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Tsunami Tuesday

The New York Times sets the stage for tomorrow. "Senator John McCain, buoyed by new polls and endorsements, appeared in an increasingly commanding position on Sunday as he headed toward coast-to-coast contests that could effectively hand him the Republican presidential nomination… A sweep of big states by Mr. McCain on Tuesday would reward him with a trove of delegates and could bring the Republican contest to a quick end."

More: On the Democratic side, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama were enmeshed in a tough national fight, illustrated by polls showing the race had tightened both nationally and in key states voting on Tuesday where Mrs. Clinton had once enjoyed a comfortable lead. They include California, Missouri, New Jersey and Arizona. Aides to Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama said Sunday that they now believed that their contest, unlike the Republicans', could extend well beyond the multistate contests on Tuesday, the day Mrs. Clinton had once expected to nail down the nomination."

As more evidence of those tightening national polls, a new USA Today/Gallup survey has it Clinton 45%, Obama 44%. (In the GOP race, it's McCain 42%, Romney 24%.) "In the poll, Clinton led Obama 48%-42% among women, compared with 50%-31% two weeks ago. He reversed her slight lead among men, and completely erased her 21-point advantage among people ages 35 to 64. Whites backed Clinton 49%-39%, while blacks backed Obama 63%-25%. Both racial gaps were higher than two weeks ago."

Meanwhile, per a new Cook Political Report/RT Strategies poll, Clinton leads Obama, 43%-37%, which is a six-point gain for Obama. In the GOP race, it's McCain 39%, Romney 24%, and Huckabee 18% -- a 15-point gain for McCain.

Here's a round up of recent Super Tuesday polls. First on the Dem side:
Arizona - MSNBC/McClatchy
Clinton 43%
Obama 41%
 
California - MSNBC/McClatchy
Clinton 45%
Obama 36%

California - CSPAN/Reuters/Zogby
Obama 46%
Clinton 40%
 
Georgia - MSNBC/McClatchy
Obama 47%
Clinton 41%

Georgia - CSPAN/Reuters/Zogby
Obama 48%
Clinton 31%
 
Missouri - MSNBC/McClatchy
Clinton 47%
Obama 41%
 
New Jersey - Quinnipiac
Clinton 46%
Obama 39%
 
New Jersey - Quinnipiac
Clinton 48%
Obama 43%

New Jersey - CSPAN/Reuters/Zogby
Clinton 43 %
Obama 43%
 
New York - Quinnipiac
Clinton 53%
Obama 39%

And on the GOP side…
California -- MSNBC/McClatchy
McCain 40%
Romney 31%

California - CSPAN/Reuters/Zogby
McCain 40 %
Romney 32%
Huckabee 12%

Georgia - MSNBC/McClatchy
McCain 33%
Romney 27%

Missouri - MSNBC/McClatchy
McCain 37%
Huckabee 27%

Missouri - CSPAN/Reuters/Zogby
McCain 35%
Huckabee 27%
Romney 24%

New Jersey - MSNBC/McClatchy
McCain 46%
Romney 31%

New Jersey - CSPAN/Reuters/Zogby
McCain 52%
Romney 26%

New York - CSPAN/Reuters/Zogby
McCain 53%
Romney 19%

The Boston Globe sets the table for Super Tuesday. "The sheer number of states in play renders the candidates' organizations and local appearances - two of Obama's strengths - less relevant. Many undecided Democratic voters will make their decisions Tuesday on broad themes and impressions gleaned from television ads, and from the media. In this dynamic, the messages from Obama and Clinton will be at their most distilled - he will promise judgment, she will offer experience. One of those values will win out, if not Tuesday then in the months ahead."

The Boston Globe also looks at the choice Southern Democrats are trying to make: "backing either the first African-American or first woman to be the party's presidential nominee. This quandary is especially evident in the South, where the four states holding primaries on Super Tuesday - Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee - all have large African-American populations, but also strong allegiances to Clinton and her husband, the former president. Combined, the four states offer 242 of the 1,678 Democratic delegates up for grabs."