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:
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%
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%