One day away from the pivotal North Carolina and Indiana Democratic presidential primaries, the polls again aren’t quite in agreement — suggesting that, unless there is some big surprise the race, Wednesday morning could well be exactly where it is now.
If there is a trend in this latest batch of of national and primary state polls, it is this: the race is TIGHTENING.
Zogby still shows Obama ahead in North Carolina and Clinton ahead in Indiana:
The Democratic Party presidential contests in Indiana and North Carolina remained remarkably stable on Sunday, with Illinois’ Barack Obama holding an 8-point lead in North Carolina and a statistically insignificant two-point lead in Indiana, the latest Zogby daily tracking telephone poll shows.
The survey of likely Democratic Party primary voters shows that in North Carolina, Obama leads with 48% support, compared to 40% for Clinton and 13% either undecided or preferring someone else. In Indiana, Obama is nursing a tiny lead of two points, winning 44% support, compared to 42% for Clinton and 15% unsure or wanting someone else.
Both candidates stumped for votes in Indiana Sunday, as the state’s voters prepare to cast ballots in Tuesday’s elections. Actually, early voting has been underway in both states for awhile (longer in North Carolina than in Indiana), and this latest Zogby polling shows one-quarter of North Carolina voters—26%—have already voted, and 13% in Indiana have already cast ballots.
While Obama holds a small edge in Indiana, Clinton appears to hold at least a small advantage among those who are yet undecided. Among those undecided Indiana voters who said they were leaning toward one candidate or the other, Clinton held an edge. It also remains unclear what impact, if any, the new Indiana requirement that voters show identification before casting ballots will have on the contest.
Clinton has benefited from undecideds breaking her way in the past.
USA Today notes:
With the caveat that even polls released just a day before an election should be viewed with some skepticism because voters can still change their minds and it’s what happens in the voting booth that really matters….
It points to another poll:
Suffolk University says Clinton leads in Indiana, 49%-43%. The poll of 600 likely Democratic primary voters in the Hoosier State was done Saturday and Sunday, and has a margin of error on each result of +/- 4 percentage points.
The latest Gallup Daily Tracking Poll gives Obama a statistically insignificant lead over Clinton:
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has a slim lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton in their bids for the Democratic presidential nomination, a Gallup poll indicates.
The 4-percentage-point advantage Obama, D-Ill., has over Clinton, D-N.Y., 49 percent to 45 percent, is statistically insignificant because of the sampling error of 3 points, Gallup pollsters said Monday.
The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking is the 11th straight day neither Democratic candidate held a significant lead over the other, the Princeton, N.J., pollster reported.
Clinton has had a better showing than Obama against presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona in the general election, though McCain has the edge over each Democrat, pollsters said.
The Insider Advantage Poll shows the race tightening…which is not good news for Obama. On the other hand, Indiana is not as easy as some think it should have been for Clinton:
An InsiderAdvantage / Majority Opinion Survey conducted for the Southern Political Report shows the Democratic Primary in North Carolina tightening. The results:
……InsiderAdvantage’s Matt Towery: “Really interesting dynamics at play here. Clinton has increased her lead among white voters to 58% – very close to the 60% plus level needed to pull off a victory. She now leads among those who say they are Democrats but has started to trail among Unaffiliated voters, who are allowed to participate in Tuesday’s election. Additionally, African-American voters are not quite as solid with Obama as they have been, at least based on previous exit polls. Clinton has remained in the upper teens (17%) of African-American support in our recent surveys. African-American turnout will be the key to this race. Our poll is based on a turnout model of 35% African-American vote. Anything under that number could give Clinton a shocking upset. But Indiana has become a true horserace that should concern the Clinton camp.”
Check out this MyDD analysis of how Obama should do in North Carolina.
Rasmussen reports also sees a nail-biter:
In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, Obama now attracts 46% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters while Clinton earns support from 45%. A week ago, Obama led by eight. Still, Rasmussen Markets data shows Obama is given a 73.9 % chance of winning the Democratic nomination.
Clinton leads Obama among the self-employed, entrepreneurs, and retirees. Obama leads among government employees and those who work for a private sector company. White working class voters remain a challenge for Obama. Among White voters who earn less than $75,000 a year, Clinton leads Obama 59% to 32%. The lower the income level, the bigger her margins. However, among White voters who earn more than $75,000 annually, Obama leads Clinton by eight percentage points.
Polling released last week shows a split decision is expected tomorrow–Clinton leads in Indiana while Obama has the edge North Carolina. Looking ahead a few weeks, Obama has a twelve-point lead in Oregon. New polling data for West Virginia will be released at noon Eastern today and a first look at the Kentucky primary will be released tomorrow.
If Obama wins both primaries tomorrow, look for calls for Clinton to drop out to increase. If he loses both, look for the dynamics of the race to greatly change and for the Clinton campaign to press the issue on all fronts that Obama is not electable. If Obama wins North Carolina and Clinton wins Indiana, look for the race to remain where it is now….on a long march towards the convention with the GOP’s chances of holding onto the White House to increase each week.