Two days ago I checked the Rasmussen Poll daily tracking poll for the Presidential campaign. What I saw depressed me so much I decided not to say anything about it: the appearance that Bill Clinton calling Barack Obama "the black candidate" (i. e. the candidate of the blacks and nothing else- that's what it means, at least in the South) and Hillary Clinton claiming (falsely) that Barack Obama liked Republican ideas, that these dirty tactics were working. Obama's national numbers went down, Clinton's went up.
(Note: Bill and Hillary lied. L-I-E-D. Am I the only one who is annoyed almost to incandescence that nobody on TV, in the press, not even Obama himself can use the "L" word to describe what's being done? They didn't "mislead," they didn't "shade the truth," they didn't "spin", and they didn't "distort the truth." They out-and-out LIED. As they've done repeatedly before.)
But in today's polls, there is a massive swing in the other direction. Look for yourself: the numbers jump from 41% for Clinton, 30% for Obama (pretty much where it's been since Monday) to 36% for Clinton, 33% for Obama.
At the same time more and more liberals, including some liberal bloggers are expressing their disgust with the Clintons. Anecdotal evidence seems to show that Obama is strengthening his core support, while Clinton's support is beginning to flake away.
Will the numbers support this tomorrow, or next week? I don't know. This may be a one-day glitch, or misleading polls as they were in New Hampshire. We'll find out in the next hour or two, at least so far as South Carolina is concerned.
But what does tonight mean? If Obama gets over 50% of the total vote (or twenty percentage points ahead of Clinton), or if he shows parity in the far-too-much-discussed white vote with Clinton and John Edwards, then he's scored a major win. A win of less than ten percentage points over Clinton is crippling, probably meaning a Clinton, er, tsunami on Tsunami Tuesday. An outright loss- not likely but possible, with the polls all over the place in the past week- puts an end to his viability.
Clinton, on the other hand, needs to do only two things: prevent Obama from getting a large share of the white vote (as part of the race-baiting strategy she and Bill have taken), and avoid finishing third. There's a chance, although a small one, that Edwards will tie or even surpass her tonight. If Clinton finishes third, she looks weak- and, at the same time, the dirty tactics which have always been the Clintons' strongest suit will be shown as a loser. With inevitability gone, and with dirty pool either gone or much reduced, the Clintons will be highly vulnerable going into February 5, probably leading to some major Obama upsets.
Edwards gets little or nothing out of tonight, whatever happens. He's done. At this point his apparent strategy is to snipe at whichever candidate looks like they might go ahead in order to split the delegates and create a brokered convention. No dark-horse nominee has won the Presidency in the last hundred years; in fact, no dark horses have been nominated since George McGovern in 1972, and remember who was trying to pull the strings at that time. I still say that Edwards needs to make a deal, the sooner the better, especially since tonight is really his last chance at any significant number of delegates.
Well, less than half an hour to go. I'm rooting for Obama. In fact, next week I'm going to buy some stencils and some spray paint, recycle some old signs from my legislature campaign, and make a Burma Shave type campaign sign series:
WE GOT OFF TRACK
LET'S GO GET OSAMA
BY VOTING OBAMA