Polls? Who looks at polls anymore? Well, of the polls out there Zogby's are the ones to watch so far in this election cycle. Zogby nailed Nevada on their last poll (see graph at right), matching the final vote.
So, in my opinion Zogby's South Carolina poll is one that is worth watching over the next two days for the most accurate assessment of where the South Carolina Democratic vote may end up.
What Zogby is saying today (see graph below) is that their three-day tracking telephone poll, where they talk to the same 800+ voters each day by telephone tracking their changing opinions in the race, still shows Obama with a huge lead (39-24), but he's slipping slightly, dropping three points overnight -- and is losing ground most among black voters.
Support for Obama, an Illinois senator who would be the first black U.S. president, fell from 65 percent to 56 percent among African-Americans, with Clinton climbing two points among blacks to 18 percent. Edwards held a slight lead over Clinton among likely white voters at 35 percent to 32 percent. Obama had 19 percent.
Obama is still leading Clinton by 15 points, and Edwards' tally has increased from 15 to 19 points, narrowing the gap on Clinton. Note that Edwards ended up with just about 5 percent of the Nevada votes in a predominantly white state. Note also that South Carolina is Edwards home state, and this is likely to be his best showing anywhere. If he continues to pick up the voters who are leaving Obama, it's conceivable that Clinton could place third.
Obama is virtually assured of winning South Carolina, and what is worth watching is whether he continues to drop leading up to the vote. While the Obamatrons keep harping that Bill Clinton's continued hammering away on Obama is hurting Hillary's chances, the results in Nevada and New Hampshire -- and so far in South Carolina -- suggest otherwise.
What may be working against Barack in South Carolina more than anything is the Rezko scandal. This is the first poll that fully factors in the debate last Monday, and the Rezko scandal news coverage has increased dramatically over the last few days.I expect we may see more slippage in Obama's numbers.
It'll be interesting to see if Obama can prevent further slippage in his numbers, and as Hillary campaigns in other states she's strengthening her position in places like California, while Barack is struggling to hold onto what he's got in South Carolina, and not succeeding in that regard.
Nationally, Obama's momentum is slipping, in my estimation, even if this isn't fully reflected in the polls, and I suspect this trend will continue despite a South Carolina victory for Obama. If I had to guess at the South Carolina outcome today -- two days away -- I'd put Obama a winner by 10 points with Clinton squeaking out a second place finish over Edwards by a mere 2 points.
South Carolina and the rest of the southern states are crucial for Edwards because it will provide a further indication as to how much support he'd lend to a Clinton ticket if he was chosen by Hillary as her Vice-Presidential running mate.
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