As you might have seen elsewhere, the two new California polls out today show wildly diverging results: Zogby has Obama up 49-36, while SurveyUSA has Clinton up 52-42. As Josh Marshall says, somebody's gonna end up looking pretty stupid. Most likely they both will--I don't expect the final tally to be more than five or six points in either direction. But SurveyUSA will probably end up looking worse.
I took a look at the crosstabs of the SurveyUSA poll (I can't seem to find them for Zogby--if any commenters can, please link!). Unfortunately, one of the most relevant things to look at is the relative proportion of African-American and Latino votes in the electorate (since, by all accounts, Obama will win the black vote overwhelmingly and Clinton will win the Latino vote easily, though by a smaller margin). In the 2004 Democratic primary, 16 percent of voters were Latino and 8 percent were black. SurveyUSA estimates the 2008 Democratic electorate as being 26 percent Latino and 9 percent black. To be frank, I would be shocked if those numbers end up being correct--particularly given the disproportionate surge in black turnout we saw in South Carolina. If I had to guess, I'd say the proportions will be about 19 and 11--which is more in line with what other pollsters predict. This alone would swing the result several points toward Obama from what SurveyUSA has.
In addition, SurveyUSA has Hillary beating Obama by one point in the Bay Area, which defies all conventional wisdom. The Field Poll, which has more expertise polling California than anyone, had Obama winning in the Bay Area 41-31--and this was just at the beginning of what looks like a late Obama surge in the state. Hillary will win the state if turnout in Los Angeles and the Inland Empire are large enough, but, again, I'd be very surprised if she won the Bay Area (full of latt