SurveyUSA released 50-state Obama-McCain and Clinton-McCain matchups. It's the most definitive showing yet that polling results offer no clues as to which candidate is the most electable.
The net-net of the Statewide polling is that Clinton leads in states with 276 electoral votes and Obama leads in states in 280 votes. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses: for instance Obama loses Pennsylvania outside the margin of error and Florida and New Jersey by a hair, but takes Virginia and several western states where Hillary is behind. Hillary puts Florida out-of-reach to Republicans but her "Latino advantage" doesn't do the trick in states like Colorado and Nevada where Obama is ahead and she loses. Both are 10 points ahead in Ohio despite Obama's big loss in the primary.
Analyzing electability under these circumstances depends upon subjective factors. Those who believe in transformational politics tend to favor the chances of Obama - hence his popularity among the young and net-roots (an appeal like Robert Kennedy's base in 1968). Those who believe the politics of the next election is likely to be an attritional war like those of the past and believe based upon past history in the ability of the Republican attack machine to rough up shiny new candidates like Dukakis or Kerry or even Carter tend to favor Clinton's chances as an Timex ("takes a lickin' and keeps on ticking").
The "deep factors" in the race favor the Democratic candidate, as kos repeatedly argued before things broke in Obama's favor after Super Tuesday. The Democratic party has a substantial lead when separated from the names of the candidates. Gallup did an excellent historical analysis in the late fall on how the horse race polls tend to move in the direction of the pre-election "democrat" vs. "republican" (unnamed candidates) preferences over the length of a campaign. More importantly, economic predictions of elections have a fairly good track record. All the signs today point to job losses through and past the election.
Anything can happen in an election, as was shown in the miraculous way Obama's opponents collapsed when he ran for the Senate, or McCain's republican opponents collapsed for him when his campaign was dead. There is, however, only one clear path to Republican victory - bitterness by the losing candidate's supporters. My first election in which I was emotionally involved was 1968 - the election that killed liberalism. I remember well the bitterness and sense of betrayal of McCarthy and Kennedy supporters after Chicago and their feelings that that wonderful, liberal "happy warrior", Hubert Humphrey was just like Nixon, the Darth Vader of American politics. America still has not recovered from the wounds of that election - the election that turned "liberal" into an epithet to run away from (confirmed and magnified in 1972).
The entire tenor of this website today is to portray Hillary Clinton as the very personification of evil - most of you are gearing up the justification for bolting or sitting out if she wins. Public polling indicates that similar sentiments are rising among Hillary's less articulate base of supporters. Each set of supporters is convinced that the others have played the race card unfairly during the period between Iowa and South Carolina's aftermath when Obama successfully stripped Hillary of all African-American support. If bitterness over the outcome of the primary race causes the loser's supporters to fail to coalesce, you will have the rest of your life to deeply regret the outcome.