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So, Who's Going to Win on Tuesday? Clinton or Obama?

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are neck and neck heading into a pivotal primary showdown Tuesday in Ohio and Texas.
 
 
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A couple of weeks ago, when the Clinton campaign circled March 4 on its calendar, the thinking was that Texas and Ohio would save Hillary Clinton — they’d serve as firewall states that prevented Barack Obama from ending this contest once and for all. Big wins in these two states, where polls showed her with sizable leads, would deliver some much-needed delegates to Clinton’s effort.

With a couple of days to go, that scenario seems far less likely, but both of Tuesday’s key contests are almost certainly going to be the most competitive contests since Super Tuesday (Obama has won each of the 11 subsequent contests by large, double-digit margins.) So, who’s going to win? New Mason-Dixon/McClatchy polls suggest it’s anybody’s guess.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are neck and neck heading into a pivotal primary showdown Tuesday in Ohio and Texas, two delegate-rich states where Clinton held leads just weeks ago, according to two new polls released Sunday.

Clinton leads in Ohio by 47-43 percent. Obama leads in Texas by 46-45 percent. Those standings are both within the polls’ 4 percentage point margin of error — meaning that either one could be ahead in each state. And nearly one in ten likely voters remains undecided in each state, more than enough to swing Tuesday’s results in either direction.

“They’re both close races,” said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon. “Hillary has a little better shot in Ohio. She still has a little lead there. Texas is a tossup.”

Other polls show the races shaping up in similar ways.

Reuters released its numbers this morning.

Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly trails rival Barack Obama in Texas and the two are virtually tied in Ohio ahead of critical contests that could decide the fate of her presidential bid, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Houston Chronicle poll released on Sunday. […]

Clinton, a New York senator and former first lady, has seen big poll leads disappear in both states over the last two weeks as Obama seized control of the Democratic race with his winning streak.

She now trails Obama in Texas by 4 points, 47 percent to 43 percent, up from a 2-point edge for Obama on Saturday. Obama’s strength in the state’s big cities and among men, young voters and blacks has offset her advantage with the state’s sizable bloc of Hispanics and older voters.

Clinton still holds leads in heavily Hispanic south Texas and conservative west Texas, but Obama has pulled virtually even among women voters, usually one of her strongest constituencies.

In Ohio, Clinton has a statistically insignificant 1-point edge on Obama, 47 percent to 46 percent, after the two were dead even on Saturday.

Steve Benen is a freelance writer/researcher and creator of The Carpetbagger Report. In addition, he is the lead editor of Salon.com's Blog Report, and has been a contributor to Talking Points Memo, Washington Monthly, Crooks & Liars, The American Prospect, and the Guardian.

 
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