Whether or not the ad war is any reason for this, Obama is continually improving his position in March 4th polls. Keep in mind, Clinton will have to prove these polls wrong by winning both states and do so by big margins. First, two polls from Ohio:
- A new Zogby poll shows a toss-up, in one of the closest polls from the state we have seen yet: Clinton is only ahead 44% to 42%.
- ARG confirms that the gap is rapidly closing, showing a 50% to 45% margin in a poll taken over the past two days. Five days ago, ARG showed a 49% to 39% gap.
- Update: Rasmussen confirms that Clinton has lost her Ohio lead, showing her ahead 47% to 45%. That’s down from a 5% lead on Sunday night and a 9% lead last week.
If Clinton has to even worry about Ohio at this point, that leaves her even less time to focus on Texas, where her position looks even more dire:
- Zogby shows Obama relatively comfortably ahead, 48% to 42%.
- ARG has Obama up 51% to 44%, which is actually a one point improvement for Hillary (which is saying a lot). Clinton’s lead among women (+9) and Hispanic (55-41) is much smaller than it should be, going a long way towards explaining her Texan troubles.
- Meanwhile, the BELO Texas tracking poll shows Obama taking the lead for the first time, albeit only 46% to 45%.
In all of these polls, John McCain hardly looks to be in any danger against Mike Huckabee, which is a semi-surprise given that Huckabee was expected to maintain some semblance of competitiveness in Texas. But with the media having given up on the GOP race, it is not surprising that Huckabee is finding no space to continue making his case.
McCain got even better news with the release of a Mason-Dixon general election poll from Florida:
- McCain leads Obama 47% to 37% and he leads Clinton 49% to 40%.
- McCain posts strong numbers among Republicans, while both Democrats (particularly Obama) are much weaker among independents.
If these numbers are confirmed (and Florida hasn’t been very kind to Dems over the past few months), it could spell trouble for the Democratic nominee who can’t afford to give up on the Sunshine State’s 27 electoral votes. (I am not suggesting that Democrats need to WIN Florida to get the White House, but that they need to force McCain to defend those 27 electoral votes, otherwise he would have too much time to spend not only on places he really can’t afford to lose, like Ohio, but also testing the Democratic nominee in blue-leaning states). One possible reason for McCain’s strength could be that he is likely to be stronger than other GOPers would have been among the Cuban community.