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Monday, May 5, 2008

N.C. & IN Set to Vote

George Wenschhof

Tomorrow, the voters in Indiana (72 pledged delegates) and North Carolina (115 pledged delegates) weigh in on the democratic party race to be the presidential nominee. Both the Obama and Clinton campaigns have worked hard with the Obama campaign outspending the Clinton campaign.

Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama also appeared and gave speeches at both state's annual democratic party Jefferson/Jackson Dinners over the weekend. At the Indiana dinner last night, Clinton was noticeably hoarse when she addressed the crowd and although always inspiring, Obama looked tired.

In what has become the all important delegate watch, Obama leads in total delegates 1743 to 1606. This is a 137 delegate lead that will be difficult for Clinton to catch as they both strive to reach the 2025 needed to secure the nomination. Out of the total 795 superdelegates, it is reported that 274 remain uncommitted to a candidate. That number could actually be only 221 if the superdelegates from Michigan (28) and Florida (25) are not counted. It does not seem reasonable that superdelegates from those two states should count when the votes did not count per the DNC sanction.

There are two polls out today for N.C. with Insider Advantage 5-4 showing Obama 48% and Clinton 45%. Zogby from 5-3 to 5-4 has it Obama 48%, Clinton 40%. You can see both polls have a large number of undecideds so how they break will be crucial. Zogby called it correct on the morning of the PA primary when their poll showed a ten point lead by Clinton so we'll be looking to see what Zogby says tomorrow for N.C.

This state is a reversal of PA where Clinton was heavily favored to win. Anything less than a ten point win by Obama and the Clinton camp will spin his support is eroding - if the victory margin by Obama is small or Clinton pulls an upset, the spin will be enormous. Yet, the Clinton campaign will not have picked up any much needed delegates.

Two polls taken in Indiana from 5-3 to 5-4 show different results. Suffolk has Clinton leading 49% to 43% while Zogby has Obama in front 44% to 42%. Once again, the undecideds are high and will be the determining factor in the outcome. If these numbers hold true, it does not appear that Senator Clinton will gain any significant delegates even if she won.

What will be interesting to examine is the vote totals from Indiana to see if the state's voter-ID law which was recently upheld by the Supreme Court has any impact on the number of minorities or lower income voters going to the polls. has a article on this subject entitled ID Law could depress black turnout in Ind.

After the primaries tomorrow, there are only five states and Puerto Rico with a combined 217 pledged delegates, remaining on the democratic party primary schedule. Here is the remaining schedule: West Virgina (28 delegates) May 13, Kentucky (51 delegates) May 20, Oregon (52 delegates) May 20, Puerto Rico (55 delegates) June 1, Montana (16 delegates) June 3, S. Dakota (15 delegates) June 3.

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