A few months ago it looked like Hillary Clinton had the Democratic race sown up. All of the uncertainty was on the GOP side. Times have changed. McCain is now the overwhelming favourite for the GOP nomination - leading in all five recent Super Duper Tuesday polls - and Obama is gaining on Mrs Clinton. The extent of Obama's momentum is discussed by Dick Morris in a special post for Rasmussen polling. Most notable is a reduction in Clinton's California advantage to just 3% from 20% a few weeks ago. The overall national lead for the former First Lady in the RCP moving average is 8.5%; although the most recent poll - for Gallup - put Obama just 4% behind.
...AND HE HAS THE MONEY TO DRAW CLOSER
Obama has the money to contest every Super Tuesday state. He raised $1m every day in January and is planning a $10m spending campaign over the next few days.
One of the other big differences between the GOP and Democrat contests is that the GOP is running a number of winner-takes-all votes. Second-placed Democrats, notes The Economist, still get delegates in key states which reduces the chance of a Super Tuesday wipeout.
THE IRAQ FACTOR
John O'Sullivan worries that Iraq - although better - will still hurt the Republicans:
"Whether we like it or not, Democrats are closer to the majority view on Iraq. The success of the surge has reduced the salience of Iraq as an issue damaging the GOP but that has not made it an issue that wins votes for the GOP. So it did no damage for Hillary and Obama to discuss it endlessly and their disagreement—who is most reliably determined to leave — will not anger their supporters or most uncommitted voters."
BEST JOKE OF THE DAY
From Hillary Clinton during the Democrats' debate: "It did take a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush and I think it might take another one to clean up after the second Bush." Okay; it wasn't that funny.