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

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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