Obama-Clinton Gets More Interesting


Barack Obama's fundraising has surged since the Iowa caucuses; Hillary Clinton's has stayed steady but lagged behind. Her solution:

Late last month Senator Clinton loaned her campaign $5 million. The loan illustrates Sen. Clinton's commitment to this effort and to ensuring that our campaign has the resources it needs to compete and win across this nation.

It's a hell of a start to a six-day period where she could lose as many as seven primaries. On Saturday, Washington, Nebraska and Louisiana go to the polls. Washington is a caucus where Obama is favored by 20 points, Nebraska is another one of those flyover caucuses that Obama dominated last night, and Louisiana, even post-Katrina, has one of the biggest black electorates in the country. On Sunday there's Maine, on Tuesday there's D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Clinton has signaled only that she'll compete for Virginia and Maine. The Politico's Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen say she should be worried:

She essentially tied Obama in the popular vote. Each won just over 7.3 million votes, a level of parity that was unthinkable as recently as a few weeks ago.

At the time, national polls showed Clinton with a commanding lead — in some cases, by 10 points or more. That dominance is now gone.

One reason is that polls and primary results reveal that the more voters get to know Obama, the more they seem to like him.

That's the key fact for the Democrats. Clinton can still win, but she badly needed to run up the score on Super Tuesday—it was literally impossible for Obama to make a presence in 22 states over nine days, so her old, national favorability among Democrats helped her break the Obama wave in some states. As the Democrats move on both will have time to hold multiple rallies and town halls in every state. There's one week from the D.C.-Virginia-Maryland primary to Wisconsin. There are two weeks from there to Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont.

As to the GOP race… I have a column coming later about the immigration issue and the GOP, but this map tells most of the story. It's the way California Republicans voted, Mitt Romney in green, John McCain in brown. Romney carried no counties south of Fresno.