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Hillary losing out

Posted on 2/1/2008 12:05:00 PM

Hillary Clinton's popularity seems to be fast declining. With John Edwards out of the race, it was expected that it would be a fight to the finish of the democratic nomination between Clinton and Barack Obama. And recent poll surveys from California do seem to suggest a clear rise in Obama's popularity. These results, which suggest an expected corresponding drop in Clinton's rank, is not restricted to the West coast, but seen all over.

A poll conducted in California on January 28 to 30, by Scott Rasmussen, had Clinton barely leading by 3 points over Obama. The poll results showed Clinton with a dropping lead at 43%, Obama close behind at 40%, and, since the poll was conducted before he quit, Edwards, lagging behind at 9%. The results, when seen against poll results from California from a few weeks ago, clearly reflect a sharply pro-Obama trend.

Similarly, other surveys show Obama as leading in Georgia at 52%, with Clinton trailing behind at 36%, and in Alabama at 40%, with Clinton at 35. While these are states with significant minority numbers, other states also reflected the trend. For instance, Clinton was leading in Massachusetts at 43%, with Obama behind at 37%, and in Montana at 40%, with Obama at 33%. National polls also suggest a close finish in the race.

Now with Edwards opting out, Obama is likely to gain even further. It is also possible that Edwards will endorse Obama. However, there are other possibilities. Many states follow a system where the delegates are awarded by the Congressional district, so that if two slates are competing, the one with the one who wins the maximum votes wins all the delegates. In such a situation, Obama, even if he is leading in California by 53 - 47, if he wins from the black districts by 80 – 20, he may lose most of the white districts. This would give Clinton the upper hand.

On the republican side, John McCain's nomination seems almost certain. Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, both, are likely to have difficulty catching up with him.


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