Poll Shows Big Obama Lead in Wisconsin, McCain Losing Ground

Posted February 18, 2008 at 2:34pm

Read the full Public Policy Polling survey

(We also have Gallup’s national daily tracking poll for you, at the bottom of this post, but not much new there.).

A Public Policy Polling survey conducted Feb.16-17 shows Barack Obama opening a big lead of Hillary Clinton, 53 percent to 40 percent, a 2 point gain since its last survey. The margin of error is 3.4 percent. That’s a sharply different result than the American Research Group poll we reported yesterday, which said Clinton was leading Obama 49 percent to 43 percent with a 4 point margin of error. And it’s a bigger lead than Friday’s WISC-TV poll (a Madison, Wis. Station) that had Obama’s lead at a more modest 47 percent to 42 percent with a 4 point margin of error.

Perhaps one difference is that PPP said the poll reflected its belief that a large turnout, especially among young and black voters, as has occurred in the other Democratic primaries, was an important factor in its calculation. The poll said that in a “standard turnout” scenario, Obama’s lead would be just 47 percent to 44 percent, within the margin of error.

This poll is more in synch with ARG’s survey on the Republican side where it shows John McCain still ahead of Mike Huckabee, but losing ground. McCain’s previous lead of 53 percent to 32 percent, has dropped to 50 percent to 39 percent, with a 3.8 percent margin of error. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a piece today, headlined “Refusing To Cry `Uncle,’ Huckabee Out-Campaigns His Rival.”

Among Democrats, the economy and Iraq are about tied as the top issue, at 35 percent and 34 percent respectively. Republicans also chose the economy as the top issue at 29 percent, but in contrast to Democrats, the second-place issue was moral and family values at 25 percent, which accounts in part for Huckabee’s appeal. Huckabee leads McCain 70 percent to 18 percent among those voters, although McCain has a lead of similar margin over Huckabee when it comes to the third-ranked issue, Iraq (22 percent).

Obama has an across-the-board lead over Clinton on all issues. He bests Clinton 50 percent to 43 percent among white voters and 76 percent to 21 percent among black voters. (White voters were 84 percent of the Democratic sample and black voters were 12 percent). Women, who made up 50 percent of the sample, favored Obama 50 percent to 43 percent. (See the piece in the Green Bay Press-Gazette, “Democrats Courting State’s Female Voters.”

Gallup’s daily tracking poll conducted Feb.15-17, has Obama with a 49 percent to 42 percent lead over Clinton, 2 points higher than yesterday. McCain continues to hold a big lead over Huckabee, 54 percent to 26 percent. the margin of error is 3 percent.