Gallup Poll: Obama Extends Lead Over Clinton To 10 Percent

A Gallup daily tracking poll released Sunday indicates Senator Barack Obama has extended his lead over Senator Hillary Clinton in their battle for the nomination to 10 percent — the first double digit lead by either since February, when Clinton was ahead:

Barack Obama has extended his lead over Hillary Clinton among Democrats nationally to 52% to 42%, the third consecutive Gallup Poll Daily tracking report in which he has held a statistically significant lead, and Obama’s largest lead of the year so far.

….This marks the first time either candidate has held a double-digit lead over the other since Feb. 4-6, at which point Clinton led Obama by 11 percentage points. (To view the complete trend since Jan. 2, 2008, click here.)

According to tracking interviews from March 25-29, John McCain continues to hold a small 4-point lead over Clinton among national registered voters. McCain leads Obama by three points, 47% to 44%.

Rasmussen Reports also has Obama ahead, but not by as much:

In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, it’s Obama 47% Clinton 42%. Clinton leads by ten among White voters. This includes a twenty-three point advantage among White Women. Obama leads among White Men, has an overwhelming advantage among African-Americans, and a solid lead among voters under 50.

What does all this mean? Most likely:

(1)Many voters who are Democrats have moved on from the controversy over Obama’s fiery pastor’s comments. But he’d better be ready to deal with it if he gets the nomination since GOP ads will feature videos that will seek to remind voters of the controversy.

(2) Hillary Clinton’s campaign is still reeling from the Bosnia comments disaster.

But a cautionary note: polls are see-saws and this a snapshot. It can change on a dime.

But there are some indications that a shift is underway that is not what the Clinton camp wants.

According to the Wall Street Journal, there is a drip-drip-drip of Superdelegate momentum falling on Obama’s side:

Slowly but steadily, a string of Democratic Party figures is taking Barack Obama’s side in the presidential nominating race and raising the pressure on Hillary Clinton to give up.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is expected to endorse Sen. Obama Monday, according to a Democrat familiar with her plans. Meanwhile, North Carolina’s seven Democratic House members are poised to endorse Sen. Obama as a group — just one has so far — before that state’s May 6 primary, several Democrats say.

Helping to drive the endorsements is a fear that the Obama-Clinton contest has grown toxic and threatens the Democratic Party’s chances against Republican John McCain in the fall.

Slowly but steadily, a string of Democratic Party figures is taking Barack Obama’s side in the presidential nominating race and raising the pressure on Hillary Clinton to give up.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is expected to endorse Sen. Obama Monday, according to a Democrat familiar with her plans. Meanwhile, North Carolina’s seven Democratic House members are poised to endorse Sen. Obama as a group — just one has so far — before that state’s May 6 primary, several Democrats say.

Helping to drive the endorsements is a fear that the Obama-Clinton contest has grown toxic and threatens the Democratic Party’s chances against Republican John McCain in the fall.

And then there are these factors, the Journal notes:

Even raising the prospect of a convention fight could backfire for Sen. Clinton by antagonizing the superdelegates she needs. Many superdelegates are on the ballot themselves this year, and the last thing they want is a chaotic convention that plays into the hands of Republicans.

In interviews, some House Democrats said Sen. Obama has the edge in the chamber. They noted that he has proved himself the stronger fund-raiser and has attracted more new voters to the party than anyone in recent memory — both advantages that could benefit other Democrats. They worry that Sen. Clinton’s high negative ratings in polls would incite more Republicans to mobilize against her and the Democratic ticket.

So Clinton is caught in a political Catch 22.

Her campaign, in various news reports, has made it clear that it seeks to raise Obama’s negatives so that by election time he is unelectable. But the only way to do that is in a way that elicits howls of protest from Obama supporters, hardens party divisions — and raises Clinton’s OWN negatives. A nomination achieved by politically dismembering Obama would be a hallow one. And if she won the general election, she’d likely take office a polarizing figure.

Meanwhile, it’s clear the Clinton camp is concerned about a possible steady defection of superdelegates. Note this item about former President and aspiring First Man Bill Clinton:

Former President Clinton urged Democratic Party superdelegates and activists Sunday to be patient in selecting a presidential nominee and let the primary election process play out over the coming months.

A vigorous campaign between his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama will not damage the party’s prospects of beating the Republican nominee in the fall, Bill Clinton said in a speech to the California Democratic Party convention.

“Don’t let anybody tell you that somehow we are weakening the Democratic Party,” he told the 2,100 state delegates. “Chill out and let everybody have their say. We are going to win this election.”

Before his speech, the former president met privately with about 16 superdelegates who will vote at the national Democratic Party convention in August on the party’s nominee. The nomination is expected to be in the superdelegates’ hands; neither Obama nor Hillary Clinton appear destined to win the 2,024 pledged delegates needed to secure the nod.

The former president also encouraged superdelegates not to decide prematurely on the nominee and deny voters in upcoming states the chance for their votes to count, several superdelegates said afterward.

And apparently Mr. Clinton DID score some points. Note this quote:

“President Clinton urged us to let the process play out,” said Christine Pelosi, an uncommitted superdelegate who is the daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “It was very inspiring. The president’s emphasis was clearly on electing a Democratic president.”

The dilemma for the Clinton’s is how to ‘close the sale.”

She needs large victorious margins in the remaining primaries, no more major stumbles such as the Bosnia debacle which undermined her credibility and has likely inspired the press to check her every future assertion, and/or a major Obama stumble or development. And she’ll try to seat Florida and Michigan to her advantage, but her critics accuse her of trying to change the rules.

The biggest danger: if the Clinton camp engineers something that destroys Obama, the price could be some Democrats staying home and Republicans mobilized by a Hillary Clinton candidacy.

It’s a tall order for Clinton, coming amid reports that the campaign can’t pay its bills and Obama gaining more political delegate ground in Texas.

How can the Clinton campaign start to turn the poll numbers around and turn off the faucet so the slow drip of superdelegates ends? By outclassing Obama on issues, outcampaiging him, out organizing him and dominating news cycles with stories that are positive about Hillary Clinton’s policies, ideas and appearances.

Or will it all boil down to waiting for the next negative campaigning shoe to drop? (Stay tuned…)

Auf Stumbleupon zeigen
Auf tumblr zeigen