The Problem With Nevada

As the Pollster points out, there’s a problem with trying to get a solid bead on the Democratic race in Nevada; there’s just not enough polling data.  Unlike Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Nevada just hasn’t been bombarded with polls giving us an accurate picture of the political landscape there, but you work with what you got.

While there hasn’t been an overabundance of polling, both the trends, and last minute polls indicate the same thing, Hillary is winning in Nevada.  And it’s not just the polls either, Hillary was always supposed to win in Nevada as a result of her strong ties to powerful Nevada politicians.

Now, there are some caveats to this that should be taken into consideration and give Obama an opening to pull off an upset in Nevada.  The first is that this is a caucus which in and of itself provides an environment that is more favorable to Obama than to Clinton.  But there are some differences between Nevada and Iowa.

The two in my mind that are going to count against Obama the most is the fact that members in a viable camp are stuck there, this is going to prevent Obama from making up ground.  The other is that precinct chairs in Nevada will also often end up being campaign captains as well, lending a significant advantage to that candidate.  Given Hillary’s spread through Nevada, I’m going to bet that this is in her favor.

Now, it’s impossible to pretend the entire lawsuit fiasco didn’t happen in Nevada, but while this may seem like a boon for Obama, I think all it does is lower expectations for Hillary.  Yes, the Culinary Workers are driving hard for Obama, and yes, it does look like the Clinton campaign got a little too close to voter disenfranchizing, but the suit got tossed from court.  The “At Large” sites are still going on with it, Clinton doesn’t have to deal with the repurcussions of having the case decided in her favor.

As a result, she’s gotten a good chunk of bad press, but I haven’t seen her support in Nevada drop significantly, nor have I seen Obama’s shoot up outside the trend.  In short, the opinion about the race may have changed, but the dynamics have not.

Thus we have an oddity of spectacles in Nevada, Hillary is the hard numbers favorite, but she’s the underdog as a result of unfriendly headlines.  She was always going to win Nevada, but thanks to the lawsuit, as she moves to South Carolina she gets to say that she was the underdog too.

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