Clinton's "surge" in the polls

CNN is reporting that Hillary Clinton’s lead has grown in its recent polling:

Hillary Clinton’s lead in the Democratic presidential primary race has grown — and if Vice President Joe Biden decides to stay out of the race, her numbers would rise even higher, a new CNN/ORC poll shows.

Clinton is backed by 42% of Democratic primary voters nationally, compared to 24% for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 22% for Biden and 1% for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

That’s a marked improvement over an early September CNN/ORC poll that found Clinton leading Sanders, 37% to 27%, with Biden at 20%.

A couple of things to note here.  One, this poll was conducted with 392 people who “lean” toward the Democratic party and it is acknowledged to have a “plus or minus 5 point” margin of error.  If one uses the margin of error to plus Sanders and minus Clinton, nothing has changed.

Secondly, look at the numbers for an undeclared candidate.  Biden has risen from 14% in their 8/13 – 8/16 poll to 22% in its most recent poll.  That hints at a very strong challenge should he declare.  And rumor has it that he’s seriously considering it and there’s a big endorsement waiting if he does (with conditions, of course):

The talk in Democratic Party circles is that Barack Obama has told Joe Biden that he is prepared to endorse him for president if, in return, Biden promises to let Obama have a final say in the choice of his vice presidential running mate.

Interesting.  If one looks at these numbers, as presented by CNN, they’re not at all as strong for Clinton as the CNN headline would like you to believe.  Clinton remains in electoral trouble and trails in key polls in Iowa and New Hampshire.  Will Joe Biden declare and put a stake in the heart of the Clinton candidacy? My guess is nothing would please Mr. Obama (or the GOP) more.

~McQ