Monday, February 25, 2008

Late Numbers

The blogs are buzzing with the new Survey USA poll numbers. SUSA is considered to be the most reliable polling outfit. Their Texas poll shows Obama ahead 49-45, just out of the margin of error. It's a nine point swing in six days.

But it's inside the poll that is most fascinating. For example, Hillary's lead among Latino voters has gone from 33 points to 13. In a week! She led among women by 27, now by 11. Obama has increased his lead among young voters from 6 points to 22. Among those most concerned with the economy as an issue, Clinton had led by 2, but now Obama leads by 11. Where Obama has spent the most time campaigning, his numbers have soared.

Al G. quotes from a story in tomorrow morning's NY Times, in which a pharmacist in San Antonio talks about switching from Hillary to Obama because of the lines to get into Obama's speech there: “The lines to get into the plaza went more than a mile,” said Mr. Davila, showing photographs his assistant had taken at the Obama rally held less than half a block from his pharmacy. “The crowd was one-third white, one-third black and one-third Latino. I had never seen anything like it in San Antonio. And I knew right then he was the best candidate to defeat the Republicans in November.”

There's your operative number: one-third white, one-third black, one-third Latino. In 1964, the long-time Republican leader of the House, Everett Dirkson, ended his opposition to civil rights legislation by quoting (or mis-quoting as the case may be, because I've seen at least three variations) Victor Hugo: "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come."

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