As usual, Fox News isn’t releasing its bottom line exit poll results in advance of the closing of the real polls. Instead, it’s releasing fragmentary results — how regular church goers voted (strong for Clinton), how city dwellers voted (very strong for Obama), how women voted (55 percent for Clinton).
Collectively, these fragments suggest a victory for Clinton, but not of the double-digit variety she was hoping for. But exit polling, even when it’s non-fragmentary, isn’t always that reliable.
UPDATE, CLINTON WINS: Fox News has called the race for Clinton. Its exiting polling continues to suggest that the margin is not substantial. However, having called the race fairly early, it’s probable that the raw vote Fox saw had Clinton beating her exit poll numbers.
Fox’s exit poll showed late-deciders going for Clinton, as frequently has been the case. Since most recent polls had Clinton ahead by six percentage points or more, perhaps she can approach a double-digit margin.
JOHN adds: At the moment, it looks as though Clinton will win with approximately the six-point margin that I believe was the average of the most recent polls. Over the last few days, both campaigns have been spinning furiously over what constitutes a “win” for Hillary. It seems to me, though, that a win is a win.
Obama makes much of the fact that a narrow win will help Hillary only slightly to catch up in delegates. The fact is, though, that neither candidate can come close to winning a majority of delegates through primaries and caucuses. The nomination will be decided by the superdelegates. And the superdelegates, quite properly, will be influenced by factors like momentum and electability. So Hillary is no spoiler; she is very much in the race, I think, and is right to stay in to the end, even if that means the convention.
With all of the new information that keeps coming to light about Wright, Rezko, Ayers and Dohrn, I’m sure many superdelegates are worried about what the voters may learn about Obama himself, as well as his associates. Notwithstanding the constant reports of superdelegates announcing for one candidate or the other, the fact is that at the convention, they can vote for whomever they want. So I think the race is far from over.