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Clinton camp plays electability card

From NBC's Mark Murray
Citing some recent polls, the Clinton campaign is making this argument to Democratic superdelegates: that Clinton -- not Obama -- is the most electable Democrat in November.

The polls include a Quinnipiac survey that finds Clinton performing much better than Obama in general election match-ups in the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania --as well as the latest New York Times/CBS survey, which has Clinton leading McCain nationally by five points (48%-43%) but Obama tied with the Arizona senator (45%-45%). However, the Clinton campaign didn't mention the NBC/WSJ poll showing that Obama leads McCain by three points (46%-43%), while Clinton leads him by one (45%-44%).

"Over the course of the past two weeks since our Pennsylvania victory, there has been real movement in the polls in terms of the candidate who is the strongest against McCain," Clinton chief strategist Geoff Garin said in a conference call with reporters.

Added Clinton delegate hunter Harold Ickes in a memo to Democratic superdelegates: "A spate of new public polls out this week confirms what we have been arguing for some time: Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to beat John McCain in November."

Of course, one of the downsides to stressing electability through public polls -- especially for a contest that's six months away -- is that there's usually data that can make the opposite case, such those NBC/WSJ numbers above or Clinton's net-negative favorability rating in many surveys.