PHILADELPHIA--The primary is one week from today and the latest poll finds Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton with a six-point Keystone state lead--and no big difference so far from Sen. Barack Obama's "bitter" remark. But that could be because the poll, taken April 12-13 was before media coverage and paid advertising touching on Obama's "bitter" cooments about down-and-out Pennsylvanians may have penetrated. The Obama campaign is gauging how many voters actually are aware of the most serious gaffe Obama has made yet.
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CLINTON STALLS OBAMA, HOLDS 6-POINT PENNSYLVANIA LEAD,
QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL FINDS;
MANY CLINTON DEMS WOULD BACK McCAIN OVER OBAMA
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has stalled Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s drive in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary and holds a 50 – 44 percent lead among likely primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today, unchanged from April 8 results.
There was no noticeable difference in the matchup in polling April 12 – 13, following widespread media reports on Sen. Obama’s ‘bitter’ comments.
In this latest survey of 2,103 likely Democratic primary voters by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University, 26 percent of Clinton supporters would switch to Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican, in November if Obama were the Democratic nominee. Nineteen percent of Obama backers would switch to McCain if Clinton were the Democratic nominee. A look at other groups shows:
• White voters for Clinton 57 – 37 percent, compared to 56 – 38 percent last week;
• Black voters back Obama 86 – 8 percent, compared to 75 – 17 percent;
• Women back Clinton 54 – 40 percent, unchanged from 54 – 41 percent last week;
• Men are for Obama 51 – 43 percent, compared to a 48 – 44 percent tie last week;
• Reagan Democrats back Clinton 55 – 40 percent;
• Voters under 45 go with Obama 55 – 39, while older voters back Clinton 55 – 40 percent.
“Sen. Hillary Clinton is fighting off Sen. Barack Obama’s drive to make it a close race in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, holding the six-point edge she had a week ago. She seems to have halted the erosion of whites and white women in particular from her campaign,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“She even gained back some ground in the Philadelphia suburbs – the area where elections are won and lost in the Keystone State. She now trails Obama by just two points in this critical area, while she was 11 points behind a week ago.”
Quinnipiac University Poll/April 15, 2008 – page 2
Obama will win the Democratic nomination, say 55 percent of Pennsylvania likely Democratic primary voters, including 32 percent of Clinton supporters.
“Two big questions are whether the Clinton forces can keep from getting discouraged by all the talk she can’t win the nomination even if she wins Pennsylvania and whether enthusiasm for Obama will translate into a record turnout of blacks and young first-time voters that would deny Clinton the victory she needs to stay alive,” Richards added.
“A bigger problem for Democrats looms in Pennsylvania. One out of four Clinton voters, including a third of men, say they will vote for Republican Sen. John McCain in November if Obama is the Democratic candidate.
By a 70 – 22 percent margin, Pennsylvania likely Democratic primary voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton, compared to 65 – 20 percent for Obama, virtually unchanged from last week.
The economy is the single most important issue in deciding their primary vote, 49 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats say, followed by 27 percent who list the war in Iraq and 16 percent who cite healthcare.
Voters who list the economy as their top issue give Clinton a small 50 – 44 percent margin over Obama, up from 49 – 45 percent. Voters who cite the war in Iraq back Obama 54 – 42 percent, up from 51 – 44 percent. Voters worried about health care go with Clinton 60 – 36 percent, compared to 62 – 32 percent last week.
Looking at the qualities they most want in a candidate, 36 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats are looking for a strong leader, with 29 percent looking for someone who is trustworthy and 17 percent seeking someone who shares their values.
Voters looking for a strong leader back Clinton 64 – 31 percent. Obama leads 52 – 40 percent with voters looking for a trustworthy candidate, down from 59 – 32 percent.
From April 9 – 13, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,103 Pennsylvania likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.