Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Obama's S-USA Numbers Aren't Pretty

The new Survey USA Ohio poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Barack Obama 56%-39% (h/t Taegen Goddard). Morning giddiness over the prospect of Ohio delivering Obama the nomination has disappeared in a bracing reality slap. This was the first poll taken since Edwards dropped out, and the first since Jan. 31.

S-USA notes that "Clinton's lead comes entirely from women, where she leads by 29 points." Fine, but to me the most salient -- and disheartening -- statistic is: Among the 69% of voters who feel they have firmly made up their minds, Clinton's lead beats the overall result -- 59%-39%. Furthermore, only 2% overall are currently undecided.

Obamaniacs were hoping to see more Edwards voters swing to Obama, or at least see softer support for Hillary.

Jerid offers the whistling-past-the-graveyard take that Obama gained 20% since Quinnipianc's December poll. Well, that's a happy thought. But Hillary gained 11%. More to the point, she expanded her lead from the January Dispatch poll. Much much more to the point, she maintains a double-digit lead, is six points in the black and has respondents voicing solid support for her. None of this is good news. (And, oh by the way, you are always on shaky ground trying to divine a trend by comparing different polls using different methodologies.)

Any good news? Well, Obama seems to have done better as they split Edwards support and undecideds -- just not well enough. And the poll only netted 11% independent likely voters whom Obama is winning 48-42%. So there is some room for persuading I's to get out and vote.

The poll would be great news if Obama was only trying to mitigate damage. But if Hillary sweeps Ohio and Texas, it seems unlikely Obama will persuade enough superdelegates to take a chance on him. He needs to turn some folks around, ramp up his GOTV, visit often and pray a whole lot. He may even need to choose either Ohio or Texas and set down some roots there. And yes, hopefully that will be here.


BuckeyeStateBlog said...


Of course you can't compare polls accurately. Your own point brings up how shaky your comparison to the Dispatch poll is.

I'm optimistic about Ohio, but it's definitely an uphill battle. However, your analysis def. blew past all the positives of this poll (and there def. are some positives).

...Obama seems to be moving forward faster than Hillary.

...Edwards team seemingly broke more for Obama.

...There's an upward trend on Obama's numbers.

But we've got no baseline to compare this info to, so who know's what it's worth. I didn't expect Obama to be steam rolling through the Buckeye State yet. Anyone else that might've expected that has no idea what they're talking about.

All in all, this poll had more positives than negatives, considering where we've been, and where we're at, in Ohio. If you call that whistling, then WHAT.EVER.

Pho said...

Hillary at 56% is such a huge negative it's hard to find anything to counterbalance it. Obama has to turn something like 8% of Hillary supporters around to have a chance. That just doesn't happen. Yes, he gained more of the available votes, but the available votes are now nearly gone and Hillary is still in a commanding lead.

Believe me, I wish I could share your optimism, but the numbers aren't there.

redhorse said...

I've said for a week that he needs to camp in Ohio from the day after Wisconsin through March 4 because he is behind the 8-ball here.

Will that be enough in a Clinton-friendly state? Might not be, but I think he can make some in roads in those margins.

He's got time to make the numbers move, especially with the white-hot glare Ohio will have for two weeks. I'd like to see a rally in every large city. Huge GOTV efforts. Steal the thunder, make voters waver, recruit the hell out of independents, and yes, pray.

Rich in Medina said...

Hillary got creamed yesterday, but not to worry, she has her goons(ala Rendell) starting to work their "black" magic.

Anonymous said...

Here is the problem with the polls this year and why even exit polls have proven innacurate: Turnout. The polls are all based upon models that assume the average turnouts for all groups in a primary race. If you see an uptick in new voters, african-american voters, and white men that margin could shrink without changing anyone's mind. I also believe that additional polls need to show those margins before you take S-USA's results as gospel.

Pho said...


Agreed. Plenty of polls have been wrong before. But fact remains, this is the poll we have and it suggests a tough road for Barack.

Anonymous said...

Pho channels Rummy. We go the polls with the polls we have and not the polls we wish we had.

Anonymous said...

How disappointing that OH shows such strong support for Hillary. Take a look at her campaign, buckeyes! Completely mismanaged--directionless, in crisis mode, hemorrhaging cash. If she is such a disaster at managing a campaign, how can you expect her to lead the country?

grandpaboy said...

I'd agree that this poll is bad news for Obama, but it's just a poll and the primary is still two weeks out.

I wonder a) how maxed out is Hillary support around 56%? and b) how solid is that support?

She has a lot of institutional advantages here, basically Strickland. But if Obama makes a serious commitment here (and is ground game has proven itself elsewhere), he could whittle it down closer to a 50/50 split.

Will the media report anything that isn't a Hillary win by 10% or more as a victory? I think they're too invested in the horse race/ superdelegate narrative to give that up.

My guess is her support here erodes, but not enough for Hillary to throw in the towel. The whole thing will carry on to PA.