The matchup between Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton in the Democratic primary contest will probably be decided March 4th when the Texas and Ohio primaries take place. Depending on the poll, once could call it either way in either state. A few representative polls, such as the ones below, generally indicate that the two states are probably a toss up with perhaps a small edge belonging to Sen. Clinton.

Recent Poll                      Ohio – 161 delegates                                   Texas – 228 delegates                                              

Rasmussen                     Clinton 48%; Obama 40%                          Clinton 47%; Obama 44%

Decision Analyst            Clinton 46%; Obama 54%                          Clinton 43%; Obama 57%

Survey USA                   Clinton 52%; Obama 43%                          Clinton 50%; Obama 45%

ABC/Wash Post            Clinton 50%; Obama 43%                          Clinton 48%; Obama 47%

My unscientific gut belief is that Sen. Clinton will win Ohio and lose Texas in two very close races. To stay in the running, it has been discussed that she needs to win both. If she does, she lives to play another day. If she doesn’t, perhaps she finishes the draft of her farewell speech and bows out in a couple of weeks.

I voted for Sen. Obama in the Illinois primary election. Prior to primary election day, I was undecided. Bill Clinton decided it for me when he resorted to some unfair and untrue attacks against Sen. Obama when stumping for his wife which pushed me to decide that if Sen. Clinton wins, it would likely be politics as usual.

Many people have discussed the need for change, and I agree but I think it is more than just a change of regime people are seeking. I think Sen. Obama may be able to change the process of getting things done in Washington. I’ve said before in a previous blog post that it matters a lot who the winner of the election hires in his cabinet. Sen. Obama may not have all the requisite experience, but I think he is smart and a good judge of character, qualities essential when interviewing people to join your administration. These will be the people responsible for getting the work done.

Another factor confirming my primary vote in my mind is the revelations coming out about Sen. Clinton’s campaign spending. One has to wonder what sort of steward of the government budget she would be when she is spending $100k for party platters and groceries before the Iowa caucuses, $25k for rooms at the luxury Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, $5k at the Four Seasons hotel, and $5 million to top consultants just in the month of January. Mark Penn, Sen. Clinton chief strategist collected $3.8 million in January alone and his firm has billed more than $10 million. To date, Sen. Clinton’s campaign has spent $106 million and is in danger of being out of the race inside of 10 days.

My problem with all this is that she is supposed have a fiduciary responsibility to her donors to spend the money wisely and effectively. I would be very upset to know my donations have been spent so recklessly. Now she is low on funds.

In the February 21st Democratic debate, Sen. Clinton had her best quote, in my view, of her entire campaign when she said the following:

“And, you know, no matter what happens in this contest — and I am honored, I am honored to be here with Barack Obama. I am absolutely honored. Whatever happens, we’re going to be fine. You know, we have strong support from our families and our friends. I just hope that we’ll be able to say the same thing about the American people, and that’s what this election should be about.”

This was Sen. Clinton at her best. The problem for her is that if Sen. Obama wins, she likely won’t have another chance for eight years when she would be 68. Her time is now and she has a difficult job ahead of her in the next week or so. At least she has participated is some nineteen debates and helped, along with Sen. Obama, and indirectly, President Bush, to greatly raise the interest in the primaries and the election coming up in November. Whatever happens, I think she is owed a lot of thanks, and in accordance with the tone of her quote above, maybe even a hug.

For many more polls, and poll data, see the links below: