Well, possibly Survey USA, the only pollster that has gotten consistently close in this crazy season. (Remember how Obama was going to win California and Pennsylvania?) Here are SUSA’s predictions for Indiana and North Carolina:
Indiana – Clinton by 12 points, 54-42, 4% undecided
North Carolina – Obama by 5 points, 50-45, 5% undecided
As Big Tent Democrat always says over at TalkLeft, demographics have been destiny in this primary season. Obviously, I’m quite happy about the Indiana prediction, but considering the demographics are very similar to Pennsylvania, it would not be shocking if she won by this margin. But North Carolina? WOW. Considering that undecideds have tended to break for Hillary about 60%-40%, Obama could win North Carolina by only 2%; or, perhaps, even lose the state.
That is absolutely stunning.
In North Carolina, there is an unusually high percentage of African-American voters and other voters that have favored Obama in the past (such as younger voters, urban voters, wealthier voters and college-educated voters). Early estimates showed that Senator Obama was expected to win comfortably by 20-25 points.
Now, as we’ve seen in Pennsylvania, where Hillary was initially favored by 20 points, these very large leads do tend to tighten as the campaigns come to each state. However, the only way that Senator Obama was able to come within 10 points of Senator Clinton in Pennsylvania was to outspend her by 3-1, to register more than 200,000 new voters, and to get an outstandingly high turnout in Philadelphia and other urban areas.
Hillary Clinton has done none of those things in North Carolina. And according to Survey USA, she is still in a position to come much closer to Barack Obama than he did to her in Pennsylvania. Clearly, thanks to a combination of Reverend Wright and PennsylMentum, she is making inroads into his coalition of voters that he cannot match with inroads into hers. (Perhaps their tolerance for being called racist, ignorant, old, bitter, Republican bible-thumpers has been reached.)
Is Obama’s candidacy, inflated, in my opinion, by nefarious DNC tactics in Florida and Michigan and small caucus wins in red states, finally showing its weakness?
I believe the answer is yes. But the voters will have the final say tonight.
I’ll be having a shot and a beer in honor of Hillary.