Sunday polls: Ohio and Texas are too close too call

A new series of poll confirms that both Ohio and Texas are too close to call at this point. That is in and of itself a huge victory for Barack Obama, as it seems guaranteed that, even if Clinton wins both states, she will not do so by significant margins and fail to cut into Obama's delegate lead. And given how dire her delegate situation is, that could mark the end of her campaign. In other words, Ohio and Texas are both too close to call when we ask who will win them, but the Illinois Senator is at least 8-10% above where he has to be.

Zogby, MSNBC/McClatchy and ARG all released two polls, with sensibly similar results

  • In Ohio, MSNBC shows Clinton ahead 47% to 43%. The pollster adds that the NAFTA issue does not seem to be helping either candidate.
  • Zogby's tracking poll shows the slightest of upticks for the New York Senator, who edges out Obama 47% to 46% after the two were tied at 45% yesterday.
  • Finally, ARG also shows a slight improvement for Clinton, who is up 51% to 44% (she was up 5% two days ago).

  • In Texas, MSNBC shows Obama edging out Clinton 46% to 45%. Hispanics are voting for Clinton 2:1 and black voters are going for Obama 86% to 6%. It looks like the proportion of each group in the final electorate will be decisive in deciding who comes out with the win.
  • ARG shows very good movement for Clinton in this state, as she closes a 7% gap to tie Obama at 47%. They have been a couple of polls in recent days showing slight Clinton movement in Texas.
  • Zogby was one of them yesterday, but now rolls back Clinton's progress, as she is back down 4%, 47% to 43%.
Considering that the Texas primary will be followed by caucuses -- which appear to have never been called at all -- we might be in for a long night in Texas.

Update: Well, just when polls were looking like they were in agreement, the Columbus Dispatch has released a poll with Clinton up 56% to 42%, the kind of margin she had 10 days ago. Now polls are not disagreeing over who will win Tuesday states but also about whether she can win this big! However, there are two huge caveats: (1) The Columbus-Dispatch poll is (in)famously a mail-in poll, in which readers have to return slips, a methodology often criticized. (2) The responses came in from February 21 to February 29th... a very large time window at a tie where Obama was making major inroads and cutting into Clinton's lead.

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  • Well, it's going to come down to undecideds and how they break to determine who actually wins the vote percentage in Texas and Ohio. Overall, that's a win for Obama since Hillary had double digit leads in both states, and she needs larger than small single digit wins to get delgates to cut into the Obama delegate lead.

    If he gets a plurality in Texas and more delgates, combined with a Vermonth blow-out, a tight one in Ohio and Rhode Island to a single-digit loss, she has to bow out. If she can win Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island by double digits, she has the ammunition to possibly continue, even though Obama remarkably closed large double digit leads in both states.

    By Blogger KELL, At 02 March, 2008 14:02  

  • I do give credit to Hillary on SNL though, that was some funny stuff. She looked relaxed, confident, and played to the skit well - especially when she said the election was going very, very well - "why did you hear it wasn't?" Props to her appearance.

    By Blogger KELL, At 02 March, 2008 14:04  

  • If the Columbus Dispatch is a mail-in poll, it's methodology is not merely "criticized," it's useless. Any statistician knows you can't use a self-selected sample.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 02 March, 2008 14:42  

  • The Dispatch's website admits that the poll relies on a questionable algorithm, i.e., one that resembles the turnout in a typical, noncompetitive Democratic primary. That means relatively few blacks, independents, or young people.

    By Anonymous angel eyes, At 02 March, 2008 15:11  

  • Surely the Clinton team is doing the math over and over again.

    If Obama wins TX, and I am pretty sure he will, he will also win the caucuses. TX has less delegates than OH but Obama can win a larger plurality here than Clinton can win in Ohio.

    It looks like Clinton is up in Ohio, a state that has real affection for Bill Clinton, but a double digit lead is out of the question and most likely the two will split those 140 plus delegates right down the middle.

    Obama will landslide VT with GA-like margins and who knows what little RI is doing. Surely Obama would not have taken time out from Ohio had his internals not told him something we don't know yet.

    Facit: it's end-game for Clinton. She will not gain even one delegate against Obama on Tuesday, will most likely fall about 10-15 delegates farther behind.

    I am not writing this as Hill-hater. I was a fan until 3 weeks ago. But statistically, Obama will get the lock on the nomination and with those really high DEM registrations around the country, he has the best chances to make history in November.

    I suspect that Hillary pulls out on March 5th.

    By Blogger Mark, At 02 March, 2008 15:46  

  • I correct myself: TX has more delegates than Ohio, but only 126 in the primary, another 60 plus in the caucuses. I think Obama will take between 110-120 of those 190 delegates.

    By Blogger Mark, At 02 March, 2008 15:51  

  • What a doom & gloom Hillary-hater crowd on this site. I like it though....It shows positive movement in her direction. Let's wait until Tues night.

    In addition to the polls.....which in a sense are biased in favor of THEIR candidate...you better look at the mood in this country over the past week in favor of Hillary Clinton.

    Obama has scandals, Superdelegates being threatened, and his advisor lying about NAFTA. We are beginning to hear from voters around the country who voted for Sen. Obama and are now having “buyers’ remorse” and if they only were able to vote again would vote for Senator Clinton!

    And Mark...I don't believe you were EVER a Clinton supporter.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 02 March, 2008 15:57  

  • People having buyers remorse!! I thought Obama was leading nationally - a fairly recent event and that would imply the earlier states (like MA and CA) moving in Obama's direction if they could vote now and not early February.
    Tuesday is not that far away but we should remember that Clinton's campaign said just a few weeks ago Clinton needed to win TX and OH big (i.e 8%+). Lets not have the expectations change midway through.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 02 March, 2008 16:46  

  • Tralhead Article:

    A Number You Probably Haven't Seen:

    It’s well-known that Barack Obama’s success has depended largely on independent and Republican voters. The corollary to that, however, has been less thoroughly reported: Obama is losing among Democrats.

    Over at the Perfect World, Cal Lanier crunches the numbers and finds that Obama, despite being ahead among pledged delegates, has fewer total votes among people who identify themselves as Democrats. (He has 7,392,809 votes; Clinton has 8,229,063.) That gives Clinton as lead with 52% of Democrats.

    Lanier also breaks the numbers down by race and points out that Obama has won white Democrats in only two states: New Mexico and Illinois. It helps you understand why the party gives so much power to its 796 superdelegates. If they didn’t, independents and Republicans could essentially hijack their election.

    Even if Obama leads in the popular vote and among pledged delegates, it might disturb party gray beards to learn that the nominee has essentially been chosen by outsiders.

    Published Thursday, February 28, 2008 6:34 PM by Christopher Beam

    Anyone wanting to come over to Hillary’s fired up camp…we would love to have you! Right now this country needs Hillary’s Comprehension not Obama’s Charisma! Go Hillary 2008 & 2012! God bless all the newcomers to Hillary’s campaign!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 02 March, 2008 17:05  

  • Even if the numbers quoted above are accurate - Hillary leading 52 - 48 in Democrats is hardly a ringing endorsement of her (or her Husband) against the newcomer Obama. As Penn likes to say there are still many states still to vote and I am sure Obama will get the majority of Democrats in most of those states. The General Election relies on independents coming to vote Democrat. Karl Rove didn't believe independents matter and focussed on the base - 2006 mid terms were his comeuppance for that incorrect view.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 02 March, 2008 17:09  

  • One thing I forgot to ask - were the 52-48% figures including Florida and Michigan. If so then they are totally bogus since Obama was not on the ballot in Michigan and didn't campaign in Florida. If the past two months have shown only one thing it is that Clinton usually starts with a 20+% lead and Obama campaigning usually gets it down to either low single digits or an Obama victory (VA, MD, WI etc).

    By Anonymous Guy, At 02 March, 2008 17:23  

  • He was ignorant to have taken his name off of the ballot in MI & he DID campaign in FL via TV ads..... check your facts.

    When FL & MI delegates come in.....which the FL Republican Govenor as of today is advocating....these numbers will rise!!!!!!!

    Again, anyone wanting to come over to Hillary’s fired up camp…we would love to have you! Right now this country needs Hillary’s Comprehension not Obama’s Charisma!

    Go Hillary 2008 & 2012! God bless all the newcomers to Hillary’s campaign!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 02 March, 2008 20:08  

  • He pulled his name of the Michigan ballot (along with Edwards) because MI and FL broke the rules - of course playing by the rules is not a Clinton (Bill or Hillary) strong suit. If being fair minded is ignorant then so be it - play like Karl Rove. Hardly a surprise that the FL governor is advocating seating the delegates. It makes no difference as he is biased due to being the FL governor. FL knew the rules and deserved what they got.

    He did not campaign in FL - the TV ads were on a national cable show - not exactly reaching millions of Floridians. If the primary was held now he would not lose by 15% as in January. You know full well that where ever he campaigns Clinton's initial lead drops -
    TX she was up 20+% in early February - now a tie
    Ohio she was up 20+% and now she is ahead in the low single digits
    Wisconsin - she was ahead 20% and lost by 17%.

    All of these states were "Clinton" states with high numbers of blue collar and/or Latino voters and yet she either lost or is having a hard time.

    Try not to be so biased in your support and accept facts!

    By Anonymous Guy, At 02 March, 2008 21:00  

  • Obama would ONLY win in FL in a redo due to Republican crossovers. He CAN't win in a closed primary with ONLY Dems!

    He is a closeted Republican light....he took his name off of the ballot in MI now he has to live with it!

    He DID campaign in FL regardless of his campaign's lame excuse. That's why he is silent on the FL delegates being seated.

    Good night...see u on Tues!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 02 March, 2008 22:04  

  • Florida is a closed primary; not even independents could vote in the Democrat's primary. And I find it odd that a Republican would be advocating a "do-over." He endorsed McCain, and would probably prefer to see Clinton on the ticket in the Fall, to help ensure McCain's victory.

    By Anonymous david, tallahassee fl, At 03 March, 2008 05:44  

  • Anonymous never seems to answer the facts I mention.
    I wonder how you can say Obama is republican light when he has been ranked consistently as more liberal in the senate than Clinton.

    You believe actions speak louder than words (one of Clinton's many lines in her jumbled campaign) - so actions in the senate lead to this ranking. Also remember Bill Clintons admininstration (for which Hillary claims 8 years experience) triangulated between Democrats and Republicans and passed Defence of Marriage act, NAFTA and Welfare reform - talk about Republican light!!

    Tuesday night will be interesting - Clinton was in double digit leads in OH and TX as recently as 2-3 weeks ago. So anything less would be a defeat for her in her heartland of poor white and Latino's.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 03 March, 2008 08:01  

  • Anonymous - I don't mind if FL's results from the 29th January were included. Obama would still have over a 100 pledged delegate lead and still be ahead in the popular vote. So you raise a none issue.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 03 March, 2008 08:03  

  • Rezco.......does that ring a bell. Delegates don't matter when you associate yourself with slum lords. We will see how many Superdelegates flock to Hillary due to Obama's participation in the Rezco trial...face the facts Obama supporters above.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 03 March, 2008 14:54  

  • For ever Rezko there is a selling the Lincoln bedroom, a Vince Foster, a Monica etc.
    I do not think the Clinton's are in any position to lecture Obama (or anyone else) on ethics. The "I" word has been very quiet - IMPEACHMENT.

    By Anonymous Guy, At 03 March, 2008 16:07  

  • 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 02:20  

  • 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 13:15  

  • Dear anonymous: Oh yes, I was a big supporter of Clinton and am still a fan of hers. But statistically, I think she has the harder row to hoe as Obama.

    By Blogger Mark, At 18 March, 2008 08:53  

  • "He was ignorant to have taken his name off of the ballot "

    No, he played by the rules. She did not.


    By Blogger Mark, At 18 March, 2008 08:54  

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