 March, 2008 15:19  

  • The Clinton Campaign is Paying Black Sign Holders in Texas:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/3/2/201352/0048/265/467565

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 15:27  

  • Well, if Daily Kos says it's true, it must be gospel, right? And I'm a reader. And Obama pays no one because everyone everywhere wants to hold his signs for free, right/

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 15:52  

  • Most of the states left to vote after March 4th will give Obama a net gain - such as Indiana, North Carolina and Mississippi. So even if Clinton wins OH, TX and PA by 5-10% she will not close the pledged delegate gap.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 16:06  

  • Sorry SJberke, but Puerto Rico is the one and only winner takes all primary/caucus/convention in the democratic firmament. There is not an actual prohibition of winner takes all events in the democratic nomination process. The DNC has established the rules, and the rules are revised every four years by the credentials committee. Problem is that I don’t think anybody know with certainty what will take place in PR. The democrats use to hold primaries there, but it became to expensive, so they shifted to a convention. Puerto Rico has never held caucuses in their history. The one thing I can tell you is that is a winner takes all event. By the way, the Green Papers is baloney. On this one they have no idea what is it they are talking about!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 16:57  

  • Puerto Rico is not winner-take-all.

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/02/will_puerto_rico_decide_everyt.html

    Fact Checker has already debunked this.

    By Blogger Inkstain, At 03 March, 2008 17:08  

  • Polls don't mean anything. The YOUTH and REPUBLICAN VOTING FOR OBAMA in Texas will lead to easy victory. Lots of people hate phony Hillary on both sides of the aisle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 17:25  

  • Obama will win North Carolina by the widest margin remaining in the race and that's for over 100 delegates.

    The race is over unless the Clinton's steal delegates or cheat caucus voters in Tx.

    By Anonymous Eric, At 03 March, 2008 18:09  

  • Pundits always seem to ignore North Carolina. It is the second biggest number of delegates after PA left post March 4th.
    It is the tenth biggest state in the union and is Democratic at the state level (16 years of Democratic governors, a Democrat house and senate). Bush won 56-44 - and with its increasingly professional and progressive citizens (same happening in Virginia) the Democrats have a shot if not in 2008 then in 2012 and onwards.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 19:15  

  • the potential monkey in the wrench is the predicted ice storm in Ohio tomorrow...this could have a significant effect on voter turnout, especially late voters...electrical problems could become a factor with voting machines and road conditions may prohibit most from even making it to the polls before closing...we may end up seeing an extension of the poll closing time as with the Maryland...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 19:49  

  • GAME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Senator Clinton isn't going anywhere except to the White House!!!!!!!

    She wins where it's necessary for the Dems and is more competitive with McCain than Obama in swing states.

    Winning undemocratic caucases in RED STATES are admirable but not enough to win the White House. I want the Dems to take back the White House and the only way to do that is with Sen Clinton.

    In addition, Obama has baggage of his own that is being blogged about non-stop on news sites....Rezco, NAFTA, Larry Sinclair, Unpatriotic, Muslim ect. Whether these allegations are true or not (which I believe some of them are not), he is still being hurt by them.

    These are the FACTS, and Obama supporters can spin it anyway they want.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 05 March, 2008 02:19  

  • Clinton has more baggage than Obama so the GOP is looking forward to her running.

    Obama does well in swing states - unless you don`t count Virginia and Missouri as swing states - and they were primaries so none of this "caucuses are unfair" crap.

    If red states are not worth winning I assume Clinton isn`t that happy with winning (barely) Texas!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 05 March, 2008 13:14  

  • Clinton has more baggage than Obama so the GOP is looking forward to her running.

    Obama does well in swing states - unless you don`t count Virginia and Missouri as swing states - and they were primaries so none of this "caucuses are unfair" crap.

    If red states are not worth winning I assume Clinton isn`t that happy with winning (barely) Texas!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 05 March, 2008 13:14  

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