With just hours to go before voting starts in Super Tuesday states across the country (and don't forget about American Samoa), Barack Obama is gaining steam in California, while Hillary Clinton is re-gaining ground in former strongholds like New Jersey and Missouri. According to Pollster John Zogby's final tracking polls, Obama now enjoys a 13-point led in California, a remarkable accomplishment if accurate, but he now trails by 5 in New Jersey (after being tied yesterday, signaling a strong move towards Clinton in the past day or so) and his five-point Missouri lead has been cut to 3, just outside the polls margin-of-error.
n California, which alone provides more than one-fifth of the Democratic delegates needed for the nomination, Obama led Clinton by 49 percent to 36 percent, the poll found. The margin of error was 3.3 percentage points.
Clinton pulled into a 5-point lead in New Jersey, 46 percent to 41 percent, after being tied on Monday. Obama held a 45 percent to 42 percent edge on Clinton in Missouri. Both polls had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.
Obama had a 20-point edge in Georgia, aided by a more than 3-to-1 lead among black voters.
The New Jersey lead by Clinton is also evident in the final Rasmussen poll where she leads 49-43. Not a surprise really given that New Jersey is part of the New York media market and is basically Clinton's home turf being Senator from neighboring New York. The fact that he was close at all there was stunning. The move back to the middle in Missouri is troubling though, as Obama really needs a win there, especially because it will likely be hours before the results of California are known, and with early newspaper deadlines across the country and the expectations to meet on cable and network coverage of Super Tuesday, Missouri will be looked at as a big determinate of how the evening is going. Clinton gaining ground there could be troubling news, especially if she wins.
Overall, especially because of how California seems to be surging for Obama, the Zogby numbers are good news, but may feel a bit more comfortable if the lead in California was a bit smaller and the lead in Missouri was a bit larger. We'll see how it all plays out in a few hours.