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January 12, 2008

A Hillary Loss In New York?, Uh, Sure

Hillary Clinton's team worries about a scenario where a South Carolina win for Barack Obama could trigger a close fight for New York. Despite winning endorsements from most of the black politicians in the state, Hillary could lose the edge in delegates in one of the biggest prizes on Super Tuesday -- or so the meme goes:

With Senator Barack Obama vowing to challenge Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on her home turf, the Democratic presidential primary in New York on Feb. 5 is shaping up as the state’s most competitive since 1992, when Bill Clinton took up a rival’s mantra of change to all but cinch the nomination.

Mrs. Clinton was re-elected a little more than a year ago by better than two to one. Before the Iowa caucuses, she had so dominated opinion polls and endorsements by elected officials and powerful unions that many considered her home state impregnable to political interlopers.

But if Mr. Obama wins the South Carolina primary in two weeks, he could develop enough grass-roots support among young people, liberals and black voters in New York to pose a serious threat to her claim to the state’s rich delegate lode, allies of both candidates say.

Is this for real? Not really. This is more GOTV posturing and a little bit of media-baiting. Hillary leads Obama now by 27 points in the latest polling by Survey USA, via RealClearPolitics.

Not only does Hillary lead in this survey of 957 likely Democratic primary voters, she has a clear majority of votes. She wins in every major demographic except among black voters, and even there she only trails Obama by nine points. The support she has is twice as likely to have made up their minds about their vote than Obama's. She wins on every issue, including Iraq. She wins in every region, including a majority of Big Apple voters.

This is a typical effort to stamp out complacency. If she really was worried about losing New York, she should consider withdrawing. If she can't hold a lead like this over less than three weeks, she has no business running for President at all.


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