Room For Improvement

A couple of polls released today in Texas paint what might be a pretty bleak picture if you’re an Obama supporter.  However, there are still a few things to take into account before giving up Texas as a lost cause.

First up, some numbers.  According to Rasmussen Reports, Clinton leads Obama by a whopping 54-38.  Meanwhile, another Texas poll tells a slightly better story, but still one that has Clinton up by an eight point lead.

Either way, that’s a pretty steep hill to climb.  But there is one interesting poll from American Research Group (h/t Donklephant).  This poll has the roles reversed with Barack Obama leading Clinton by six points.

While I find the ARG’s polling numbers to be highly suspect, and what one might call statistical noise at best, and possibly serious sampling errors at worst, that still does not mean the book on Texas is even close to being closed.

For instance, going back to the Rasmussen poll, the following passage is key:

If Clinton is able to win in both Texas and Ohio, the race for delegates will be just about even and there will be new talking points for the Superdelegates to consider before reaching a decision.

However, just 68% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters in Texas say they have made up their mind and are certain about their vote. Ten percent (10%) remain undecided, 5% say there’s a good chance they could change their mind, and 16% say they might change their mind.

Overall, 78% have a favorable opinion of Clinton and 67% say the same about Obama. Among voters who are currently undecided, 59% have a favorable opinion of Clinton and 48% offer a positive assessment of Obama.

Eighty-two percent (82%) believe Clinton would be at least somewhat likely to win the White House if nominated. Seventy-one percent (71%) believe Obama would have a chance to win in November. Among those who are undecided, 53% believe Clinton would have a chance to defeat the Republicans and 50% say the same about Obama.

Clinton currently leads among both White and Latino voters. Obama leads among African-American voters.

The most salient point above is that there are still thirty percent of voters still left to be decided which provides plenty of fertile ground for the Obama campaign to pick up vital support.

On top of this comes an interesting point brought up by Karl-Thomas Musselman in that even if Hillary wins the popular vote, Obama is likely to come away with an 8 point delegate lead.  This is not the first time I’ve seen a similar breakdown either.

But here comes the most important points to think about.  For the first time since I’ve been watching, Pollster, they’re showing Obama ahead not just in individual polls, but in overall trends.  As a result, we’re still seeing Obama coming away with some serious momentum at his back.  This momentum can only be stopped if Hillary outright wins or ties Wisconsin.

This momentum coupled with the fact that Obama still has an awful lot of time to campaign in Texas provides at least a good foundation to catch Clinton in Texas.  An outright win in the state may still be tricky, but from what I’m seeing in the polls and the analysis, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

3 Responses to “Room For Improvement”

  1. DrGail says:

    The obvious spin for the Obama campaign, should he lose in Texas, is that Texas is fully accustomed to old-style dirty politics — in fact, they practically invented it — and this is precisely what needs to change. So Clinton’s win in Texas is proof positive that an Obama presidency is the only thing that can deliver the United States into a post-political era in which the government actually labors for the benefit of its citizens.

  2. That’s possible. Or you could simply say that she had the better organization there, or any number of things. But here’s the thing that really interests me. As we look back, I can’t remember the Obama campaign overtly trying to explain away a loss. The closest thing might have been in Nevada where they made a point of saying they got the most delegates, but that’s still just, well, you know, way out of the neighborhood of spinning a loss as acceptable.

    It’s just interesting, to me, because that goes along with the kind of themes we see from the two campaigns. The Clintons are all about spinning until you get dizzy, while Obama lays it straight. If he wins, he wins, if he loses, he loses, and it’s never about lowering expectations but instead about achieving that next goal.

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