The Incredible Shrinking Obama

Jenifer Rubin notes a number of polls showing Barack Obama doing worse than Hillary Clinton in head-to-head macthups against John McCain and revealing a sharp decline in those who think Obama is more electable, or most likely to win the nomination. But what Rubin leaves unmentioned is a far more disturbing number for Obama, a new Insider Advantage poll showing him trailing in North Carolina based on a decline in support among whites older thn 45. While he’s only down by 2 points, in the same poll two weeks earlier, Obama was up 15. This is part of a larger trend of Clinton narrowing the gap in the state. North Carolina was supposed to be a firewall state for Obama–the place where he blows out Clinton, regains his mojo, puts the popular vote further out of reach, restores some or all of the delegate margin he lost in Pennsylvania, and shifts the narrative back to Clinton being virtually mathmatically eliminated. But if he were to lose Indiana and win North Carolina just narrowly, it would really cement doubts about his canidacy. And if somehow he manages to lose in both states, he could actually see ths nomination slip away.

UPDATE: John Hood notes, “I wouldn’t get carried away with that two-point Clinton edge in the SPR [Insider Advantage] poll, because a look at the crosstabs reveals only a 64-20 percent preference for Obama among black voters. Not credible. Still, the race has clearly tightened considerably in the past few days.”

O’Reilly Bombs With Hillary

A lot of the reaction to Bill O’Reilly‘s interview with Hillary Clinton centered around how she did — and she was generally her phony self, giggling like a school girl, rattling off one big government program after another, and in John Edwards mode repeatedly saying “I’m a fighter.” But for me, what was really obnoxious in the interview was how absurd O’Reilly was, throwing out one softball after another, chumming it up with her, and seeming to cede points on taxing the wealthy and universal healthcare. O’Reilly said he’s glad to pay more, and that he hopes she’s right about healthcare. At one point, speaking on her U.S. Senate career, he said, “you’ve done good in New York.” O’Rielly revealed himself last night as somebody who isn’t much of a conservative, and who doesn’t know anything about policy. Not that this surprises me — I always viewed him more as an entertainer — but it was an embarassing spectacle to watch.