Tuesday :: Feb 26, 2008

Texas


by Turkana

The latest polls show Hillary Clinton maintaining a solid lead in Ohio, and a large lead in Rhode Island, while Barack Obama has a huge lead in Vermont. Assuming those numbers hold, Clinton's chances of remaining at all viable will rest with Texas.

The three most recent Texas polls, from CNN, Rasmussen, and SurveyUSA all show the race within the margin of error, with two of the three now showing Obama in the lead. Interestingly, given Obama's strong ground game, and the reported huge turnout of early voters in areas that should be his strongholds, the SUSA poll shows Clinton leading by five points, among those who have already voted. But the trends in Texas are clear: Obama's gaining, particularly among some, but not all, of Clinton's core demographics.

Both campaigns need to work as if the nomination itself is at stake, in Texas, because it very well may be. If Clinton can hold on and win, the race will again be turned upside down. Her bizarre "strategy" of conceding all the February races after Super Tuesday will be validated. She will have again proved that she wins all the large battleground states. And it's not even necessary for her to win the Texas delegate race, for Obama's supporters have worked so hard to impress that the will of the people is more important than delegate or superdelegate gamesmanship. Should Clinton win the Texas popular vote, she will have won the state. But the momentum is clearly against her. It's not impossible for her to pull this out, but it's not looking good, for her.

What matters most is that the Clinton campaign has spent nearly a month telling everyone Ohio and Texas would be her firewall. Some Obama supporters have been screaming that her February losses should force her out of the race, which has been somewhat discordant, given their supposed confidence. If they know they'll win, and that the will of the people is with them, they should allow Clinton the chance to be proven wrong, on March 4. Should that happen, there will be no excuses. Even Bill Clinton and James Carville have publicly stated that Hillary Clinton needs to win Texas, or her campaign is lost. It's not only that they can't walk that back, should she lose Texas, next week, it's simply the truth. If Hillary Clinton doesn't win Texas, Barack Obama will have won the Democratic nomination. If she does win Texas, Obama's supporters will have reason to be scared.

Turkana :: 7:21 AM :: Comments (33) :: Digg It!