Is Clinton Finished?
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These are the latest Texas polls listed on the RealClearPolitics.com Web site. All surveys are of likely voters:
02/16 – 02/18
Clinton 50, Obama 45
02/15 – 02/17
Clinton 50, Obama 48
02/14 – 02/14
Clinton 54, Obama 38
02/14 – 02/14
403 LV Clinton 48, Obama 41
02/11 – 02/13
400 LV Clinton 49, Obama 41
Her average lead in these polls is 7.6%.
In Ohio, which also votes on March 4, three recent polls show her with an average lead of 14.7%. Ohio ought to be a good electorate for her. Lots of blue collar, lots of older white women, 11.4% black, less than 2% Latino.
SurveyUSA: Clinton 51, Obama 43
Rasmussen: Clinton 51, Obama 37
Quinnipiac: Clinton 55, Obama 34
Average Clinton lead: 14.3%
In Pennsylvania, which votes on April 22, and is the last big haul of delegates, only one poll has been taken this year, about a week ago. This is another good electorate for Clinton. Very blue collar and low-income white. James Carville once described Pennsylvania as “Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.”
Quinnipiac: Clinton 52, Obama 36
If Clinton can hold her voters in these states, she will be competitive with Obama. But we have seen time and again that she can’t hold her position: that as election day approaches, the Obama wave grows and grows and just washes her away.
I have heard some Democrats speculate that Clinton will drop out of the race if she loses Texas, that she’ll never make it to Pennsylvania. I don’t believe that. In the first place, the Clintons have been down before and have come back. They are too hungry to quit. But another reason is that Clinton allies will control the Democratic convention. There are two battles that will go all the way to Denver. One is the fight for super delegates. No matter what they say, they remain officially unpledged until they cast their votes. The lobbying will be fierce. The other is the pending battle in the credentials committee over seating the Florida and Michigan delegations. The Democratic party stripped both states of their delegations for moving their primaries ahead into January. Clinton, of course, says they should be seated. If Clinton does indeed carry the three blg states, the race could be close enough that seating the Florida and Michigan delegates could top the nomination her way. This would be tantamount to stealing the nomination. The convention would blow up. This would be a disaster for the Democratic party, shades of the 1968 convention when there was rioting in the streets in Chicago. Even if Clinton “won” the nomination, she would be unelectable. So, I think the answer to the question I posed is, yes, she is finished. She can’t win enough delegates to win the nomination straight up, and she can’t steal the nomination without alienating the Democratic electorate. Checkmate.