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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Clinton Gains in N.C., Leads By 9 in Indiana

In a poll conducted 4-26 to 4-27 by Public Policy Polling (PPP), Obama leads in North Carolina by 51-39 over Clinton. In five previous N.C. polls by PPP, Obama's lead over Clinton was 18-25 points. In a poll conducted 4-25 to 4-27 by Survey USA, Clinton has jumped in front of Obama in Indiana 52 to 43.

In another boost for the Clinton campaign, popular two term North Carolina Governor Mike Easley is expected to endorse her today. Also, reaction to speeches by Reverend Wright on Sunday in Detroit and Washington D.C. yesterday have not been positive for the Obama campaign.

Remember, just a week ago the opposite was occurring. Obama, who had been far behind in Pennsylvania, spent heavily and pulled within 10 points in their primary. North Carolina (115 pledged delegates) and Indiana (72 pledged delegates) have the most available delegates in any of the remaining states in the democratic schedule.

Although Clinton won the Pennsylvania primary by 10 points, she only picked up a plus 10 delegates out of the 158 available pledged delegates. This is due to the convoluted two step proportional manner of awarding delegates by the democratic party - one step is the popular vote and the second step is by congressional district. So although it is likely and expected that Obama will win N.C. by double digits, it is unlikely he will pick up more than 10 - 15 delegates than Clinton.

The Obama campaugn had previously put out the spin that Indiana was the tie breaker and now they are behind by 9 points in one poll a week before the primary, they may be sorry they used that spin. If Clinton could narrow the loss in N.C. to single digits and win Indiana, the momentum would continue to be on her side following the win in Pennsylvania. However, after the Indiana and N.C. primaries, there are only five states and Puerto Rico remaining in the democratic primary schedule. Combined, they only have a total of 217 pledged delegates.

The Florida (210 delegates) and Michigan (156 delegates) debacle continues to loom large as well as the remaining 300 undeclared superdelegates. One of them will decide who the democratic nominee will be unless one candidate withdraws from the race.

As of today, Obama is only leading in the total delegate count by 136 delegates out of the 3,322 awarded delegates to date: 1729 to 1593. 2024 delegates are needed to secure the democratic party nomination.

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