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Final Polls Show Mini Clinton Surge

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If one is to believe the final polls of Ohioans and Texans released over the last 24 hours, Hillary Clinton could be packing her bags for Pennsylvania after tonight's primary contests. While Obama will still lead in the pledged delegate count no matter what the outcomes in Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Rhode Island, a strong Clinton showing, winning 2 or 3 states, will create rampant media speculation about why Obama could not continue his double-digit streak of primary and caucus victories. Look for these themes:

Was it due to Hillary Clinton's now famous "3 AM" ad?—her most blatant attack on Obama that he is not ready to face a serious crisis in foreign affairs.

Or was it due to Clinton's strong comedic (and self-effacing) showing on Saturday Night Live last weekend, in which her image received a much needed boost of personality?

Or was it due to right-wing appeals for Republicans in Texas to cross party lines and vote for Clinton in the Democratic primary?

Or is "the bloom off the rose," and the results reflect more of a move away from Obama than one towards Clinton?

Smart Politics will live blog the returns this evening, providing political and media analysis along the way.

Until the real results come in, here are the latest poll results, with field dates ending on Sunday or Monday:

Ohio
Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby: Clinton 44%, Obama 44%
ARG: Clinton 56%, Obama 42%
Rasmussen: Clinton 50%, Obama 44%
Suffolk: Clinton 52%, Obama 40%
SurveyUSA: Clinton 54%, Obama 44%
University of Cincinnati: Clinton 51%, Obama 42%
Quinnipiac: Clinton 49%, Obama 45%

Texas
Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby: Clinton 47%, Obama 44%
ARG: Clinton 50%, Obama 47%
Rasmussen: Obama 48%, Clinton 47%
InsiderAdvantage: Clinton 49%, Obama 44%
SurveyUSA: Obama 49%, Clinton 48%
WFAA/Belo: Clinton 46%, Obama 45%

Previous post: Pollsters Do Not Inspire Confidence On the Eve of OH, TX Primaries
Next post: Live Blog: Vermont Primary

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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