Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

As Polls Blow It (Again), O Has Mo

You'd think with 42 races behind them, the pollsters would have the Dem primaries nailed, but again yesterday they proved their utter worthlessness as prognosticators.

Yesterday, as the polls in North Carolina and Indiana opened, the RCP average of the big-time polls showed Obama up by 8 in North Carolina and Clinton up by 5 in Indiana. Oops, again, as Obama doubled that in NC, trouncing Clinton by 16%, and pulled within two points of her in a last-minute surge in Indiana, as the northwestern counties with their big black populations came in.

Obama's performance yesterday is tantalizingly close to a closer -- except that when it comes to calling it "it," the Clintons have a different definition of "it" than most of us. She was looking for Hoosier double digits to balance out what was certain to be a drubbing in NC, but she got just two digits, which isn't the same as double digits by a long shot.

And speaking of long shots, Obama's 200,000+ margin in voters yesterday now puts him back on top of the popular vote, which Clinton previously could lay claim to by counting Michigan and Florida's screwed-up primaries. So the only cloak left for Hillary to wrap her hopes in is that she can win in the big states, especially the ones with a lot of old-line Dems who aren't exactly in the front lines of the tolerance movement. Not much to cling to.

So it looks like the primaries turned out pretty darn well for the GOP. Hillary played her part in bruising the party and playing up Obama's many weaknesses, and we ended up with the one candidate most likely to appeal to Dems who are mature enough to fear an Obama presidency.

But GOP campaign chief Tom Cole says the party is facing a disastrous election in November. Is he just fundraising -- gotta have a big problem to raise big funds! -- or is he right?

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