Obama Gaining in Both Super Tuesday, General Election Polls

In addition to Super Tuesday polling, there were four general election polls released the last week. According to all four polls, John McCain holds a narrow lead on Hillary Clinton, while Barack Obama holds a narrow lead on John McCain. The averages are McCain 47.3%--44.5% Clinton, and Obama 47.5%--44.0% McCain.

This is certainly good news for Obama. When discussing "electability," data points such as these need to be considered. However, it should also be noted that whenever a candidate is rising in polls for his or her party's nomination, that candidate also rises in polls for the general election. For example, from June through October, when Hillary Clinton was improving her standing for the Democratic nomination, she also performed much better than Obama in general election polls. This trend works in reverse as well, since McCain's low point in general election polling and Republican nomination polling both occurred in July and August.

This trend points to a conclusion about electability that should have been obvious all along: the candidate who wins the Democratic nomination will almost certainly be our most electable candidate. Not only is a candidate's general election polling fortunes closely connected to his or her current trend in the nomination campaign, but it should be obvious that the candidate who actually wins the most elections is the most electable candidate. This is especially the case when one considers that very few Republicans ever vote for Democrats in general elections, and when one considers that the relatively few closed primary states where independents can't vote tend to be in deep blue areas that even Michael Dukakis could win, like New York and Massachusetts.

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