Sunday, March 02, 2008

March 4 preview: Obama likely to knock Clinton out of the ring

Four states go to the polls on Tuesday, and conventional wisdom has it that Hillary must win Ohio and Texas or concede the nomination to Obama.

Polls show Obama with a small lead in Texas, and a small lead for Clinton in Ohio. I found an interesting analysis that suggests that in the contests so far, Clinton has performed more or less consistent with the polls, while Obama has on average outperformed his poll numbers by a considerable margin. I'm predicting that Obama will carry Texas comfortably, and Ohio will go right down the wire. Either way, it's going to be time for Hillary to go home.

Update on the congressional races:
I did a state-by-state analysis today, and I'm increasing the number of seats I expect Democrats to pick up in the U.S. House to 14, up from my prediction last fall of 8-10. This is due principally to the fact that, as expected, an ever growing number of Republican incumbents who might be expected to have tough reelection battles are instead opting to retire.

On the Senate side, I'm still confident that Democrats will pick up five seats, possibly more. I was most pleased to see that Al Franken is already leading incumbent Republican Norm Coleman in Minnesota. If Franken is leading this early, probably the only way he can lose is if McCain picks Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty as his running mate.

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