California Dreamin'

Is California up for grabs? Only in the wildest dreams of the GOP. But that doesn't mean new numbers from an LA Times poll, showing Barack with a 7 point lead in the state, should be cause for gloating:
Less than four months after losing the California primary, Democrat Barack Obama leads Republican John McCain in projected November general election matchups, a new Los Angeles Times/KTLA Poll has found.
How good are the numbers for dems?
Obama, the Illinois senator who has inched close to his party's nomination, would defeat McCain by seven points if the election were held today. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, whose fortunes have faltered since her Feb. 5 drubbing of Obama in California, would eke out only a three-point victory, the poll found.
Considering that Gore took the state by 12% and Kerry by 9%, one could view Barack's 7 point lead as a sign of weakness. But democrats are living in fear, which this poll serves to relieve, that Hillary voters might refuse to swing over to Barack:
Signs that Democratic loyalty had survived the primary surfaced repeatedly in the survey. To take one measure, Clinton won 76% of Democrats against McCain; Obama won 75%, a statistically insignificant difference. In any case, Obama more than made up for it by winning more independents and Republicans than Clinton would.
So, instead of a headline reading, "Barack weaker than Gore or Kerry in California," it was a happy one: "Obama would take California in November."