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Clinton Leads in Critical Swing States While Obama Operatives Attack

Quinnipiac University is conducting ongoing polling operations in three states considered critical to Democratic success in the November general election: Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. These are states Democrats must win in order to put a Democrat into the White House in November.

Clinton won the Florida primary, and is now showing a commanding lead over Obama in Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as polling stronger than Obama in head-to-head match-ups with Republican John McCain in all three of these critical "must carry" states.

Democratic Primary - Clinton vs. Obama:

  • Ohio: Clinton 55% - Obama 34%
  • Pennsylvania: Clinton 52% - Obama 36%

November General Election Head-to-Head Match-ups:


  • McCain 44% vs. Clinton 42%
  • McCain 41% vs Obama 39%


  • McCain 44% vs. Clinton 43%
  • McCain 42% vs. Obama 40%


  • Clinton 46% vs. McCain 40%
  • Obama 42% vs. McCain 41%

Barack Obama's momentum may overtake Clinton in these critical "must win" states, but today Hillary Clinton is clearly the better choice as a Democratic nominee, showing strength where it counts the most -- those states that Democrats absolutely have to win in order to put a Democrat in the White House at last.

I'm sure Obama's camp is aware of the critical importance these swing states represent to the Democratic Party, but it's apparent that some members of the Obamaniac attack machine are not only ignoring "big picture" analysis, but are actually using this kind of analysis against Clinton, spinning mention of states that are "critical" and "significant" against her with the suggestion that the other states are "insignificant" to Clinton.

Mark Penn is Hillary's Chief Strategist and he is laying the groundwork for a bitter battle over superdelegates. Here's what he said trying to discount Obama's wins:

"Could we possibly have a nominee who hasn't won any of the significant states -- outside of Illinois? That raises some serious questions about Sen. Obama."

Here's another gem from Penn:

"I think for superdelegates, the quality of where the win comes from should matter in terms of making a judgment about who might be the best general election candidate."

The "quality" of "where the win comes from"??? Maybe Mark Penn could share his quality criteria for wins with us. Maybe he could tell us what makes a state insignificant.

Fine, perhaps the writer doesn't understand the importance some states play in the bigger picture, but this spinster then goes on to spin matters against Clinton in a uninspiring "old school" Republican Attack Machine manner (note - the bolded emphasis below is theirs, not mine):

#1. States that have a lot of black people are insignificant and are not quality. (sorry Alabama, DC, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland and South Carolina).

#2. Small states are insignificant and are not quality. (sorry Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, North Dakota and Utah).

#3. States in the middle of the country are insignificant and are not quality. (sorry Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and North Dakota).

#4. States that have a lot of Mormons are insignificant and are not quality. (sorry Utah)

#5. States that run caucuses are insignificant and are not quality. (sorry Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota and Washington)

The Obama attack machine is working overtime to put their candidate on the November ticket, and let me be clear -- if Obama goes on to win in Ohio and Pennsylvania he deserves to be on that November ticket because he will have then bested Clinton in these critical "must win" states. The stronger candidate should prevail.

But what's also clear is that the top-level Obama platform planks of "hope" and "change" and a mandate to "elevate the political discourse in our country" is being supported by an underpinning structure of lies and spin from Obama supporters that is every bit as evil and wrong as the Karl Rove Republican attack machine of the past two elections.

I believe that Barack Obama can and will succeed in securing the Democratic nomination and will go on to the win in the 2008 General election, but I have to wonder just how much of Obama's success can be attributed to this kind of mis-information, and this kind of just plain bad-faith campaigning on the part of Obama supporters.

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Rating: 3/5 (8 votes cast)

Comments (9)

Steve Crickmore:

Of course the fine print Lee is that the Quinnipiac University polls are old...The telephone interviews were conducted from February 6th to February 12th..Today is February 15th..Obama has had an enormous national poll lift in the last few days with huge Potomac primary wins. "A week is a long time in politics." Quinnipac doeesn't seem to understand that.

Mark Kraft:

Did you know that Hillary Clinton's biggest donors include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, and JP Morgan Chase & Co. -- the biggest corporate banking / subprime loan companies out there?

Did you know that Hillary Clinton's plan for bailing out Americans with subprime loans also bails out the corporate bankers who gave them the loans, who won't have to deal with getting 50 cents on the dollar in expensive foreclosure proceedings?

Did you know her plan not only bails out families who own only one home, as Barack Obama's plan does, but also bails out wealthy real estate speculators who own more than one home, who used subprime loans to make money flipping houses?

Did you know that her plan locks real estate speculators in with low interest rates, but will lead to higher interest rates for all new homebuyers, putting even more money into the pockets of corporate bankers?

Hillary Clinton is a corporate banker's best friend!

Mark Kraft:

A surveyUSA poll from two days ago put it at 56% for Hillary, with 39% for Obama, so that's about a 4-5% bounce for Obama, even before campaigning in the state. I imagine that there will be a similar bounce after likely victories in Hawaii and Wisconsin, and as campaigning seriously starts in the state.

In the end, it would be very surprising if Hillary won the state by more than 10%, and given the huge 2-1 blowouts that Obama has been getting elsewhere, that's easily made up for.

A 10% margin in Ohio, with 123 delegates decided by the voters, would be something like a 12 delegate pickup for Hillary. That's a smaller gain in delegates than Obama got in Washington D.C. and Maine, and about half as much of a gain as he got in a considerably more lopsided victory in Virginia.

Lee Ward:

As an anecdotal aside, one of the further signs that the Obama attack machine is in high gear is the first comment made above by Mark Kraft.

Mr. Kraft isn't a regular reader of ours, and according to our site's logs he came to this post after finding the post while conducting a technorati search for articles using the search terms "Ohio Hillary".

As you can see from his comment, he has nothing to say that relates to this post, nor does have anything to say that relates to Hillary in Ohio.

Instead, the attack machine attacks Clinton with off-topics screeds such as his, trying to be first in the comment threads in order to appear high on the list of comments and therefore have a better chance to be read, as they spin their little attacks every chance they get. I doubt he even read the article he commented on.

You'll see this all over the internet these days -- with the first group of comments in a post which mentions Clinton being these kind of off-topic attacks, and eventually, if you read down further, you'll usually see a balance of pros and cons and rational discussion of the issues raised.

Are these Obama operatives paid? or just enthusiastic Obama supporters? There's no way for me to know -- but I do know this -- it's happening all over the internet, on blogs, newspaper sites like the NYTimes and the Washington Post, and in this case Mr. Kraft, according to our web server's logs, is located in Northern California.

Maybe he has an aunt in Ohio, and he's doing research for her... yeah, that's it.

Lee Ward:

Florida: McCain 44% vs. Clinton 42%
McCain 41% vs Obama 39%

Isn't the margin here 2% in both cases? What's that supposed to show?

Well, it shows that the results of the polls are Clinton is polling 3 points stronger than Obama.

The margin of error - if it is 2% - means that the range for Clinton is 40%-44% and that the range for Obama is 37%-41%.

also, you're no doubt aware that just because there is a margin of error doesn't mean that there is an error.

Plus you're not doubt aware that the with the margin of error of two points, Clinton's 42% could be 44% at the same time that Obama's 39% could actually be 37%, a spread of 7 points, but hat's not the results of the poll...

Likewise, just because one of the many possible mathematical possibilities is that they are even doesn't mean it's a toss up either.

...which means these are all effectively toss-ups."

Ooops, too late! You can say that they are effectively toss-ups only if you like your news spun dry...

The results of the poll say that they are 3 points apart in Florida, with Clinton polling stronger than Obama. Yes, there is a margin of error, but the results are the results, and stretching it to say its a toss-up is a stretch.

In elections 3 points is 2.99999 more points than is needed for a win. The margin of the win doesn't matter in the final, general election.


Another ridiculous post from Lee. Surprise, surprise.

You post Sean Hannity one day and then accuse Larkin of using old school Republican attacks the next day. Laughable. Apparently you think using Hannity doesn't qualify as Republican attack politics, but quoting or paraphrasing Clinton's campaign (which is exactly what Larkin did in his post) does qualify.

And, though Clinton does currently lead in these primaries, general election polling shows that she and Obama essential perform the same in these states. Your analysis also ignores the fact that Obama is vastly out-performing Clinton in other swing states. Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Virginia, among others are all swing states that Obama carried or is leading in now. General election polling also indicates Obama's greater electability, both in specific swing states and nationally against McCain.

As for your comment #4--From what I can tell, there isn't really a "balance of pros and cons" here on your posts. Typically, it is people providing examples of how you are wrong or biased and you ignoring them and reality.


For your comment #7--
Apparently don't understand polling either. When the difference between Clinton's performance and Obama's performance is within the margin of error, you CAN call that a toss-up. Mark Kraft didn't say the margin of error is 2% (very unlikely to be that low, ). He was pointing out that deficit for each to McCain in that Florida poll was 2%. Ask any pollster or mathematician and they will tell you the same thing--Clinton and Obama have a negligible difference in the general election in Ohio and Florida (at least according to the polls Mark cites).

Do you actually buy the crap you spin now or are you simply that desperate?


Sorry for another post, but I meant my previous post to be referring to comment #6, not #7. My bad.


..If we assume that we are, in a real sense, on the same side (ie., united in our desire for dramatic change at the executive and legislative levels of government), then we do our cause only harm by calling each other names, and using such obvious hyperbole. The polls have nothing to do with our support for a candidate - I would hope. And the practice of criticizing a post by providing evidence of where a poster was previously active - instead of criticizing the content itself, is pathetic. This is not a game: the points you think you are making, will be so much lint in your pocket, if we have to endure another four years of the repression of science, the bigotry of religious zealots, and the death of hundreds of thousands in the name of democracy. Keep the discourse civil.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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