Clinton Holds Seven Point Lead, With Obama Picking Up More Support

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The last few days I’ve been watching the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll as Obama has narrowed the gap. Today we see what I had feared would happen with Clinton showing receiving a bump from Edwards leaving the race in the first three day tracking poll completed after Edwards left. Obama remains well ahead of where he was a week ago, but it is disappointing that this is the first day in over a week that he has not moved up at all.

These polls only offer a rough predictor of how things will go on Super Tuesday. All the caveats I discussed yesterday continue to apply. With only a short time until Super Tuesday it remains unclear whether Obama can pass Clinton by then, but he is certainly in striking range. He continues to show signs of receiving new support. The endorsement from La Opinion might help overcome Clinton’s advantage among Latino voters. For the first time since 1972 The Los Angeles Times has endorsed a presidential candidate, supporting Obama:

The U.S. senator from Illinois distinguishes himself as an inspiring leader who cuts through typical internecine campaign bickering and appeals to Americans long weary of divisive and destructive politics. He electrifies young voters, not because he is young but because he embodies the desire to move to the next chapter of the American story. He brings with him deep knowledge of foreign relations and of this nation’s particular struggles with identity and opportunity. His flair for expression, both in print and on the stump, too easily leads observers to forget that Obama is a man not just of style but of substance. He’s a thoughtful student of the Constitution and an experienced lawmaker in his home state and, for the last three years, in the Senate.

The editorial looks at Clinton’s experience but notes that, “experience has value only if it is accompanied by courage and leads to judgment.” Her support for the Iraq war represents an example of Clinton’s lack of judgment:

Nowhere was that judgment more needed than in 2003, when Congress was called upon to accept or reject the disastrous Iraq invasion. Clinton faced a test and failed, joining the stampede as Congress voted to authorize war. At last week’s debate and in previous such sessions, Clinton blamed Bush for abusing the authority she helped to give him, and she has made much of the fact that Obama was not yet in the Senate and didn’t face the same test. But Obama was in public life, saw the danger of the invasion and the consequences of occupation, and he said so. He was right.

There remains a few more days for arguments such as this to bring more voters over to Obama’s side. It does not look like either candidate will be able to win by enough to settle the nomination on Super Tuesday, and the calendar does favor Obama for the remainder of February if he can remain close to Clinton on Tuesday.

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6 Comments

  1. 1
    Luv says:

    Some of these polls are only of DEMOCRATIC voters. They don’t count independents and moderate Republicans, two blocks Obama has a lock on.

    And I higly doubt new voters are being counted either. Considering how far Obama used to be down nationally, the Clintons must be sweating bullets.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, one of the problems I’ve previously mentioned which limit the use of polls to predict primaries is that the polls don’t necessarily pick up the same people who actually vote in the primary.

    I’d feel better if Obama had continued to close in on Clinton today, but the overall trend is still in his favor. If he went into the primaries still down twenty points it wouldn’t be realistic to win. With the gap this small either could win.

  3. 3
    Luv says:

    Exactly. A slight uptick for Hillary doesn’t dull Obama’s momentum. And in California where non-Democratic voters ARE allowed to vote, I believe Obama has a very good chance to tie her there at the very least.

    And if he does that, I predict he’ll win the nomination because winning California, New York and New Jersey IS Clintons whole strategy.

    Again, the Clinton campaign never saw this coming. Their big lead basically evaporated.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Super Tuesday does play to Clinton’s strengths, both because of the states involved and because having so many states in play works to the advantage of the front runner with better name recognition.

    Even if Obama keeps it close in the three states you mention but still loses he could do ok. Hopefully those three states won’t give her significantly more delegates than Obama can pick up, and he can make up the deficit elsewhere. If he’s not too far behind in the delegate count after Super Tuesday he has an excellent chance to take the lead as more states vote on a more leisurely schedule.

    The overall trend is that the more people see of Clinton and Obama, the more likely they are to vote for Obama. Unless Clinton has a major victory which blunts Obama’s momentum, the remaining states should continue the trend of moving towards Obama.

  5. 5
    Eric Dondero says:

    National Journal just released their survey of the US Senate. Obama was the most liberal of any of the 100 US Senators, (should read most Socialist.) He scored a perfect 100 on the Index.

    Funny how leftwing Bloggers are choosing to ignore this story.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Eric,

    It is amazing how many incorrect statements you can make in one small comment.

    Obama did not receive a perfect 100. He voted the liberal position on 65 out of 99 votes. That is hardly a perfect 100. He also voted what they consider the conservative position on one of his 66 votes. This gave him the highest score this year because they don’t include votes where he was absent while campaigning. Those who miss the most votes tend to get higher scores. The same poor methodology resulted in ranking Kerry as the most liberal Senator the year he ran, while his rankings have been lower other years. Obama was the 16th most liberal senator in 2005, and the 10th most liberal in 2006 by their rankings.

    These are liberal votes. None of them are socialist votes as you claim. These include votes supporting civil liberties, supporting stem cell research, and opposing attempts to restrict abortions.

    Liberal bloggers have not ignored this story. I mentioned it many others mentioned it. Of course it was often in the context about how ignorant and dishonest conservatives such as yourself would be likely to distort the story as you are now doing.

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