1.19.2007

Obama Breaks Out; Hillary Goes Dirty

Yesterday, I wrote a post about a poll allegedly done by the Miami-based Encuesta Organization, a market research firm focused on the Latino population. Their poll supposedly shows that Latinos favor Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama by a wide margin.

However, the "poll" is so shoddy in every conceivable way that it seems that the people that did it are more interested in manipulating Latino opinion rather than in honestly tracking it.

But here's a poll with real integrity. It was conducted January 15-17, 2007 and it surveyed 502 Republican and Democrats from New Hampshire on their primary preferences. By Zogby International, the poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.5 percentage points.

The poll shows that Obama has opened a small lead on Hillary among the crucial Granite State primary voters; while John Edwards is now tied with her. This is bad news for both Clinton and Kerry since both are from the region. Kerry in particular should get the message and leave the field.

Here are the results:

Democrats:

Senator Barack Obama (Illinois): 23%
Senator Hillary Clinton (New York): 19%
former Senator John Edwards (North Carolina): 19%
Senator John Kerry (Massachusetts): 5%
Governor Bill Richardson (New Mexico): 1%
Not Sure: 22%

Republicans:
Senator John McCain (Arizona): 26%
former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (New York): 20%
former Governor Mitt Romney (Massachusetts): 13%
U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice: 7%
Congressman Tom Tancredo (Colorado): 2%
Not Sure: 15%

Anytime a candidate starts to pull away is when rivals become start to throw mud in an attempt to cut them down. That's exactly what happened this week when FoxNews teamed up with Hillary Clinton's camp in questioning Barack Obama's ties to Muslims. Hillary's concerned that Obama isn't saying the truth about his religious heritage. That he's somehow keeping secret his heritage. The questions are supposed to cause Democratic party voters stop liking Obama and return to Clinton.

Of course, the whole suggestion is complete and utter rubbish. Obama in his autobiography Dreams from My Father gives all in finite detail. His Kenyan father was a lapsed Muslim; and Obama did attend a Muslim school during the 4 years that he and his mother was lived in Indonesia because those are the schools that are available and his step-father during that period was a Indonesian Muslim. Obama himself is a Christian which is what his mother--the parent he grew up with--was.

Senator Obama has handled this initial with the same dignity that I'm sure he's had to use against bigots throughout his life. But if his Democrat opponents can only find the same things that the ultra Right is alleging--that Obama and Osama look and sound too much alike--then we're in bigger trouble than I suspected.