4.03.2008

Thursday polls: In PA, Obama gains on Clinton but trails McCain

Pennsylvania polls have been coming in at a furious rhythm these past 3 days, with PPP releaseing the first poll showing Obama ahead just yesterday. While other polls show Clinton ahead (sometimes comfortably), all show the front-runner to win the state's April 22nd primary clearly declining. Today, two new polls confirm that the race has indeed tightened and is getting close to the tipping point:

  • An Insider Advantage poll finds Clinton on "life support," clinging to a 45% to 43% lead. To make matters worse, Obama clearly underperforms in the black vote in this poll (he only gets 56%), and he is sure to get much higher on Election Day meaning that Clinton is heading to defeat and she does not get a larger share of the white vote (she is ahead 49% to 40%).
  • A slightly bigger lead for Clinton in Strategic Vision's survey, but here again the trendline is favoring her opponent: She is leading Obama 49% to 41%, a respectable 8% edge that pales in comparison to the 18% lead she enjoyed last month.
The tightening of the Pennsylvania race does contain some possibility for the New York Senator, as it will make people (and Obama) pay much closer attention to the Keystone state and will thus maximize the momentum Clinton can get out of the primary if she can bounce back to the sort of number she was posting 10 days ago.

But besides that slightly comforting thought this is obviously disastrous news for Clinton. It forces her to pay attention to a state she thought was in the bag instead of two states (NC, IN) that are coming two weeks later and that are even more dangerous for her campaign. Remember, every Election Day from now until June 3rd could mean instant death for Hillary if she performs poorly. It also will not help her convince superdelegates that she still has a chance to win the nomination at a time Obama is quickly picking up support.

Research 2000, meanwhile, released a primary poll from Indiana:

  • It shows Clinton ahead 49% to 46% against Obama.
  • 22% of Clinton supporters say they will vote for McCain over Obama in the general, and 16% of Obama supporters say the same if Clinton is the nominee.
This is only the second poll from Indiana that has been released since mid-February, and it follows SUSA's survey released earlier this week that showed Clinton up 9%. Given that no one had any idea who to favor in IN, it has to be a relief for Clinton to see that she is not trailing. To survive May 6th, however, she is going to have to improve these numbers and get a big Indiana victory, especially if the North Carolina polls hold and Obama carries that state comfortably.

Finally, two very interesting general election polls were released today from Pennsylvania and New Jersey:

  • In Pennsylvania, Strategic Vision complemented its primary poll with a general election survey, finding Clinton leading McCain 47% to 41%; but the Republican leads Obama 47% to 42%.
  • In New Jersey, meanwhile, Clinton and Obama have the same winning margin: 48% to 43% for Clinton, 47% to 42% for Obama.
One poll showing Clinton more electable, the other showing no difference... As usual, there is no consistency in the electability debate except if we look at the internals (as I explained yesterday in my analysis of the Quinnipiac surveys): Obama and Clinton's differences in subgroups generally holds across polls, and it does again in this New Jersey poll:

  • Clinton, as usual, is polling better among registered Democrats (77% versus 70% for Obama).
  • Obama, as usual, does better among independents (edging out McCain 38% to 37% while Clinton is crushed 48% to 23%) and registered Republicans (14% instead of 8%).

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2 Comments:

  • Obama has won or will probably win several large states - Illinois, Georgia and North Carolina. Some pundits always make out she has won 9 out of the 10 largest states - factually incorrect. Also why this obsession with an arbitary top 10 , why not the top 20 - but this would be more favorable to Obama since WI, VA, MD, WA, MN would all be included and bring the candidates to near parity.

    Just ask Al Gore, if he had won NH (4 EV's) he would be President - you don`t just rely on large states.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 04 April, 2008 08:46  

  • "Just ask Al Gore, if he had won NH (4 EV's) he would be President - you don`t just rely on large states."

    Valid point.

    By Blogger Mark, At 04 April, 2008 11:10  

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