Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Why Clinton Is Not In Trouble In Pennsylvania

Bookmark and Share

With Pennsylvania's Democratic primary less than 2 weeks away, the media is attempting to drum up interest with reports that Barack Obama is running neck-and-neck with Clinton in the Keystone State.

While it is true that Obama has gained ground on Clinton according to polling conducted over the past 4+ weeks, Clinton is still the big favorite to win the majority of the state's pledged delegates on April 22nd.

The media's newfound characterization that the race is becoming a toss-up is based largely on the trend line of two polls: Quinnipiac and Rasmussen. Quinnipiac had Clinton up by 12 points on March 16th, by 9 points on March 31st, and currently by 6 points on April 6th—all polls conducted of a very large sample (1,300+) of likely voters.

Rasmussen had Clinton up by 15 points on the day after Ohio/Texas primaries (March 5th), by 13 points on March 12th, by 10 points on March 24th, by 5 points on March 31st, and currently by 5 points in an April 7th survey.

There are several reasons for the Clinton camp not to panic.

First, not all surveys are trending big towards Obama. SurveyUSA had Clinton up by 19 points on March 10th, by 12 points on March 31st, and then back up to 18 points in its new poll ending April 7th. InsiderAdvantage had Clinton ahead by just 3 points on April 2nd, but now shows the Senator from New York leading by 10 points in its recent poll conducted on April 8th.

Secondly, no nonpartisan public poll has shown Obama ahead in 39 polls conducted during the past 15 months. Therefore, while there may be some movement towards Obama, he is fighting against a solid base of support for Clinton that has been entrenched for more than a year. The same situation was basically true in Ohio—Clinton led in every poll, save one, conducted from January 2007 through March 3, 2008.

Ohio likewise showed the race narrowing in the week before the primary election: Clinton was polling ahead of Obama by 20+ point margins at the end of January, five weeks before the primary. That lead was cut down to single digits (and one deficit) in 13 of 17 polls conducted the week before Ohio's primary. Clinton, however, ended up winning by double digits in that race (54.2 to 44.1 percent).

While Obama has more money to spend than does Clinton, that was also the case in Ohio, and this monetary advantage is thus already built into the momentum Obama has enjoyed during the past few weeks. The question will not be whether or not Clinton wins the Keystone State, as the media would have one believe, but whether Clinton can win by double digits.

Previous post: Extended Democratic Primary Gives McCain a Boost in Wisconsin
Next post: Obama Still Toughest Democratic Opponent for McCain in Battleground States

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Kevin McCarthy Becomes Least Tenured Floor Leader in US House History

At less than four terms, McCarthy has served 423 fewer days in the chamber than any floor leader in U.S. House history and almost 10 years less than the average leader.

Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting