Friday, February 22, 2008

Why Has Obama Caught Up in Texas But Not in Ohio?

The ABC News/Washington Post polls released yesterday showed that Obama has closed the gap in both Texas and Ohio, but he has closed a lot more in Texas. In Texas, Clinton holds a lead within the margin of error, 48-47%. In Ohio, Clinton's lead is a bit bigger, 50-43%. Why has Obama come within a statistical tie of Clinton in Texas but not Ohio? Well, the answer appears to be white men and, to a lesser extent, white women. Obama holds big leads among African Americans in Texas and Ohio, as he has in nearly every state. Clinton's lead among Hispanics in Texas is approximately what it has been in many other states as well. But while Obama leads among white men in Texas (53-43%) he trails among that group in Ohio (40-52%). While he trails among white women in both states, he trails by a larger gap among that group in Ohio. I've included a figure from ABC's release here:

This illustrates the challenges facing both candidates in the next week and a half. Clinton needs to hold on to white men in both states, something she has not been able to do in recent primaries. She also needs to keep big margins among white women--those margins have been smaller in recent primaries. Obama needs to cut into Clinton's support among those two groups, particularly in Ohio. It will be interesting to watch whether we see any movement in support among these groups in the next week or so.

However, the other key for Obama is getting big turnout among African Americans in both states. Since that group votes so overwhelmingly for him (usually about 85%), he gets huge bang for the buck if he drives up turnout among African Americans. Clinton would similarly benefit from higher than normal turnout among Hispanics in Texas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He has barely campaigned in Ohio. He's only been there once briefly in Youngstown. Let people get to see him, then it will get closer.