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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Tsunday Tsunami?

Appropo of yesterday's poll discussion, here's the latest Gallup tracking poll, which has Obama closing the gap nationally to from 7 points to 2 points, 46-44%. Given margins of error, we're probably still somewhere in between, and some other polls have given HRC a bigger edge (Pew, Rasmussen). But USA Today has it at 1 point, ABC-WaPo puts it at 4, and Zogby has Obama taking a 4 point lead in California. Maybe the Teddy and Oprah show is working--or maybe it's just the oddity of Zogby polling, which can be very good or very bad.

My hope is that the Hillary weekend "surge" was the old problem of Friday night data: since Obama voters are much younger and cooler than HRC's, they're less likely to be at home chatting with the pollsters. There's also the problem of poll screens. Since Obama's voters are often first-timers, they may not make it through the "likely voter" questions. In the last couple of presidential races, "registered voters" has been a better guide than "likely voters." But I don't know that we have very specific information on methodology here. So it's hard for me to judge. Plus, since I'm an interested party, I may just be looking for what I want to see.

Here in Tennessee, I saw a lot of Obama ads two weeks ago, then a lull, and over the last week lots and lots of Hillary and only the scattered Obama ad. I wonder if, despite his prolific fundraising, he's holding back some cash from this week's races. FWIW, his ads are amazing and hers only OK, I think. She's good when she speaks to the camera, but the plunging parachutist is just a little too conceptual for my tastes. I also got a bland HRC robocall yesterday, but nothing from O-town. Other reactions?


At 3:47 PM, Blogger Frances said...

I wonder what the campaigns' internal polling tells them. But I get the sense that Obama isn't that optimistic about Tennessee. No trips there. I heard that there might be a Memphis rally before Super Tuesday, but nothing has been scheduled as far as I can tell.

Lots of good looking polls out today, though. Huge 2-1 lead for Obama in Utah. There's notable tightening everywhere, even in HRC strongholds.

But Clinton is still mostly ahead, even if by only a few points. And she could still sweep on 2/5, which would generate a lot of momentum for her.

Obama needs to win some states. This may be why he was campaigning in Delaware, Idaho, Utah, etc. Each of those would get his face flashed up on the tv on primary night. Even if these little states are not worth many delegates, there will still be talk about how many states each candidate won.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Yeah, that's got to be part of the calculation. It does worry me that Obama has spent less time in CA so that he could go to Idaho, Minnesota, etc. That suggests they're looking for an alternative to winning the big contests. Worse, I don't know that he'll get enough good spin just for picking off the low-hanging fruit of low delegate states.

It has always seemed to me that the spin war will be won or lost on the biggest states, and HRC seems to have put more effort there. To stay competitive, I suspect Obama needs enough big states to look like a real contender. If HRC takes NY, NJ, and CA (media meccas all), that may make her look like the sure thing no matter how many delegates or total states Obama wins. Winning homestate IL won't be enough. Luckily, polls have been tightening in both CA and apparently NJ (!), so he may still have a good shot at splitting the top races. And his lead in GA (a solid second tier state) is looking stronger and stronger.

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Frances said...

In terms of momentum, I don't think NY will do much for Clinton, just as IL won't do much for Obama. (If she underperforms in NY, that will bring her in for a lot of criticism.) In terms of delegates, it looks like Obama will get a larger % of IL delegates than HRC will of NY delegates. Between the two states, we may have a wash.

So as for the big states, that really just leaves CA, NJ, GA and (to a lesser extent) MA, MO, MN, and TN. And, of course you're right: California is the big prize. Nothing compares with California.

Considering the CA stakes, it's amazing that both HRC and Obama are elsewhere this weekend. Oprah & Michelle Obama were campaigning in CA for him today. And Bill Clinton was campaigning for HRC, doing his mea culpas around the black churches and holding a series of LA area rallies. Does the big dog trump Oprah? Hmmmmm. Not sure.


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