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Clinton Up 8 and 9 Points in Indiana

Two new polls out from Indiana show Clinton with a moderate lead in Tuesday’s Indiana primary.

Survey USA

Hillary Clinton: 52%
Barack Obama: 43%

Clinton is down from a 16-point advantage in the last Survey USA poll, but up from a 5-point deficit SUSA did for Downs Center. The poll for Downs Center used a different method of gathering data than what is usually used by SUSA.

PPP

Hillary Clinton: 50%
Barack Obama: 42%

Clinton enjoys some internal advantages in Indiana, including the support of Senator and former Governor of Indiana (and possible VP candidate) Evan Bayh. Obama’s internal advantages are also matched with a sizable African-American population and Chicago media market that is prevalent in the northern part of the state.

More Superdelegates for Obama

Obama continues to roll out superdelegate endorsements. The latest endorsements comes from Richard Machacek, an Iowa superdelegate.

Another very important endorsement for Obama comes from Kentucky. Congressman Ben Chandler endorsed Obama today. Chandler represents a district that is predominantly white, working class, a demographic Obama has struggled with throughout this campaign.

The Kentucky primary is May 20. Latest polls shows Obama with a huge disadvantage in the state. Clinton leads there 62% to 26% in the last Survey USA poll.

Recommended Reading

Obama Looks for Edge in “Invisible Primary”

Post PA Polls

Lets take a look at the polls post Pennsylvania.

Number in parentheses are the last poll conducted before Pennsylvania.

Gallup has one of the most prominent movement towards Clinton, yet it look like she has peaked at 47%.

Barack Obama: 47% (50%)
Hillary Clinton: 47% (40%)

Gallup has one of the most stable general election matchup I have seen this season, so I can’t do an effective comparison.

Barack Obama: 45% (45%)
John McCain: 45% (45%)

Hillary Clinton: 47% (46%)
John McCain: 44% (45%)

Rasmussen on the other hand does not show much movement.

Barack Obama: 48% (49%)
Hillary Clinton: 42% (41%)

General election matchups show some movement towards Democrats.

Barack Obama: 46% (44%)
John McCain: 46% (47%)

Hillary Clinton: 45% (43%)
John McCain: 47% (49%)

Favorable Ratings

John McCain: 51%/46% (51%/46%)
Barack Obama: 50%/47% (49%/49%)
Hillary Clinton: 43%/55% (47%/51%) NET -12 to -4

Where the IN and NC Race Stands Today

The next two races are fast approaching. What do they look like? Here are some polls for you to divulge.

Indiana

Downs Center (4/14-16)

Clinton: 45%
Obama: 50%

LA Times/Bloomberg (4/10-14)

Clinton: 35%
Obama: 40%

Survey USA (4/11-13)

Clinton: 55%
Obama: 39%

ARG (4/2-3)

Clinton: 53%
Obama: 44%

North Carolina

Survey USA (4/19-21)

Clinton: 41%
Obama: 50%

PPP (4/19-20)

Clinton: 32%
Obama: 57%

ARG (4/14-15)

Clinton: 41%
Obama: 52%

Insider Advantage (4/14)

Clinton: 36%
Obama: 51%

LA Times/Bloomberg (4/10-14)

Clinton: 34%
Obama: 47%

David Petraeus Nominated to Head CENTCOM

Today, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the appointment of David Petraeus to head the U.S. Central Command.

In 2007 Petraeus was appointed as Commanding General of the Multinational Force in Iraq, overseeing the “surge.” Through his tenure, military and Iraqi casualties have dramatically fallen, but anti-war sentiments at home remain high.

It is unlikely there will be opposition to his nomination, but it will be interesting to see the reactions of Democrats as a vote for Patraeus can be seen as a vote secondary vote supporting the current course in Iraq. I for one approve of this appointment.

On a political note, Republicans see Patraeus as a possible candidate for President in 2012 if McCain does not win or if he does not seek a second term. It is unclear to me if Patraeus is a Democrat or Republican.

Here are some reactions.

From Senator Harry Reid:

“The next Centcom commander and field commander in Iraq will have to help the next president with a number of critically important challenges: making America more secure, restoring America’s power and influence in the world, fixing our costly strategy in Iraq, and articulating a more effective strategy for winning in Afghanistan and defeating Al Qaeda in Pakistan.”

From Senator Mitch McConnell:

“Gen. Petraeus will now bring the consummate skill and experience he has developed over a lifetime in uniform to the significant task of guarding our national security interest in a challenging and vital region.”

From Senator Joe Lieberman:

“There is no doubt in my mind that Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Odierno are the absolute best men to take on these two critically important assignments.”

From Senator Joe Biden:

“I have great respect for General Petraeus and the job he has done in Iraq. But if confirmed, Gen. Petraeus’ mission will no longer be just Iraq, it will be the entire region, including the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area where those who actually attacked us on 9-11 have regrouped … and where we do not have enough troops because of Iraq.”

From Senator Jon Kyl

“I applaud the defense secretary’s selection of such fine men to lead our forces. Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Odierno implemented the current strategy in Iraq that has given our forces the forward momentum there, and I am certain that Gen. Odierno will continue that progress.”

From Senator James Inhofe:

“This is the right move at the right time. No one understands the situation in Iraq better than these two gentlemen. A great trust and unity of purpose has developed between them, and it is imperative that we leverage their shared expertise to capitalize on our post-surge successes.”

From Congressman Duncan Hunter:

“Dave Petraeus has exhibited superb leadership in turning around the situation in Iraq. … As the former commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, Ray Odierno clearly understands the broad picture.”

Lt. General Ray Odierno was nominated to replace Patraeus.

McCain: Kill Anti-Obama Ad

The GOP is planning to roll out a new anti-Obama ad in North Carolina attacking Obama for his connections with his former pastor Jeremiah Wright, this despite objections by both the RNC and John McCain.

From Brent Woodcox, Communications Director for the North Carolina GOP.

‚ÄúSenator McCain has been very clear that he expects to run a respectful campaign based on the critical issues confronting the nation. The RNC has been in contact with the NC GOP and communicated that we do not believe the ad is appropriate or helpful and have asked that they refrain from running it”

Both RNC Chairman Mike Duncan and John McCain have been in contact with the North Carolina GOP.

From John McCain:

Dear Chairman Daves,

From the beginning of this election, I have been committed to running a respectful campaign based upon an honest debate about the great issues confronting America today. I expect all state parties to do so as well. The television advertisement you are planning to air degrades our civics and distracts us from the very real differences we have with the Democrats. In the strongest terms, I implore you to not run this advertisement.

This ad does not live up to the very high standards we should hold ourselves to in this campaign. We need to run a campaign that is worthy of the people we seek to serve. There is no doubt that we will draw sharp contrasts with the Democrats on fundamental issues critical to the future course of our country. But we need not engage in political tactics that only seek to divide the American people.

Once again, it is imperative that you withdraw this offensive advertisement.

What type of impact the ad will have is unclear. Republicans cannot vote in the North Carolina Democratic primary, but the ad could turn Independents away from Obama and towards Clinton.

As a side note, here is the “Willie Horton” ad on Barack Obama

Popular Vote and Delegate Count

After the Pennsylvania primary, the delegate count and popular vote looks like this:

NOTE: Delegate allocation is still being tabulated.

Barack Obama

Pledged: 1,487
Superdelegates: 232
TOTAL: 1,719

Hillary Clinton

Pledged: 1,331
Superdelegates: 255
TOTAL: 1,586

Popular Vote

Without FL/MI: Obama +501,138
Without FL/MI (include IA/WA/ME/NV): Obama +611,360
With FL: Obama +206,366
With FL (include IA/WA/ME/NV): Obama +316,588
With FL/MI: Clinton +121,943
With FL/MI (include IA/WA/ME/NV): Clinton +11,721

Clinton popular vote lead will be wiped out with Obama’s win in North Carolina, but even so, if she could win WV, KY, IN, and PR by healthy margins, she could hold a popular vote lead in some shape for form.