Confusion and Conflicting Reports on the Final Day of Primaries

If you scan through the headlines today you’ll find a wealth of confusion as the last primaries are getting under way in South Dakota and Montana. Obama is pushing to claim victory, and AP News reported that Clinton is set to concede (more on that to come).

Chris Cillizza notes that “American Research Group released surveys yesterday in both states.”

In South Dakota, ARG had Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) ahead 60 percent to 34 percent over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.); in Montana, the ARG poll put Obama ahead 48 percent to 44 percent.

Cillizza also cautions that “Strategists for both candidates don’t buy those numbers, however, believing that Obama is comfortably ahead in Montana and more narrowly in the lead in South Dakota.”

Politico reports that Superdelegates are set to surge to Obama, “tsunami” style. But, Senator Ken Salazar met with a “small group of fellow undecided Democratic superdelegates on Capitol Hill” yesterday and “said they reached no agreement on whether to endorse a presidential candidate as a group.”

Ambinder adds, Salazar “is very much in favor of a joint ticket, as are other Senators.”

For all intents and purposes Obama is closer to the finish line than Clinton, so what’s the deal with the Superdelegates still holding out? In all these months Obama has not been able to wrestle a clear victory away from Clinton, in fact, Obama “unlike his counterparts in recent presidential cycles, is not exactly sprinting across the finish line.”

Over the last three months, the Illinois senator has won six of 14 contests, one less than the seven Clinton has won. (They essentially tied in Texas as she won the primary and he won the caucus.) A loss to Clinton in either primary today would underscore Obama’s relatively weak finish and make his narrow victory over the New York senator slimmer.

So tonight the primaries will be over and perhaps some of the speculation will come to end… Or not…

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