Rumors of an Obama meltdown, post-Jeremiah Wright, seem to be overstated. A North Carolina poll that showed Obama falling into a tie with Hillary Clinton, in the last large state he's been expected to win, shows him surging back ahead into a 21-point lead. But my favorite part of the poll is this:
If John Edwards endorsed Hillary Clinton, would it make you more likely or less likely to vote for Clinton, or would it not make a difference?
More likely to vote for Clinton—12 percent
Less likely to vote for Clinton—31 percent
No difference—57 percent
JRE's endless Hamlet act about who to endorse suddenly makes more sense. If, as rumored, he wants to support Clinton, he knows better than to give her a tar baby hug in his home state, where he's become a bit of a joke.
UPDATE: Kos notes that Ace Smith, maker of Clinton's primary wins in California and Texas, is headed to North Carolina to break Obama's back. Seems like a fool's errand to me. At least 30 percent of the voters will be black: Obama, winning that vote 8 to 1, will need only about 30 percent of the white vote to win it all. If North Carolina votes at all like the rest of the New South, Obama wins. (He scored about 50 percent of the white vote in Virginia and about 40 percent in Georgia, bottomed out in the 20s in the deeper South.) Clinton, knowing this, is using a press conference to say she wouldn't have stayed in Trinity United if SHE was Obama.
I'd bet on Obama anyway. The key to Clinton's Texas and California wins were the enormous mobilizations of Hispanic voters. In Texas, for example, Hispanics made up 24 percent of the vote in 2004 and 30 percent of the vote in 2008. North Carolina's only about 4 to 5 percent Hispanic, and the minority of them turn out to vote.