The Florida exit polls, Edwards leaving & Super Tuesday

I’ve seen some Obama supporters post the following results from the Florida exit polls, about people who decided the last month, week, three days and final day:

In the last month: Obama wins 47-40
In the last week: Obama wins 39-31
In the last three days: Obama wins 46-38
The last day: Clinton wins 34-30

They are trying to make the case that late deciders went for Obama and had there been true campaigning there he might have won, or had a narrower loss.

I have several responses to this.

First, look at what the trends were:

The trend was clearly going Hillary’s way for a long time, and just getting stronger over time.

I know that Obama supporters are desperately searching for some positive spin in the Florida exit poll numbers – which show practically every demographic supporting Hillary (which bodes poorly for Obama on Super Tuesday) – but just the fact that people who decided the last few days (except for people who decided on the last day) went to Obama by a slim margin is really grasping at straws.

The alternative argument is simply that Clinton supporters like her, decided early, and stuck with her.

And remember, it was only Obama who had TV ads showing in Florida the last week – not Clinton. Had both had TV ads running, who knows what that would have done to the last-minute deciders.

Yes, I am a Hillary supporter. I’ve made that clear here. But I do think an objective look at the demographics and exit polls in Florida, and the demographics and most-recent polls for Super Tuesday give the overwhelming odds to Hillary winning the vast majority of the Super Tuesday primaries. I think that is just objective reality, regardless of what you think of the two candidates.

On top of that, the latest LA Times polls shows that 40% of Edwards supporters 2nd choice is Hillary and 25% for Obama. So Edwards leaving the race will probably mean things break even more towards Hillary on Tuesday.


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