Elite in Indiana

Rich Galen

5/2/2008 10:43:48 AM - Rich Galen

I know you think I have been hitting this Obama-as-Elitist thing too hard, but here's the lead paragraph from Reuters' Caren Bohan writing from Fort Wayne, Indiana:

"Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama sought to convince Americans he is not elitist on Thursday as new polls showed his aura of inevitability has declined after weeks of negative headlines."

Hillary Clinton, sensing the vulnerability, jumped on Obama's opposition to a Gas Tax Holiday (which both she and John McCain favor) in Brownsburg, Indiana saying:

"I find it frankly a little offensive that people who don't have to worry about filling up their gas tank … think that it's somehow illegitimate to provide relief for the millions and millions of Americans who are … unable to keep up with their daily expenses."

I love that "frankly" thing. Does that mean the rest of the time she opens her mouth she is Shirley not being Frank?

Back to the next round of primaries. North Carolina and Indiana are on Tuesday. As recently as Monday of this week Obama had a lead of 15 percentage points over Clinton in North Carolina: 51-36. As of last night the RealClearPolitics average had Obama's lead down to about seven points: 49-42.

Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday.

Obama's lead in North Carolina has been sliced in half in just four days.

In Indiana, over that same period, Obama has gone from being ahead of Clinton by three points - 46-43 to down five 43-48; a switch of eight points in five days.

When you read in the Popular Press that Obama has put the Jeremiah Wright business behind him? Look at those numbers.

I said on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer Tuesday that Barack was going to find himself in the same position in North Carolina as Hillary had been in Pennsylvania: A win was not going to be enough. It had to be a BIG win.

More: According to the CBS.com website, a New York Times/CBS poll shows that 51% [of Democratic voters] now say they expect Obama to win the nomination, down from 69 percent on April 3rd, while 34% now expect Clinton to be the nominee, up from 21% a month ago.

Not only that - but helping make Hillary Clinton's case to the Super Delegates - the poll said 48% of Democrats now say he is the candidate with the best chance of defeating John McCain, down from 56% in early April. Minus 12.

Keep in mind, as we tick toward the Democratic National Convention in Denver in late August, that the Democrats still haven't dealt with that pesky problem of what to do about delegates - or lack of delegates - from Michigan and Florida.

What does all this mean? It means that unless something extraordinary happens, the Democratic National Convention is going to be Must See TV.