The polling shows McCain and Obama surging. McCain now enjoys an average 18.4% lead over Mitt Romney. Given that the Republican primaries are winner-takes-all in terms of delegates, Senator McCain should wrap things up tonight. The Democrat race is much more nail-biting Hillary Clinton's large leads in national polls have evaporated to no more than a couple of digits. Even if she wins states she will have to share delegates with Barack Obama. He may win California and bellwether Missouri. Victories in both of those two states will be very bad news for Hillary's White House bid. If Obama wins New Jersey, too - in Clinton's backyard - he'll be the overwhelming favourite to secure the nomination. The next few primaries favour Obama and so he might start to enjoy real momentum.
Clinton has been written off before, however. Her voters tend to be more reliable and we've yet to see if Team Obama's inspirational videos (like this one) are producing frothy or real support.
OPINION POLLSTERS ARE NOT HAVING AN EASY TIME
UK opinion polling was humuliated by the 1992 General Election result. All the pollsters got the result badly wrong. This year US pollsters have struggled to keep up with the ebbs and flows of the race. They were spectacularly wrong in New Hampshire when Mrs Clinton pulled off a surprise win. Some pollsters will have some explaining to do after tonight, too. Zogby, for example, has Obama ahead in its final California poll by 49% to 36%. Survey USA has Clinton ahead by 52% to 42% in the same state (source). Both can't be right!
BARACK OBAMA IS A LIBERAL
Cal Thomas urges Republicans to wake up to the fact that Barack Obama is a very left-wing candidate - favouring higher taxation and endorsed by the most left-liberal powerbrokers in the Democratic party - including Ted Kennedy and MoveOn.org. As James Forsyth has noted, Barack Obama's reassuring rhetoric is effectively disguising the fact that he is the most liberal of America's one hundred senators and that's not liberal in the classical understanding of the term. He's a big state interventionist, opposed to the war on terror.
McCAIN'S PROBLEMS WITH CONSERVATIVES ARE GROWING
We already know that Ann Coulter has promised to campaign for Hillary Clinton rather than John McCain. She (ridiculously) asserted that Mrs Clinton is more hawkish that McCain. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh has also junked McCain:
"If I believe the country will suffer with either Hillary, Obama or McCain, I would just as soon the Democrats take the hit . . . rather than a Republican causing the debacle," he said. "And I would prefer not to have conservative Republicans in the Congress paralyzed by having to support, out of party loyalty, a Republican president who is not conservative."
Another influential figure - James Dobson - has now said that he won't back the maverick Republican Senator. James Dobson, a leader of American evangelicals said the following:
"I am deeply disappointed the Republican Party seems poised to select a nominee who did not support a Constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, voted for embryonic stem cell research to kill nascent human beings, opposed tax cuts that ended the marriage penalty, has little regard for freedom of speech, organized the Gang of 14 to preserve filibusters in judicial hearings, and has a legendary temper and often uses foul and obscene language."
Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard urges conservatives to "grow up" and lists some of the reasons why Senator McCain is preferable to any Democrat. At the same time he urges John McCain to do more to reach out to conservatives - beginning this week with his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. BritainAndAmerica's Samuel Coates will be at the speech and will report back on these pages.