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Friday, February 29, 2008

A Show Down in Texas?

George Wenschhof

The Democratic Texas primary is shaping up to be the one to watch on March 4th. The polls are indicating that Texas is failing to live up to the expectations of the Clinton campaign. Prior to the debate in Ohio last Tuesday, Clinton had a 3 point lead in Texas.

Today's Rueters/CSPAN/Zogby poll has Senator Barack Obama leading by 6 points with 48% to 42% for Senator Hillary Clinton. has the latest Texas polls:

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a former Democratic candidate for President has indicated that he will endorse either Clinton or Obama today. While endorsements do not always result in actual votes, this is one that both candidates covet. Governor Richardson's influence in the Hispanic community is considerable and the demographics in Texas indicate a significant number of Hispanics registered as Democrats.

However, realize when looking at the polls, often 10% of the voters are left out which means some are still deciding who to support. Also remember the polls indicated a win for Obama in New Hampshire. The win in New Hampshire was important to Clinton but not as important as a win in Texas next Tuesday. Women, who make up approximately 57% of the Democrats voting in the primaries, are who helped Clinton win in New Hampshire - she will need them again in Texas.

Also causing some angst for the Clinton campaign is yet another wrinkle in the method of determining the allocation of delegates to the Democratic candidates. In Texas, some of the districts have higher proportional delegates based on previous election turn out of voters. Many pundits have said they feel this favors the Obama campaign.

Regardless, Texas has the most delegates of any of the states holding primaries on March 4th with 228 which include the superdelegates. Contrary to what many are saying that Senator Clinton needs to win big in Texas and Ohio, what she needs is just the win.

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