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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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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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