Tuesday, May 6, 2008

North Carolina/Indiana primary predictions

By Rick Morris

The Real Clear Politics averages put Obama up 8 points in North Carolina and Clinton up 5 points in Indiana. With polls on the verge of closing shortly, here are my predictions.

Reports out of North Carolina today indicate that Obama will "beat the spread," perhaps decisively, as turnout among his key constituencies carries him to a big win. I see him covering, but not by much, mostly because he has not performed up to the levels of his late polling during much of the primary/caucus season. Call it Obama by 10.

In Indiana, I think the favorite also covers, as I believe Clinton will win by 8 points. I think that the state shapes up nicely for her in terms of the demographics she's carried in the past. Any hopes whatsoever for Obama to win are going to hinge on huge outpourings in Gary and Indianapolis -- which do account for a significant percentage of the state's Democratic voters. Frankly, with Gary being just a short commute for members of Obama's hometown machine, he's done a masterful job in terms of managing expectations in the state, as he should have been perceived as having a strong chance to win.

A split decision along the lines of what I forecast tonight changes nothing. There will be no stampede of superdelegates to Obama absent an upset win in Indiana, although they'll keep moving in his direction overall unless he inexplicably coughs up North Carolina.

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