< .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Dialing for dollars

Which came first -- the money or the support?

With word that Hillary Clinton is opening up a wider lead in the polls at the same time she took the quarterly fund-raising lead from Barack Obama in dollars and total donations, it appears the Democratic presidential primary process has hit a crucial juncture. And that it is clearly time for Clinton's challengers to take off the gloves.

An important caveat: National polling at this stage of the game (and frankly at all times) is far less accurate than state-by-state tallies. As we were reminded in 2000, the person who wins the popular vote doesn't necessarily win the election. And three or four months out from the first primary, when the bulk of voters are not paying attention, name recognition and popularity are crucial.

Still, these results mean the interesting argument that Clinton's polling lead over Obama is the result of younger potential voters using cell phones instead of landlines may not get a chance to be fully tested.

A few other observations. Poll after poll consistently show that people definitely have an opinion of Clinton -- for better or worse. The Post poll only looks at Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents and doesn't take into account the vast right wing conspiracy that hates Hillary and her potential First Laddie with a passion that far outstrips that of the typical Bush loather.

The Times also mentions something the Post ignores on the fund-raising side of the equation: the Norman Hsu factor -- and what this fund-raising headache may mean in terms of digging up those old memories.

None of this negates the reality this is a two-person race. While it doesn't seem to be reflected in the Post poll, Obama's allure remains a wild card. He and Clinton are virtually tied in dollars -- no matter how rotten a benchmark that is. And the depth and breadth of his small donor base is a phenomenon that can be overlooked only at Hillary's peril.

So far, Obama has run a cautious race, but he can no longer afford that caution. And he has the dollars to make a difference. So stay tuned. It's about to get interesting.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home