Probably making the most out of a necessity, the Clinton campaign has gambled everything on big wins in Ohio and Texas to counteract Barack Obama’s ridiculous momentum in February states. Rudy Giuliani’s campaign manager thinks that is a great idea, and indeed recent polls have Hillary ahead by seventeen points.
That’s nice, but it won’t be enough. Let’s count off the reasons – a 17% win in both big states won’t provide enough extra delegates to overcome Obama’s lead, every poll is trending Obama’s way and Obama consistently outperforms the polls on election day. The last bit is especially interesting because i still don’t think that most people have entirely grokked what it means for a race with Obama in it. One Virginia poll had Obama up by 15 points, some last-minute tracking polls put him up by about 20; Obama won by almost 30 points.
Across the various states since February 5th it seems undeniable that Obama consistently outperforms expectations. This probably has a lot to do with momentum; polling necessarily happens before voting. But I suspect that a large part of the disparity comes from the fact that Obama is increasingly bringing in demographics that normally don’t vote (e.g. young voters, single women etc.) or normally don’t vote Democratic. I bet that pony mania is playing hell with likely voter formulas.
Anyhow, given that and the big mo’, I don’t think that a 17-point lead in Ohio is very good news for Clinton at all.