I was about to say Barack Obama’s crowd of 65,000 supporters (with 15,000 overflow) in Portland, Oregon impresses me, and that we ought to not put much stock in recent polls that put Obama only ahead by four or five points in that state.
But then I checked the 2004 Democratic primary results and found that Dennis Kucinich got 60,000 votes in the state that year. That was good for about 16 percent in that year’s pool of about 367,000 Democratic primary voters.
In other words, the crowd is very big, but the statewide turnout should be much, much, much bigger.
Now, turning out 65,000 people is a feather in the cap, and Obama should win by a very healthy margin.
But let’s also recall that the previous all-time largest crowd for an Obama speech was 35,000 people… “jammed into Independence Park [in Philadelphia] to see the Democratic presidential candidate, four days before this state’s crucial April 22 primary.” Obama lost Pennsylvania by just under 10 percent.
Having said that, FiveThirtyEight runs the numbers and comes up with an Obama win by 13, which sounds right. Hillary’s spending tomorrow in Kentucky, where she is expected to win a rout; if her people saw evidence of a closer-than-expected finish in Oregon, they would probably have her spend that last day on the ground in that state.