In North Carolina, Barack Obama has opened up a twenty-three percentage point lead over Hillary Clinton. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that Obama attracts 56% of the vote while Clinton earns 33%. A month ago, Obama’s lead was just seven percentage points.
Flat numbers from any single poll have been wildly off the mark this season, but long term trends still seem to provide some useful indicators. Hillary's lead in Pennsylvania hasn't evaporated, and she may well still take the state, but Obama seems to have closed the gap to a single digit margin. What does this mean for anxious Democratic observers? It still all comes down to the math.
Pennsylvania is worth a whopping 152 delegates for the Democrats, but North Carolina has 115 and Indiana checks in with 72, giving us a two state total of 187. If Clinton can only scrape out a single digit victory in Pennsylvania (effectively an electoral split) and Obama walks away with twenty point margins in the next two races, well... it may be all over but the crying. Of course, we've been saying that for the last few major contests and Hillary has still continued to surprise and defy us.