Clinton Braces For Another Obama Sweep
Despite still leading in most national polls, Hillary Clinton is set to get swept by Barack Obama in another round of primary contests tomorrow in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
To no great surprise at Smart Politics, Obama also swept Clinton this weekend, victorious in the states of Washington, Nebraska, Louisiana, and Maine (plus the Virgin Islands). Smart Politics opined last week that too much had been made of Clinton’s high-profile victories in New York, Massachusetts, and California on Super Tuesday, and not enough had been made of the fact that Obama had won 13 of 21 contests (with New Mexico results still pending). And the reason is this: whatever momentum and positive media coverage Clinton was to have gained from, say, her victory in California, that was likely to be replaced in the next news cycle with the “Obama sweep,” even though that sweep was comprised of less populous states.
On Saturday morning, Smart Politics stated that nearly all the contests between Super Tuesday and March 4th (when Texas and Ohio vote) strongly favored Obama, and that if Clinton had to wait until March 4th to deliver good news, it would be too late. The results are holding true to form, and Obama will make it 7 for 7 in post-Super Tuesday contests Tuesday evening.
While Clinton is leading in the only recent poll of Wisconsinites (who go to the polls on February 19th along with the Hawaii caucuses), expect those numbers to change after the favorable coverage Obama receives after his East Coast sweep and he invests more resources in the Badger State in the coming week.
Clinton has still outpolled Obama in 7 of 10 national surveys conducted this month, but those results are relatively meaningless for the following reason: Obama has the resources to go on the air with ads to change voters’ minds in each state that comes up on the calendar. Obama gets in his media buys early and often and, in addition to his strong ‘likeability factor,’ he will sway the majority of voters in these upcoming states to his side more often that he will not (not to mention that Democrats in many of these states are already on his side).
And as for the new March 4th firewall of Texas and Ohio on which the Clinton campaign is banking? Don’t count on it. For three weeks the media will be covering Obama’s dominant performances in the post-Super Tuesday primaries, and this will only make Clinton appear as a smaller and smaller candidate.
So what would be your advice if you were Senator Clinton’s top advisor? Can she make any play at all anymore? Or is it completely out of her hands — and Obama’s game to lose so to speak?
Well, one thing that would certainly help Clinton is more strong performances by Mike Huckabee. If John McCain cruises quickly to become the ‘official’ nominee, then almost all of the reporting in the coming weeks will be on Obama vs. Clinton. If Huckabee pulls a little magic out of his hat, then McCain will get some of the critical commentary that would have otherwise gone almost completely to the Clinton campaign.
But that is out of her hands as well.