It's Close As Can Be In Texas

Via, here are the latest polls on Texas and Ohio:

In Texas, Rasmussen has Hillary Clinton ahead of Barack Obama by a statistically insignificant 46 to 45 percent, a result similar to the Washington Post/ABC poll showing her ahead 48 to 47 percent. CNN headlines its result, with admirable statistical modesty, as a tie, but it's Obama 50 to 46 percent. This is the first Texas poll with an Obama lead.

In Ohio the picture is different. Rasmussen has Clinton ahead 48 to 40; Quinnipiac has her ahead 51 to 40; the Ohio poll shows her ahead 47 to 39. It looks like Clinton's not huge, but statistically significant, lead is holding up in Ohio.

The bottom line: These are not numbers that would keep Hillary Clinton in the race. A victory by a microscopic margin in Texas would not, as I argued yesterday, give her any significant delegate advantage, and perhaps none at all. Her Ohio numbers are holding up, but even they don't, as I argued yesterday, give her much of a delegate advantage. And while they suggest she might prevail in later contests in Pennsylvania and Indiana, they say nothing to suggest she could win in North Carolina, where she is now well behind in a state whose Democratic primary electorate is looking a lot like Virginia's.

On Clinton's side, one does have to admit that the most recent national polls show Obama's lead over Clinton declining. Maybe Obamania is starting to fade, or to pall on those who were once enchanted. But he's going to have to fall some further distance toward earth if Clinton is to have any realistic chance of winning the nomination after March 4.

By Michael Barone