Here’s the poll, with requisite stun factor.
Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the Obama surge is that he now leads 46% to 41% among women. Clinton retains a lead among the narrower subset of white women, but her lead in that vital demographic is down to just three percentage points.
The news isn’t likely to quell the turmoil within the Clinton campaign.
Maggie Williams, a confidante of Mrs. Clinton from when she was first lady, has moved to assert her control following the departure last weekend of former campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle. Ms. Williams is running a daily conference on what ads to put up and expanding the inner circle with advisers from the old Clinton White House.
But the campaign has something of a shellshocked feel, as staffers privately chew over a blowup last week where internal frictions flared into the open. Clinton campaign operatives say it happened as top Clinton advisers gathered in Arlington, Va., campaign headquarters to preview a TV commercial. “Your ad doesn’t work,” strategist Mark Penn yelled at ad-maker Mandy Grunwald. “The execution is all wrong,” he said, according to the operatives.
“Oh, it’s always the ad, never the message,” Ms. Grunwald fired back, say the operatives. The clash got so heated that political director Guy Cecil left the room, saying, “I’m out of here.”
Adding to the sense of drama, an aide to Sen. Barack Obama yesterday declared the Clinton campaign all but doomed. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said that Mrs. Clinton can’t become the Democratic nominee without winning every remaining contest in “blowout form.” In a conference call with reporters, he said that “even the most creative math” won’t get her there.
I still think it’s a hair too soon to write the Clintons off. That two-headed hydra can still work some political voodoo.
With every delegate precious, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers also made it clear that they were prepared to take a number of potentially incendiary steps to build up Mrs. Clinton’s count. Top among these, her aides said, is pressing for Democrats to seat the disputed delegations from Florida and Michigan, who held their primaries in January in defiance of Democratic Party rules.
Mrs. Clinton won more votes than Mr. Obama in both states, though both candidates technically abided by pledges not to campaign actively there.
What other “incendiary steps” are they pondering?