|Subject: I think Senator Clinton will win Ohio and Texas and her campaign will take off once again. This is still a horse race, make no mistake about it. Here's is my own analysis.
My own analysis
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Date Posted: Sat, March 01, 2008 6:31:53
There has been some criticism of Clinton pollster Mark Penn's recent memos arguing that Hillary Clinton can still win more delegates than Barack Obama. The memo contains a certain amount of campaign spin-doctoring:
Hillary is the only candidate who can deliver the economic change voters want—the only candidate with a real plan and a record of fighting for health care, housing, job creation and protecting Social Security.
But, hey, he's paid (and very well) to say things like this. He gets 100 bucks an hour. And there's independent polling data that seem to support his argument.
Start with Pennsylvania, which votes April 22. Quinnipiac has released a poll showing Clinton leading Obama there 56 to 32 percent. Whites back Clinton 59 to 30; blacks back Obama 70 to 11 Since Pennsylvania's population is only 10 percent black, that accounts for Clinton's big lead.
Then look at Ohio, which votes March 4. Here Quinnipiac shows Clinton ahead 50 to 40 percent. Whites back Clinton 69 to 21; blacks back Obama 63 to 19. Ohio's population is 12 percent black. Quinnipiac's Peter Brown (whom veterans of the campaign trail will remember as a first-rate reporter) explains why Clinton seems to be doing so well in Ohio (and, by implication, demographically similar Pennsylvania) after several contests:
Ohio is as good a demographic fit for Sen. Clinton as she will find. It is blue-collar America, with a smaller percentage of both Democrats with college educations and African-Americans than in many other states where Sen. Obama has carried the day. If Clinton can't win the primary there, it is very difficult to see how she stops Obama.
But she will win and will win big.
Quinnipiac's result is similar to two other recent Ohio polls. Rasmussen has Clinton ahead 52 to 35 percent; SurveyUSA has her ahead 52 to 41 percent. The only Ohio poll taken in January, by the Columbus Dispatch, showed Clinton ahead of Obama 40 to 22 percent. Obama has apparently made gains since then. But so has Clinton.
In the other big state that votes March 4, Texas, keep this in mind. Texas's population is 11 percent black and 34 percent Hispanic, so we can expect the Democratic primary electorate there to be about 21 percent black and perhaps 17 to 21 percent Hispanic.
And here's another interesting story regarding the Bushy-tail state. Texas doesn't have party registration, and, historically, huge numbers of white voters participated in the state's Democratic presidential primary—1.6 million in 1980, 1.9 million in 1988, 1.6 million in 1992. That number plunged downward to 776,000 in 2000 and 847,000 in 2004, even though the state's population grew from 15 million in 1980 to 23 million in 2004. The obvious conclusion: An awful lot of white Texans began voting in the Republican primary again. This year's Texas Democratic primary could turn out to be largely a battle of minorities, with blacks voting heavily for Obama and Latinos, as in most other states so far, heavily for Clinton. In this battle Obama will undoubtedly have an organizational advantage, both because his campaign— unlike hers— has done organizational work in the post-Super Tuesday states and because of the strength of pre-existing black turnout organizations. As for white Democratic primary voters, upscale Texans still tend to be heavily Republican, though a little less so than 15 or 20 years ago—very much contrary to the pattern in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, Md. White downscale voters in southern states have generally gone for Clinton, but not by overwhelming margins. Of the four states we've looked at here, Texas appears the most problematic for Clinton, but she is on far stronger ground there right now than a week ago.
Bottom line: Clinton wins big in Ohio and big in Texas and regains the delegate lead. Super-delegates who committed to Obama will now rethink their decision. Pennsylvania will become important.
Most of all, the race will not be decided most likely until the convention, and it may be the super-delegates who make that decision, which is as it should be since the party regulars have a better idea of who should be nominated than the voters.
As for me, I am not a fervent Clinton supporter but I will vote for her. I think she has a better vision for the future than Barack Obama does, even though he is a good man.
Those who are prematurely burying Clinton's chances are in for a surprise, I think. People tend to roll with the tide. Keep in mind that a year ago Obama was seen as having virtually no chance. Times have changed.
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