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Obama's Hidden Strength: The Polls

Real Clear Politics has a handy page displaying all the Obama-McCain and Clinton-McCain polls. In the past two weeks, seven different organizations have polled the races and on average Obama beats McCain by 3.2%, while Clinton loses to the Arizona senator by 2%. Not a single polls has Clinton doing as well as Obama. Normally this wouldn't be such a big deal--after all, most people don't obsessively read polling data. But this year's race might be different. If, as seems increasingly likely, the Democratic nomination drags on all the way to the convention, it's imperative that Clinton close the gap with Obama. Think of it like this: you are a superdelegate or party boss. You have been undecided but now must choose between two candidates with roughly equal numbers of delegates. Most of all, you want to win in November, which is now only three months away. And while one of your two choices is consistently beating the Republican nominee in polls, the other is consistently losing. It's not hard to imagine that many of these people will be swayed by the data above.

--Isaac Chotiner