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Poll Roundup: Clinton Dominates in Remaining Contests

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In the three weeks since the last presidential primary contest in Mississippi, and the four weeks since the Texas and Ohio primaries, little has changed in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

As projected here at Smart Politics last month, Hillary Clinton has the decided advantage over Barack Obama in almost all of the remaining ten contests, with the exception of North Carolina and possibly Oregon. Aside from those two states, all of the states yet to vote are non-coastal and each of the contests utilizes the primary format (Obama won 13 of the 15 caucuses).

Recent polling shows Clinton remains strong in most of these key states. In the first contest, Pennsylvania (188 delegates), a new SurveyUSA poll of 588 likely voters conducted March 29-31 measures Clinton's lead in double digits, 53 to 41 percent. Clinton has led Obama in all 30 public polls conducted in the Keystone State dating back to January 2007.

Indiana (84 delegates) holds its primary on May 6th, and SurveyUSA measures Clinton's lead at nine points—52 to 43 percent (530 likely voters, March 29-31).

West Virginia (39 delegates) holds its primary on May 13th, and a Rasmussen poll of 702 likely voters in mid-March showed Clinton with a whopping 28-point lead: 55 to 27 percent. If Clinton is to stand any chance at winning the pledged delegate vote, she will need to rack up this kind of margin of victory in almost all the remaining contests (which is not likely to happen). Clinton's primary plan is to string together several victories in a row at the finish line to win over enough superdelegates to overtake Obama's likely pledged delegate advantage.

The neighboring state of Kentucky (60 delegates) holds its primary on May 20th, and a new SurveyUSA poll gives Clinton a similar lead: 58 to 29 percent (572 likely voters, March 28-30).

Recent polling is not available in Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

In North Carolina, polls consistently show Obama in the lead, usually by double-digits. The latest survey, by American Research Group, gives Obama a 51 to 38 percent advantage.

So what has the month since the Texas and Ohio primaries given Democratic voters? A continuing controversy involving Obama's pastor, the opportunity for John McCain to look presidential and above the fray in his visits abroad, and, perhaps above all, a slight breather from the intense media coverage that dominated news cycles from December through early March. However, once Pennsylvania comes around and gives Clinton another big victory, expect all that to change.

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Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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