Wisconsin Primary News: Obama Leads in Polls, Spends Big, Hillary "Camps Out"

Poll Gives Obama Double Digit Lead (2/18):A poll released on Feb. 18 from Public Polling Policy gives Obama a 13-point lead over Hillary in tomorrow's primary:
Obama leads 49%-45% among core Democrats, and does better than 2-1 against Hillary Clinton among independents and Republicans likely to vote in the Dem primary.

Head-To-Head Matchups (2/18):Survey USA polls to see how both Democratic nominees would far against John McCain:

Barack Obama: 52%

John McCain: 42%

Hillary Clinton: 42%

John McCain: 49%

Obama Far Outspending Clinton (2/18): "Obama has been in Wisconsin for a week. And he's also outspent Clinton on television in the Madison and Milwaukee markets, according to this report. $831,880 to 180,990."

Clinton Leads In New Poll (2/17): According to American Research Group, Hillary Clinton has jumped ahead of Barack Obama.

Democrats Feb 6-7 Feb 15-16

Clinton 50% 49%

Obama 41% 43%

Someone else 1% 1%

Undecided 8% 7%

"Barack Obama leads Hillary Clinton among men 48% to 42% (47% of likely Democratic primary voters) and Clinton leads Obama among women 55% to 39%. Clinton leads Obama among white voters 52% to 40% (89% of likely Democratic primary voters), Obama leads Clinton among African American voters 85% to 9% (7% of likely Democratic primary voters), and Clinton leads Obama among Latino voters 50% to 44%."

ARG has had a relatively poor record in predicting previous primaries; it currently is the only firm showing Obama leading in Texas.

State Senate Majority Leader Backs Obama: Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker announced his endorsement of Barack Obama today at the Washington Square Mall in Wausau.
"Listening to Senator Obama speak yesterday about his plan to support technical colleges here in Wisconsin and around the country really sealed the deal for me," Decker, a Democrat from Weston, said in a statement. "It's clear to me that Senator Obama recognizes the importance of training our workforce for the high-end manufacturing jobs that are essential to Wisconsin's economy."

Winter Weather Hits The Trail: Hillary has had to cancel several events due to snowstorms:

A heavy snowstorm forced Clinton to scrap two of her three scheduled appearances in Wisconsin on Sunday. Instead, she toured a grocery store in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood in Milwaukee and visited Miss Katie's Diner near Marquette University, surprising patrons.

Update: Clinton Decides To Camp Out In Wisconsin: Hillary Clinton isn't "conceding the state" after all:
Hillary Rodham Clinton's latest Wisconsin campaign schedule doesn't sound like the battle plan of a candidate who is conceding the state, as some have suggested.

Unofficially, her schedule after Saturday's party dinner (mostly town hall-style events, we're told) looks like this, according to one source:

Sunday: Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison.

Monday: Eau Claire, Wausau, Oshkosh, Milwaukee.

Tuesday morning: Racine.

O's Standing Os: "If the applause at a state Democratic dinner Saturday night was a barometer, Barack Obama would trounce Hillary Clinton 8-0 in Tuesday's Wisconsin primary," Newsday reports.
Speaking back-to-back to a ballroom full of party VIPS and activists at the swanky Founder's Day dinner here, Clinton received hearty applause, while Obama received eight standing ovations.

Each took a few swipes at the other.

"What I'm interested in is not just change for the sake of change, but progress," Clinton said of her rival, whose slogans include "Change we can believe in."

"John F. Kennedy didn't look at the moon and say, 'That's too far, false hope, reality check,'" Obama shot back, in reference to Clinton's suggestions his aspirations are naïve.

Clinton Cuts Campaigning Short: Hillary Clinton will be leaving Wisconsin on Monday to campaign in Texas and Ohio ahead of Barack Obama, according to the Journal Sentinel:
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton has scaled back her Wisconsin campaign schedule by a full day, and is now planning to leave the state after Monday morning instead of Tuesday morning.

The move suggests the campaign does not think it can overtake rival Barack Obama here. Obama has already campaigned in the state Tuesday night, Wednesday, Friday, and today. He also has single events planned for Sunday (Kaukauna) and Monday (Beloit).

While the two have exchanged hard-hitting TV ads here, Obama began airing ads a week earlier and has spent much more on TV.

Wisconsin's largest paper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, endorses Obama: Read the full editorial:
There is only the tiniest sliver of daylight separating Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the issues, with the notable exception of health care reform.

Even on Iraq, they end up in much the same place: Steady U.S. troop withdrawal, leaving themselves enough wiggle room in case the situation on the ground becomes so dire that more flexibility becomes necessary.

The similarity of views is, in truth, why the candidates return so much to the themes of change and experience.

Our recommendation in Wisconsin's primary on Tuesday for the Democratic nomination is Barack Obama. That's our recommendation because change and experience are crucial to moving this country forward after what will be eight years of an administration careening from mistake to catastrophe to disaster and back again.

The Illinois senator is best-equipped to deliver that change, and his relatively shorter time in Washington is more asset than handicap.

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