Zogby Daily Tracking: Clinton Gaining In North Carolina
Democratic Sentor Barack Obama begins a new week heading into the critical North Carolina and Indiana primaries with some bad news from Zogby polling: his rival for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination Senator Hillary Clinton is now within single digits of him in North Carolina and Obama and Clinton remain deadlocked in Indiana:
Democrat Hillary Clinton made gains in North Carolina yesterday, drawing within single digits of rival Barack Obama, while the two remain deadlocked in Indiana with just days before Tuesday’s primary elections in those states, a pair of new Zogby daily tracking telephone polls show.
Obama leads in North Carolina by a 46% to 37% margin, with 17% either unsure or favoring someone else. In Indiana, Obama won 43% support, compared to 42% for Clinton, with the balance either favoring someone else or undecided.
Zogby, who will do the daily tracking poll up until the Tuesday vote, notes that Obama has suffered some erosion:
In North Carolina, Obama leads in all age groups with one exception – those age 70 and older, where the two are essentially tied. But Clinton closed the gap in some age groups, compared to yesterday’s two-day tracking report.
Clinton expanded her lead among white voters in North Carolina, and narrowed the gap among African American voters, where Obama leads by a 73% to 10% margin. Among men, Obama leads 50% to 35% – an improvement for Clinton – and he continues to lead among women voters as well – winning 43% support to Clinton’s 39% backing, largely on the strength of support for Obama from African American women.
In Indiana, the two are statistically tied with Obama one point ahead — 43 percent to 42 percent.
A key factor hurting Obama in both races: the role and comments of his former pastor:
The statements of Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, have had some impact on the race in both states, as 11% of Obama supporters in Indiana and 13% of his supporters in North Carolina said they were less likely to support him because of the Reverend’s comments. Wright made a much-ballyhooed appearance at the National Press Club in Washington last Monday.
In North Carolina, 19% who said they were less likely to support Obama because of Wright’s comments said they have changed their votes in the last two weeks. In Indiana, 24% who said they were less likely to support Obama because of Wright’s comments have changed their minds in the last two weeks.
So…yes…Obama’s candidacy may be the first in modern political history to be undone or greatly complicated by the behavior and words of his former pastor. If there was a bit more time before the primaries, the impact could be negated. But coming this close to the vote, it will likely make a difference. The bottom line question: could the erosion be severe enough so that he loses North Carolina?