Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pennsylvania the Keystone For Clinton

Every day, we the people are treated to a new round of polling, generally from such inconsistent groups as Gallup, Rasmussen, Zogby, Survey USA, PPD and the likes.

The numbers which seem to be drawing the most attention are the Democratic National polls, dominated by Sir Barack Obama as of late (with the occasional close one). Pundits, television networks, and Obama proponents have used these numbers as evidence that the race is over.

The other pro-Obama statistic has been in national McCain vs. Democrat polls. These have been fairly close, but Obama is polling a tad bit better. These, some would say, further the argument that Obama is the better general election candidate.

The problem with both of these arguments is that Pennsylvania has yet to happen. Between now and April 22nd, the only polls that truly matter are the Pennsylvania Primary, and predictions have been erratic enough to leave us wondering what the result will be.

I have studied the numbers incessantly, and past trends have shown huge general movement with single-day gains, much the result of the media. Here is my barometer for Hillary's chances:

Lose Pennsylvania - Race is over, barring a MAJOR scandal (apparently more egregious than Wright)

Win Pennsylvania by 5 points or less - The only way this works into a positive is if the media places Obama's expectations higher than they should be (ie. Ohio and Texas).

Win Pennsylvania by 5-10 - Will bring some momentum, but probably not enough to gain real traction.

Win Pennsylvania by 10-15 - A tremendous victory that might be enough to sway some North Carolina and Indiana voters.

Win Pennsylvaina by 15-20 - A major news story that carries Hillary Clinton into a surge. What she does with that surge would depend on the politics from there.

Win Pennsylvania by 20+ - A dramatic win that exposes Barack Obama's failures in major swing states. A result like this would similarly bring the popular vote much closer, and put Hillary in an almost even match for the nomination.

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