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Washington Matters

Clinton vs. Obama -- Some Interesting Numbers

I've been involved in too many polls not to take them with more than a grain of salt, but it's hard to pass up the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll and an interesting compilation of primary results thus far.  Some tidbits:


While voters prefer -- in theory at least -- to have a Democrat in the White House (50%-37%), GOP nominee-apparent John McCain is statistically tied in a matchup with either Barrack Obama or Hillary Clinton. McCain actually leads by a couple of points, but that's within the margin of error.


Voters like and respect McCain and think he has the qualities they want in a commander in chief, but only 31% agree with his policies.


52% of Republicans wish they had come up with another nominee.


13% of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim.


Other interesting numbers come from analyst Rhodes Cook writing on Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball web site. He points out that while Obama and Clinton are virtually tied when the race is viewed as a whole, their victories in individual states tended to be by landslides, with three-fourths of the states decided by margins of at least 10 percentage points. The primaries weren't a series of close contests, but a back-and-forth battle, with each taking turns drubbing the other.


Cook also raises questions both about Clinton's claim that her victories in the big states is crucial and Obama's claim he's doing better in the swing states that will really matter in November. Clinton's wins in New York, Massachusetts and California aren't that important because those states will probably go Democratic no matter who heads the ticket. Obama's victories in potential swing states such as Virginia, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa could be more valuable because they are up for grabs, but Clinton can say the same about her wins in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.  


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