The chattering class inside the beltway is in fairly solid agreement that Hillary Clinton's race is all but over. Yet a poll taken in Ohio earlier this week showed her way ahead of Barack Obama. Ohio and Texas are among the big states she must win to stay competitive in the delegate race. But the Ohio poll was taken before this week's Potomac primaries, when even her campaign was stunned by many of her core constituents (white older women and blue-collar workers) deserting her in Maryland and Virginia. And while she tied in Ohio with Obama among white men, white women were holding on fast to her coattails.
Clinton's lead comes entirely from women, where she leads by 29 points. She and Obama are tied among men. Whites vote 3:2 Clinton. Blacks vote 3:1 Obama.
As white women in Ohio watched Obama's victories on Super Tuesday, the conventional wisdom goes that they may have decided it's time to switch camps, too. Obama is just becoming well known, and people are more likely to switch from a well-known politician whose campaign appears to be failing (Clinton) to a lesser-known who has the big "mo" behind him. But members of the chattering class have been wrong time and again in this surprising election year, and it's possible they will be wrong once more about upcoming big state primaries.