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April 21st, 2008
08:10 AM ET

Obama and Clinton in a dead heat: Will media analyze why?

Lanny J. Davis
Friend of Senator Hillary Clinton, and fundraiser for her presidential campaign

The latest Gallup National Democratic Tracking Poll shows a 9 point drop by Senator Barack Obama in about a week. Will the pundits and media analyze why?

Here are the specifics: In the three-day ongoing Gallup Poll of 1,252 Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent voters, from Thursday-Saturday April 17-19, Senator Obama leads by 47% to 45%. Because that 2-point edge is within the 3% margin of error, it means Hillary Clinton is now in a statistical head heat with Barack Obama.

This represents a dramatic drop by Senator Obama among Democrats and independent leaners of about 9% in less than a week - a drop that Gallup says began just before the recent ABC debate, and that continued and has leveled off as of Saturday.

It's also worth noting that as of Friday night, April 18, the tracking poll showed Senator Clinton with a 1% lead over Senator Obama, 46% to 45% over three days of calling between April 16-18).

This, after Gallup headlined for weeks that Senator Obama had gained a steady lead over Senator Clinton nationally among Democrats and independents-leaners - indeed, Gallup says this is the first time since mid-March that Obama has not been in the lead.

When Obama took a lead of +11% in this same tracking poll as recently as a little over a week ago and maintained it, most print journalists in the mainstream media covering the campaign and certainly every cable TV evening news and pundit show made a big deal and headlined this lead as establishing the Senator Obama had just about wrapped up the nomination.  This was not coincidentally accompanied by the Obama campaign spreading that message all over, and stirring its surrogates to call upon Senator Clinton to give it up, even before the Pennsylvania primary.

So now my question and challenge is to the national media covering the campaign, and especially to the cable TV shows - from the Sit Room on CNN to the Persistently and Unashamedly Pro-Obama MSNBC nightly cable TV hosts to the New York Times and other national political reporters:  Will you headline the current apparent decline of Barack Obama's national Democratic Party strength and the Hillary Clinton surge within the last week alone - or not?

Sure I am a partisan of Senator Clinton and I can be accused of using the word "decline" and "surge" motivated to help her make the case to super delegates that she is the stronger candidate against John McCain.  But forget about my admitted bias (I call it conviction) that Senator Clinton is the far stronger Democratic candidate against Senator McCain. 

I ask the pro-Obama cable TV talk show hosts - the most admittedly biased of all, Chris Matthews of MSNBC's "Hardball" - will you at least have objective and neutral analysts to analyze what has happened to Barack Obama's standing among Democrats in the last two weeks - and what has happened to Senator Clinton's?  A 9-point drop in such a short period of time by Senator Obama - or, from Senator Clinton's perspective, an 11-point gain - in a tracking poll is, by any standard of the polling profession, extremely and unusually large. 

It could be an aberration. Senator Obama's slight improvement from Friday night's 3-day results to Saturday night's (from minus 1% to Senator Clinton to +2%) shows that Friday night's calls resulted in his winning that night's calling by a good margin.   We will have to wait a few more days to see if Senator Obama resumes his prior substantial lead or whether things have just leveled off between the two. (Other news organizations, for example, such as Newsweek, still have Senator Obama in a substantial double digit lead among Democrats).  But the Gallup tracking poll seems to be the most current with the largest total calls and the smallest margin of error.

But it is just possible, just possible, that this is not an aberration. We shall see. It is just possible that those of us who have continually over these many months expressed concerns about Senator Obama's political weakness in the general election, as shown by his inability to win any major industrial state and especially his weakness in the key swing states Democrats must carry to win back the White House, may be right.

And if the latter is the case, this is exactly the reason why Senator Clinton should not allow herself to be pushed out of the race prematurely - and why super delegates should not feel pushed into an artificial deadline to "decide" their vote.

And rather than pushing Senator Clinton out of the race too soon, the grassroots of the party need to be allowed to express its wishes as to who it wants to be the nominee - and superdelegates, whether committed or un-committed, need to keep their eyes on the big prize - winning back the White House.  And to do so, they need to watch the results of the remaining primaries, the popular vote totals, the delegate vote totals - and - especially - on the national and state-by-state poll results before making a final decision.

("Tracking" polls are generally regarded as the most reliable of polling techniques to describe trends between two candidates, since the technique is to call about the same random sample of voters every night, adding the last three nights and dropping the prior fourth night.  In the highly respected Gallup tracking poll, Gallup is calling 1,000 voters each night, out of which about 400 identify themselves as Democrats or independent-leaning Democratic voters, giving a three day relatively high total of 1,200 Democratic voters (and thus, the small =/- variance of 3%.)

Clinton Consistently Doing Better Than Obama Against McCain vs. Obama in Battleground States

Take a look at the state-by-state results comparing how Senator Clinton is doing against Senator McCain vs. Senator Obama and the results are even scarier.  In the national polls, with all the fearsome talk by the Obama campaign about Senator Clinton's "high negatives" and being a "polarizer" the latest Gallup tracking poll, again as of Saturday night, April 19, shows Senator Clinton to be running dead even with Senator McCain - actually plus 1% or 46%-45% - as is Senator Obama (who is dead even at 45%-45%).  Gallup points out that the trend has been slightly going against Obama, who had led McCain a week ago by a statistically insignificant +3%. 

But at the same time he held that lead, state polls in Florida were showing him losing to Senator McCain by a considerable margin while Senator Clinton was slightly ahead; losing in Ohio by a small margin with Senator Clinton ahead by a small margin; and - this the most shocking and scary of all for Democrats who want to win back the White House - in a virtual dead heat with Senator McCain in the state of Massachusetts! (Senator Clinton, who defeated Senator Obama in the Massachusetts primary by about 15%, despite the endorsements of Senators Kerry and Kennedy and Governor Patrick, as well as Caroline Kennedy, is ahead of Senator McCain in Massachusetts as well).

So what is my theory as to why Senator Obama has dropped so significantly in the last week or two and Senator Clinton has risen? To repeat my caveat: polls are snapshots of a moving picture, and these latest Gallup tracking results could be aberrational.  And I could be wrong about my assessment of the reasons for Senator Obama's apparent collapse in the last two weeks if it is a collapse at all.

But here is my current operating theory: I am not sure, but I believe the same uneasiness that I have increasingly felt over these last several weeks about  Senator Obama as our party's candidate against Senator McCain has been the case among other Democrats across the nation.

The issues for me are a mix of things, some specific, some intangible: for example, the continuing uneasiness over murky answers by Senator Obama as to why he remained silent for so long in the face of Rev. Wright's hateful sermons; The fact it took Senator Obama so long to understand - if he does even today - why he offended so many rural and cultural conservative voters when he said they were "bitter" over the economy, and thus, the "clinged" to guns and religion and anti-immigration sentiments as a result, rather than holding these views independent of frustration over the economy; And most recently, the Obama campaign's over-reaction and criticism of the ABC moderators' tough questions of Senator Obama in the recent debate, and Senator Obama's (to me at least) apparently flippant and, yes I must use the word, arrogant reaction in referring to it in the days after (at one point he actually accusing Senator Clinton of "twisting the knife") - these and other negative impressions have caused me greater concern about Senator Obama's electability in a contest against Senator McCain.

And, it is just possible, I am not alone, and there are so many other Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents out there feeling the same way as I for many of the same reasons that it might explain Senator Obama's dramatic drop of over 10% in a tracking poll in a little more than a week.

Meanwhile, Senator Clinton remains dignified, virtually unflappable, focused on economic issues and health care, and showing continuing signs of strength in the Democratic Party's core base ever since FDR - blue collar voters, workers, senior citizens, middle class working women.  She has come across as human, vulnerable, likeable, and as always, commanding and mature on the issues.  Of course, as I readily admit, I am biased: I think she is the best candidate and I think she would make a great president.  So feel free to discount those positive impressions.

The Pennsylvania Primary

I don't know whether Senator Obama or Senator Clinton will win Pennsylvania and by what margin. I really don't. I only know that Senator Obama has been outspending Senator Clinton by as much as 2:1 or by some accounts 3:1 or more on TV ads and radio ads.

I don't buy the Obama-campaign-created bar, bought by most of the media and pro-Obama punditry, that Senator Clinton has to win Pennsylvania by double digits. Such a bar doesn't reflect the overpowering reality of being outspent on TV and radio (and much more, presumably, in direct mail and GOTV) by this margin - especially by round-the-clock unanswered negative attack TV and radio ads that the Obama campaign is running, many of them personal attacks on Senator Clinton's character.

In short:  I hope Senator Clinton wins, period, by any margin, and will be happy if she does and disappointed if she doesn't. But the big news in Pennsylvania, even if Senator Clinton wins by a single-digit margin, will be in the exit polls demographic data. That is what everyone - especially super delegates who care about winning back the White House - should focus on. 

If Senator Obama loses Pennsylvania by whatever margin and, most important, if his demographic base is still the same as before - virtually all African Americans, upper income liberal activist professionals, and college students - then the issue of electability should be even more of concern for Democrats.

No artificial deadline for superdelegates to decide is valid other than when they are convinced they have identified the strongest candidate to run against Senator McCain. (Note to Howard Dean: When I wanted you to be public and forceful in mandating that Senator Obama agree to a "re-vote" by mail and at firehouses in Michigan and Florida - which Senator Clinton ultimately said she would favor - you were disappointingly unwilling.  Now for some reason you are insisting that all superdelegates make up their minds immediately after the last primary.  I would suggest, respectfully, that you revert to your previous silence and let each superdelegate, in conscience, decide for themselves who can best defeat Senator McCain - and look to the national and state polls as one of the many ingredients of that important and complex decision). 

So now we shall see: Will CNN, MSNBC, Fox and the ABC, NBC, and CBS network political correspondents headline the dramatic new Gallup tracking poll showing Senator Obama's dramatic drop?  At least to the same extent as they headlined the +9% Obama advantage a little more than a week ago?  And, more importantly, will they ask themselves, and their guests, why Senator Obama has apparently gone through such a dramatic political decline (that is, assuming it is not aberrational)? And go out to the grass roots and do some hard reporting to figure this question out, rather than interviewing each other?

And if Senator Obama loses Pennsylvania, will they focus on getting an answer to the question: How can Senator Obama win in the more conservative general electorate if he hasn't been able to win in the more liberal electorate of any major large industrial state in the nation - from Massachusetts to New Jersey to Ohio to California (and, perhaps after Tuesday night, to Pennsylvania)?  Why has he lost, despite outspending Senator Clinton to such a degree on TV?  Why has he lost these states that Democrats must win to win the presidency?

I may not have the answer right.  But now it's time for all the national political media in print and on broadcast and cable TV to start to press for answers - and not be too intimidated by criticism from the pro-Obama blogosphere to ask the tough questions. 


Filed under: Barack Obama • Democrats • Hillary Clinton • Lanny Davis • Raw Politics
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Jimmy, Montana

    The ABC debate was the first to ask Obama tuff questions. Granted the subjects were about airing his own his own dirty landery, but that was the media's fault. The raw truth is you never did. You let us down as Americans. You forgot that your job is only to inform. Never Never become the story. My vote is clear. To vote against the forth branch of the goverment. No to being manipulated by an infomercial masked as honest real news. And man it feels real bad to need to say it. Maybe after the contest is over you will get back to what we used to count on but who knows.........

    Jimmy.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:07 pm |
  2. Michelle

    Drop in the polls? It depends on what poll you're looking at and which way the wind is blowing. Now I'm even wondering if it also depends on how much money is out there on the street. Now-a-days it's easy to buy votes...and buy commentary, I fear.

    MSNBC is not pro-Obama, by the way. Thanks for the misleading spin, Lanny.

    The fact that Obama is holding up and succeeding against the intense and underhanded combined efforts of Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton is testiment to his staying power and the power of both his brilliant campaign planners and his loyal volunteer base. Obama is not dishing out money to get help on the streets right now because he doesn't have to pay people to help him...they happily volunteer.

    When Obama is nominated he is going to blow McCain out ot the water.

    April 21, 2008 at 8:58 pm |
  3. Mr. J

    It was the biased media that made Hillary out to be dishonest. will the biased media actually take a deep look at themself and be a little more honest. Now when there little Barry boy might loose They are second guessing themself. Hopefully Penn will give Hillary a 65% win.

    April 21, 2008 at 8:17 pm |
  4. Vicky Ahuja, Canada

    Off late, Mc Cain has started bashing Obama. It's almost as if he does'nt want to face Obama come November. Poor Obama, he's being coralled by Bill, Hillary & McCain.

    April 21, 2008 at 8:14 pm |
  5. ex-Clevelander

    Hillary seems to come through at the end.... she's done it every time!
    I think that the media is SO BUSY pandering to Obama.... that they
    never notice what is really going on.

    Also.... people LIE! When polled about who are they going to vote for, they lie! Its nobody's business and so intrusive to be asked such a question. Then all the pundits can sit and scratch their heads....and wonder why they were wrong.. Ha-ha-ha.
    It's been like that for years . It's a game!

    April 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm |
  6. Kent, Illinois

    It is not surprising considering the poll that was taken which showed over 50% of the people thought Hillary Clinton was dishonest. We might be in for a real shocker Tuesday in Pennsylvania.

    April 21, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  7. Bob from Rome NY

    I don't think anyone really knows the answer! Tomorrow night will tell the tale and some will have guessed right and some wrong. The good news is that it will be so close that Hillary will gain next to nothing and can not possibly catch up. By continuing on she will only hurt the party.

    Bob
    Rome NY

    April 21, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  8. Julie San Diego, CA

    Congratulations Lanny, you're wordier than me...I don't know if that's a compliment...

    Lanny writes:
    "Will you headline the current apparent decline of Barack Obama’s national Democratic Party strength and the Hillary Clinton surge within the last week alone — or not?"

    We can stop reading there.

    Lanny, the media's job is to report the news, not influence it.

    When will you guys get it? When "winning" and "the game" becomes then end-all, be-all; you disenfranchise any rational human being with a few brain cells to rub together (there are a few of us out there...).

    Give us the facts, talk about the issues. That's how to get our attention.

    April 21, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  9. Dean Smith

    Hillary will probably win P.A slightly but not by enough to keep her in the race. My prediction-after the P.A. primary , super gelegates will be flooding to Obama and force Hillary to drop out of the race by next weekend. Then Hillary will need to figure out how to endorse Obama in a way thats convincing, it should be a sight to behold.

    April 21, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  10. Arrow Imp

    I have enjoyed Mr. Davis's commentaries over the years. He is intelligent, a gentleman, and a voice of reason (most of the time). He undermines his own credibility, however, by suggesting that anything can be interpreted in tracking polls. They are scientifically almost without any value whatsoever. It has become clear to most Americans over the last decade that these polls predict nothing.

    Clearly Mr. Davis is letting his loyalty drive him to positions that harm him more than they help the object of his loyalty. He is not the only one. I have seen quite a few familiar faces, Clinton loyalists, who similarly have been driven to extremes of argument over the past three months. I value loyalty but when will these Clinton loyalists consider their debt paid? It is time to move on to a broader view of their place in the political debate. They should repay their debt to the Clintons by doing what is best to promulgate their common political values–stopping the Republican madness of the last eight years–but by doing so with a candidate and a methodology better suited for our current time.

    April 21, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  11. Betty Ann

    Let's get it over already. Is anyone else sick of listening to the dems bicker?
    Let's choose a candidate and get behind him/her.
    Geez~

    April 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  12. Metheus

    I can't believe the poor job that the media is doing on educating the public on the Presidential candidates and their plans for the future of the country. We don't care about the Bosnia or Rev Wright or Bitter or Iran comments that’s being talked about all day, every day on the news. We do care about our failing infrastructure, our failing economy, why our brothers and sisters are dying in Iraq for no reason, why the price of gas and food is skyrocketing, why Earmarks continue to slip through, plans for securing our borders. Yeah, I know it’s considered good TV to show tabloid-type material, but it shouldn't be the sole focus of the press. After the most recent debate, no press was given about the candidate’s answers on those areas of value. Just their answers about Rev Wright and Bosnia. The press/media is becoming the leading contributor to why there are so many problems with our youth and the direction this country is going. It's a sad day when I have to monitor my children when they watch the news because I don't want them to develop bad habits like focusing on the negative aspects of people, gossiping, and overlooking things could be beneficial to their development because the media focuses so much on the negative. I guarantee you that if the media start focusing on the important issues, not the dirty politics, the candidates will change their focus as well. Why don’t you contribute to helping the country and stop dividing the country?

    April 21, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  13. Cathy

    I just checked the latest Gallup Poll and it is Obama 49% with Clinton 42%. You can go to Gallup and check it out but Lanny must be using older data!

    April 21, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  14. Jolene

    Lanny:
    Well, I always wondered how the Gallup polls worked. Thanks for the details. Since the race is so tight, there is really not one candidate who stands out ahead of any other in my mind. Consequently, I don’t believe the polls can capture the indecisiveness that the voters may be experiencing. There could there be a lot of flip flopping going on, especially over time. It’s too bad the Gallup polls don’t track why people are voting for a specific candidate or better yet, why they are not. Even if they did, you probably couldn't trust the results anyways.

    I suppose that is why this political season has been so much fun to follow. Keep on blogging!

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    April 21, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  15. Slater

    Thank you. The same point was brought up in "Meet The Press". The truth is, these questions, and a lot tougher questions, will be asked of any president or presidential candidate in the future, and further, Hillary has been answering these questions all along.

    Obama gets a pass at every turn; it is time now that he answer the tough questions, and let's see how he holds up.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  16. Cathy

    Lanny, it really depends on which poll you are looking at. I've seen him ahead nationally by double digits and I've seen polls that are single digits. You tend to like to point out the ones that give your friend the most advantage even when the numbers you put forth are not consistent with other pollings.

    April 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  17. Beverly

    Lanny, Lanny, Lanny. All these word to say what? Your friend deserves a hallelujah chorus because she is even with a candidate she was supposed to beat a long time ago. Maybe your efforts would be better spent raising $ for her lackluster campaign.

    The good folks of PA will have their say tomorrow, their vote is better than any poll. I pray that they will put Mrs Clinton's campaign out of it's misery, and she can take her "dignified" self back to the Senate.

    I will await your Wednesday Blog entry.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  18. rosie

    Obama will win where he need to win and when he need to win. Remember it's not how many packages you have when you go in the store,but how many you have when you come out. And when you have God on your side, as Obama certainly has, all things are possible, for it's God who has the power over one's heart, and can turn it whether so ever he will. And it's my hope that on April 22, 2008, he turn enough hearts torward Obama that will give him the state of Pennsylvania.

    April 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  19. nerakami

    The losers in this entire political process is the media, as the public clearly realizes that the majority of news commentators and writers DO NOT have the public's best interest as the number 1 priority... instead it is the hunt for the scoop and ratings.... twisting and slanting stories to create mass hysteria and major drama. We are in the age of the "selective" sound-bites and photoshopped images. Do you remember where you laid down your truth that hopefully, you may one day retrieve it?

    We the people, by the people and for the people....
    At the end of the day, who is the least patriotic of them all?

    April 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  20. Gas me, Texas

    Tell you what Obama.... you lobby and lower the price of gas NOW before being elected and you'll have my vote. This offer stands to ANY of those still in the running! And I can just about guarantee that if ANY of you candidate lobbied and successfully got the prices down before the election and guaranteed it for at least a year...you'd win a TON of votes! (If fuel prices went down, everything else would cost less too!)

    April 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  21. Rob_N

    Why does nobody ask why Sen. Clinton can't close the deal?

    Up until last week she kept claiming that Sen. Obama couldn't win in November (tho' she suddenly changed that to a "Yes, yes, yes" he can beat Sen. McCain).

    But if the question is why can't Sen. Obama "close the deal" ... why does no one ask the same of the person - Sen. Clinton - that he's leading?

    She clearly hasn't been able to "close the deal" either?

    April 21, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  22. Linda, Boulder

    Dream on, Edna. Sorry, but he will not prevail in PA.

    Now that citizens have had a chance to learn more about Senator Obama, and see beyond his words and speeches, they can make an informed decision about who will best lead. He's not ready for prime time.

    April 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  23. Barry IL

    Something is terribly wrong with the polls. They are very volatile. People's perceptions and opinions about candidates are not as volatile as the polls indicate. I don't believe the polls have deeper and reliable statistical meaning. Thus, most of the predictions of the polls are total failures. The only polls that make sense are the exit polls after the election day. And it's just impossible to conclude about what tens of millions of people think from polls of one or two thousand people.

    April 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  24. Linda

    Mr. Davis makes some wonderful points here, and many of us are in the same quandary. The media is so pro-Obama that you may never see this plummet of his popularity in the news. It is unfortunate as Hillary is surging in at least 5 polls, including the Gallup, and not one major media outlet has mentioned it! A crime, in my opinion.

    Hillary will likely take PA by 10+ digits on election day. Count on it.
    She will also be the Democratic nominee.

    April 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  25. bernice

    Polls don't reach many of Obama's supporters because a lot of them don't use land lines. Many use the more modern Technologies, Internet, Cell Phones, ect.. So there is no real reflection of his electorial base.

    April 21, 2008 at 1:12 pm |
  26. Bill F. Tennessee

    Lenny,
    Excellent points you make in your post, however, they will fall on deaf ears when it comes to saying something positive about Senator Clinton on the cable news channels and the blogosphere. Getting them to ask hard questions about Obama won't be coming anytime soon either. You are virtually the only person who is pointing out the Gallup daily polling increase for Senator Clinton. Ironically Joe Scarbourgh, one of the few pundits who has been halfway fair to Sen. Clinton, did mention it this morning on his show. If you check the CNN and MSNBC's web pages there is absolutely nothing on the Gallup polling.

    The left wing of the Democratic party and the pro-Obama press are going to do whatever they can to make sure Obama is the nominee and it will only spell disaster in November against McCain.

    April 21, 2008 at 1:05 pm |
  27. Reality

    Wonderul article and I have been asking myself the same questions for months now. Why are the headlines always negative towards Hillary. What happened to reporting facts and not distorting the truth. Nice one about interviewing each other. They are so close minded they are using each other to get out one-sided messages in favor of Obama. I think if anyone has been treated unfairly it has been Hillary. She has stood proud and fought through all the negative the media has thrown at her and I can't even stand to watch the TV anymore so I get my news via the web.

    Nice Job!!! Keep trying to make them answer for the one sided treatment. I don't think any newspaper of media tv site should openly take sides. What happened to reporting factual news in America?

    April 21, 2008 at 1:03 pm |
  28. Eric

    I really hope Obama wins PA. I have a good feeling that he will. I personally had ENOUGH of the silly season politics that Billary and her supporter do. I was a Hillary fan in the beginning; but Barack is right. It time for CHANGE for the tabloid political tactics of yesterday. I’ve grown to love Obama because it feels good to see and hear my son (who's a jock) and all his teenage friends talk about Obama, super-delegates, and listen to debates. Thanks to Obama, they are really engaged in this politico process.

    Obama has really started a movement; and I pray that it comes to fruition.

    Eric

    April 21, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  29. a wilson

    I agree totally with your assessment that the cable news stations are biased toward Obama. And I also agree that Senator Clinton is the stronger candidate to beat John McCain in November. Because the DNC, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, etc. have basically decided that they want Obama, I don't think they're looking at the electability factor as closely as they should. She has won the big states and that can't be ignored. And the fact that the DNC and the Obama campaign did not press for revotes in Michigan and Florida is a big mistake. Voters don't need to be reminded how critical the state of Florida will be in November.

    April 21, 2008 at 12:02 pm |
  30. corin

    The polls really dont matter... they give a sense of a relieving feeling but they are not accurate.

    What is accurate is that Obama has the most delegates, most elected superdelegates and the majority of the popular vote. So critics please tell how will hillary clinton is ahead?! After Penn. its still going to be impossible for hillary clinton to catch up. The media biased reviews of these polls is hillarious! Nobody in the MSM even realize how close this race is going to be. None of the pundits or critics are on the ground in Penn. Basically the media no not what they speak. Tuesday will be a suprise.......

    April 21, 2008 at 11:41 am |
  31. dane

    Hillary has remained "Dignified and virtually unflappable"?!?!?!? If there is one thing she IS NOT..it is DIGNIFIED!!! Give me a break!

    April 21, 2008 at 11:38 am |
  32. Leno

    This is a complete joke. Lanny Davis knows full well that the media she implores to concentrate on Obama is the sole reason Hillary is still in the race. Maybe another lapel pin investigation, eh Lanny?

    Where are the stories about Penn, Bill Clinton and Columbian trade deals? Oh that's right, not newsworthy next to a lapel pin controversy. How about the latest leak from Hillary's camp about contacting the Canadians to downplay Hillary's sudden dislike of Nafta? Mea culpa, not enough bandwidth for that when Wright's patriotism must be questioned on a daily basis. How about some review of the Clinton campaign's inability to manage their funds? Silly me, not really news at all when there is a full page article about what Ayers did when Obama was 8 years old that needs dissemination.

    Hillary isall but mathematically eliminated and behind in numbers of states, delegates, and popular votes won; if she was not the wife of a former President we would not even be having this discussion.

    April 21, 2008 at 11:34 am |
  33. Robin

    Lanny Davis you are obviously of an age where you don't understand that it is not just Barack Obama who want change from 'politics as usual', 81% of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction. Another Clinton administration will just be more of same, better than Bush there is no doubt, but it will be an administration still tied to special interests and lobby groups and once again nothing will be done in Washington. Barack Obama has started a movement that is building across America and it is a movement that cannot be stopped. The status quo only remains for so long and people are ready for a new type of politics. Besides Hillary's credibility is in the tank. She comes off as insincere, a politician through and through. Can't you see that we have all had enough of a Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton White House of politics that divert and divide. Barack Obama is the 'freshness' that is needed in America and our world today. And to quote what a great leader – Ghandi once said – "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." That is why Barack Obama will be the next President because his is the type of leadership so needed today. Its called the urgency of now. Yes we can.
    signed – a white 65 year old grandmother who is proud to be a Barack Obama supporter and see history in the making..

    April 21, 2008 at 11:15 am |
  34. Sam

    The poll drop may reflect the effectiveness of Hillary's campaigning and the recent debate. This would be a shame given that the recent Pennsylvania "debate" was not a debate. It was an ambush and I think Barack did amazingly well considering what he was up against. The evening was choreographed to help Clinton. Barack was treated condescendingly by the moderators. The only "negative" questions Hillary received were ones that she wanted. She wanted to raise again the question of Barack's electablity. She wanted a chance to "win back" voters disappointed by the Bosnea story. Her demeanor was smug and very different from previous debates gving one the impression that she was part of the planning and knew exactly the "questions" planned. The camera frequently focused on Chelsea and Clinton supporters during the "debate". The only commentator at the end was negative about Barrack leaving just the question Hillary wants the superdelegates to worry about. I am not generally one to accept conspiracy theories but this "debate" for me was over the top and I don't doubt at all Hillary was central in planning its choreography." It this "debate" is responsible for the change in the polls in Clinton's favor, it will be a sad day for the democratic party.

    April 21, 2008 at 11:00 am |
  35. AZM

    I think people are seeing how he avoids questions by complaining about being asked them...
    If he was well known I think he could do that about character based questions... since he isn't known he should expect them... is whinning reaction to them leaves people nervous about personal views... I know I feel that way.

    When people want to know about his affiliations and beliefs on persoanl issues it's to get a better understanding of the man... which is the first priority... issues are important... but he needs to understand his person is an issue at this point as well... and continuously crying everytime he's asked about it makes you wonder if he can handle the tough times a president... and if we don't know until he's in office... that could be devistating... feel good speech isn't enough!

    April 21, 2008 at 10:52 am |
  36. Jack

    I haven't seen the press covering this but Bill Clinton is hitting just about every small town and city in West Central........all those places that Obama said were bitter. He was in Somerset on Fri. He's hit Johnstown, Ebensburg, Altoona (?), and a number of other spots.

    Obama seems to be limiting himself to the populations centers of Philly and its suburbs. He seems oblivious to the fact that a great deal of Pa lies west of the Susquehanna river.........but that's a repeat of the Rendell strategy where the current Gov. hit the population centers of Philly and its suburbs and pretty much ignored the rest of the state.

    If Obama takes the nomination, the fall election will be a repeat of McCarthy's "children's crusade" and John McCain will take the WHite House.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:47 am |
  37. Australia against Clinton

    Hillary Clinton has shamed herself and her party....

    NEWS FLASH:

    SHE HAS ALREADY LOST...

    Barack Obama has already won... Her only chance is to destroy him and she has tried but Barack is more then one man he is a movement of people around the world who want change....

    I want Obama to be your next president because i want the world to see the good nation America once was and now can be again,

    Australian for change..

    April 21, 2008 at 10:41 am |
  38. Susan

    Hillary Clinton is telling the people in Scranton P.A. they can count on her. Where was she when their factories and Steel plants were closing down? Ohh I forgot her and Bill were busy making millions giving speeches and writting books about the NAFTA deal they passed. Isn't funny, Hillary going to Pennslyvania asking for their vote after passing Nafta is like asking someone you stole money from and turn around and ask a favor of them. Thats what I call Hipocracy.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:32 am |
  39. David

    The polls are irrelevent at this point. There is no plausible way for Hillary to become the nominee without a total collapse of the Obama campaign. The only thing she is accomplishing at this point feed the GOP soundbites and commercial scripts. It is time for her to get out while she still has some reputation and focus on being an elder stateswoman of the Senate.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:25 am |
  40. David

    The point is he's still ahead of Cllinton but did anybody hear Hillary Clintons speach this morning in Sranton P.A. when she said, " so while my opponent says one thing and his campaign does another". It was her on the stump campaigning to fix NAFTA while her cheif strategist was working to pass a NAFTA trade deal with the Columbian government. Besides It was the Clintons who passed Nafta and opened the doors to China which are doing much better than us. Then telling them she'll never forget them, was she thinking about Pennslyvanians when fighting to pass NAFTA? Then she always like to talk about her childhood in scranton when she was a little girl, then why is she the senator of New York inwhich she never lived until the run for senate. I think Hillary Clinton just think were stupid.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:23 am |
  41. jim in pennsylvania

    why would anyone in pennsylvania wanna vote for a person who has a67% untrustworthy target on her head........
    it amazes me...................
    barack obama gets my vote

    April 21, 2008 at 10:05 am |
  42. Liz-Ontario

    If Obama wins Pennsylvania, he wins only because he outspends Hillary on ads, and this is like being "in your face" all the time so "you might as well vote for me". Is just like any commercial.
    However, the American people know that commercials are just that, commercials, and once you brought home the advertised "product" disappointment sets it. Obama is no different. He is just a "product" of TV ads, carefully orchestrated speeches, and some think he has a talent to "motivate". I would call it manipulation, instead.

    Thanks again Lanny for standing up for Hillary. I was just about time for somebody to counterbalance the pro Obama bloggs with pro Hillary bloggs.

    April 21, 2008 at 10:01 am |
  43. Taj

    Most people do not know what they want in life, who they want to be the president, how their tax dollors are spent, how to find happiness etc. They just live day to day. Likewise the polls depends on the moods of people. We can only rely on polls as much we can rely on moods of the people. It is ever changing. My own opinion is Hillary will win Penna by a narrow margin & obama will lead in the popular vote & delegates. Who will be the nominee? Your guess is as good as mine. In "God we trust", "God save America" because politicians won't. God exists? Nobody knows & nobody has seen him. I would rather go to Las Vegas & bet on something, I have a better chance to win.

    April 21, 2008 at 9:53 am |
  44. D. Johnson

    Isn't that what ABC wanted to happen? Wasn't it their intent to stick it to Obama? Birds of a feather flock together, right? How could someone who was as involved with the Clintons as George Stephanopoulos have been allowed to co-host a debate? Taking questions from Hannity??? What a farce. Why wasn’t Hillary drilled on her association or her husbands association with the Weather movement? As far as the Gallup poll goes, how can 1,252 people speak for so many? This poll is just another tactic to discourage potential Obama voters. Just like the mess in Ohio with NAFTA here we go again with negative attacks against Obama, days from an important primary. This is so transparent.

    Go Obama--08

    April 21, 2008 at 9:34 am |
  45. citizenwells

    The truth is emerging about Obama and his past.
    Of course Obama is helping with his comments.
    ABC News stepped up to the plate and asked probing
    questions of both candidates. When Obama was
    actually forced to answer a question instead of rambling
    on with diversions, he did poorly.
    Make sure you research Obama.
    You will be shocked.

    April 21, 2008 at 9:32 am |
  46. JHendra

    If Mr. Obama is all about Grass ROOTS then let the Grass ROOTS speak!!! Pennsylvania to Kentucky & Oregon are all Americans. Let their voice be heard.

    April 21, 2008 at 9:32 am |
  47. Edna

    Obama will win by a landslide on tuesday..These Polls means nothing, as they are as biased as the media.

    April 21, 2008 at 9:13 am |
  48. Debbie, NJ

    Big deal. You aught to be asking why Hillary is not blowing Obama out since everyone predicted way before now that PA was her state.
    The question is why is Obama so close?.

    April 21, 2008 at 9:11 am |
  49. Annie Kate

    9 point drop – that is a lot in this race. Polls depend on so many things though that there is no way to know if this is right or not, really. How many polls have we already seen that were absolutely dead wrong?

    I think the pundits will be weighing in on this one – that's what they do for a living. But in the end its speculation and I'm going to hold judgment until all the primaries are done and the delegates counted.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    April 21, 2008 at 8:38 am |
  50. Joyce-Houston

    No the polls are always on a roller coaster I believe Obama will come out on top and Hilliary need to drop out of the race and get behind Obama If obama was behind I am sure he would drop out and support her.

    April 21, 2008 at 8:37 am |
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