Now that Super Tuesday has come and gone, there's another semi-super Tuesday on the horizon—March 4—when voters in four states, including delegate-heavy Ohio and Texas, go to the polls. The two Democratic candidates, who had virtually ignored the Buckeye and Lone Star states before Super Tuesday, are refocusing their efforts on these biggies. The day after Super Tuesday, members of Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's campaigns were already arriving to lay the groundwork for a monthlong assault on voters.
Democrats have 141 delegates in Ohio to be allocated proportionally. A pre-Super Tuesday Columbus Dispatch poll had Clinton way out in front, winning 2 to 1 over Obama, and the state's mostly white working-class demographic suits her. Exit polls from Super Tuesday show Clinton leading Obama among voters earning less than $50,000 a year. But one of Clinton's key groups is largely missing from the state. "The wild card is we don't have the Latino population that California has," says Ohio University-Lancaster history professor Ken Heineman. Latino voters helped Clinton win California.
Despite the polls, there are positives for Obama too. Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman endorsed Obama, and according to Heineman, the candidate could be helped by students attending Ohio's more than 100 colleges and universities. "Ohio offers Obama more promise [than Texas], but you would have to call Clinton the favorite," says University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato.
Luckily for Texas voters, legislation to move up their primary to Super Tuesday got killed by the state Senate, making their 193 Democratic delegates a bigger prize now that the race is essentially tied. Clinton was ahead by 10 points in one poll taken before Super Tuesday, and the party establishment in Texas supports her, according to Sabato. "Texas is tailor-made for Hillary Clinton," he says. "It's difficult to see how Obama would win it; he would have to make dramatic inroads with the Hispanic voters." Hispanics made up 24 percent of Texas primary voters in 2004, though African-Americans, who typically favor Obama, made up 21 percent. However, the Obama campaign has more money and is opening 10 field offices in the state to "capitalize on the momentum" of Super Tuesday, says Obama's Texas state director, Adrian Saenz.
And because Democrats never dole out delegates on a winner-take-all basis, the delegate race could continue after semi-super Tuesday, to another important Tuesday, April 22, when Pennsylvanians head to the polls.