Obama Builds Momentum By Cutting Into Clinton Bases Of Support

Posted February 19, 2008 at 9:31am

Read the full Gallup Poll analysis

Gallup says the momentum in the Democratic presidential contest “has clearly swung toward Barack Obama” and that one of the key indicators is that he has started to gain among voting blocs that had been the source of Hillary Clintons strength. Gallup bases this on comparisons of polling it did during two periods: Feb.5-9 and Feb.13-17. In that time, the race has gone from Clinton leading by an average of 49 percent to 42 percent, to Obama now ahead 49 percent to 43 percent. The margin of error is 2 percent.

While in general Obama still has a strong lead among younger voters and Clinton retains her edge with older voters, he has started to make inroads among middle-aged Democrats. Just as the overall lead in the race has changed hands, Obama now bests Clinton in the 35-to-54 age group by 51 percent to 42 percent in the Feb.13-17 polling compared to Clinton’s 49 percent to 42 percent lead in the previous comparison period.

Clinton also appears to have lost her advantage among Hispanic voters, at least on a national level. During Feb.5-9, she had led Obama 63 percent to 32 percent, but in the latest polling period, Obama now leads her 50 percent to 46 percent. What remains to be seen is if this change is also occuring in Texas where Clinton is counting on the Hispanic vote to help her win that state’s primary on March 4.

The same is the case among women voters as well. Clinton had a 53 percent to 38 percent edge among women earlier; now that margin has eroded to a statistically insignificant 46 percent to 45 percent.