CALIFORNIA: A new L.A. Times/CNN/Politico poll has McCain and Clinton with comfortable leads. Clinton maintained a 49% to 32% lead over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama among Democrats, despite losing some support in key voter groups. McCain carried 39% of likely Republican primary participants, to 26% for Mitt Romney, who also bolstered his standing among California voters.
The most important stat in the poll: "About half of voters are expected to use mail-in ballots -- which have been available since Jan. 7 -- and Clinton was romping over Obama among that group, 53% to 30%. Among those expecting to cast ballots in a traditional precinct visit, the race was a closer 42% to 34% in Clinton's favor. Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney was also running stronger among mail-in voters, if still behind McCain." [Emphasis mine]
Overcoming a 23-point deficit among absentee voters is next to impossible for Obama. Even if a majority of those voting on election day vote for him, it is highly unlikely that they will give him a 24-point margin.