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Zogby must be wrong: evangelicals like Hillary?

by Brad A. Greenberg

February 13, 2008 | 12:06 am

This can’t be. It just doesn’t jibe with everything we’ve been told: Hillary Clinton is the Democratic favorite among white evangelicals? They split the Christian vote on Super Tuesday, but this Zogby poll from the primaries shows Clinton is way ahead with evangelicals and points to other religious voting patterns of note.

What we do know is that Hillary is doing better among evangelicals than she is among Protestants in general. And that’s a surprise, especially since most pundits have assumed that Obama, not Clinton, is the evangelical favorite on the Democratic side.

The reality, it seems to me, is that who is supporting Hillary really doesn’t matter. Barack Obama has the momentum, steamrollering last night. And Clinton seemed to be cooked.

Though, yesterday I saw this headline accompanying Clinton’s portrait on the homepage of Slate: “Is She Doomed?” The article offered a surprisingly upbeat analysis for Clinton’s camp:

The best news for Hillary Clinton’s campaign may be that it’s headed over a cliff. In a campaign season where conventional wisdom has been so wrong so often, she can take heart that the current view among the political class is that Obama is marching unstoppably toward the nomination.

Obama has won the last five contests by wide margins and looks on course to win all three primaries on Tuesday. The Clinton campaign predicted this would be a good period for Obama and that they could take this in stride, but their nonchalance crumbled when Clinton replaced her campaign manager this week. (We’re winning; time to fire the quarterback!) Obama is also ahead of Clinton for the first time in a national poll and outperforms Clinton in head-to-head matchups with likely opponent John McCain. Obama has more money, can raise it easily, and still draws those blockbuster crowds. (He should travel with his own overflow room since they are so often required at the venues he uses.)

But all is not lost for those who support Hillary Clinton.

Here’s why, John Dickerson argues: Clinton has secured the key voting blocs, being the front-runner in such a rollercoaster campaign is a recipe for losing, and, if the race comes down to the 796 superdelegates, well, maybe they’ll favor Clinton’s insider credentials. Then again:

In a race where so much that seemed certain has not been, any struggling candidate can find a reason to persevere, especially perhaps a candidate who was once seen as inevitable. Of course the race’s switchbacks have now become such a predictable part of conventional wisdom that it may be time now for the undulations to stop and for momentum to start playing a role again. In that case, Clinton is doomed.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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