New Polls Conflict In Pennsylvania

Posted April 2, 2008 at 10:28am

Two new polls on Pennsylvania today tell two different stories: Public Policy Polling says that Baraack Obama has wiped out Hillary Clinton’s lead in the state while a survey by Quinnipiac University still has her lead in double-digits.

Obama moved into a 45 percent to 43 percent lead over Hillary Clinton in a March 31 – April 1 survey conducted by Public Policy Polling. While the lead is statistically insignificant – the margin of error is 2.8 percent – it marks the first time in any of the polls taken there this year that Obama has caught up to Clinton, who had enjoyed double-digit leads most of the way. Two polls yesterday had Clinton still ahead, but both noted erosion in her support. The last PPP poll a little over two weeks ago had Clinton ahead by 26 points.

PPP’s Dean Debnam said, “the major movement in Obama’s direction in Pennsylvania could be an indication that Democrats in that state think it’s time to wrap it up.”

But the Quinnipiac poll conducted March 24-31 says Clinton still leads 50 percent to 41 percent, which is 3 points lower for her than than its mid-March survey. The margin of error is 2.5 percent.

“Her strength is her clear advantage among white voters – blue collar whites, less educated whites, economically hurting whites, that group known famously as Reagan Democrats in the Keystone State,” said Quinnipiac’s Clay Richards. “Obama is marshalling all his forces, but despite his eloquent dialogue on the race issue, Pennsylvania Democrats are unmoved. So Far.”

Pennsylvania with its 188 delegates (with 158 of them at stake on April 22) is crucial to Clinton’s survival, given Obama’s lead in the delegate count. The Associated Press count has Obama ahead 1,632 to 1,500. What raises the stakes even more is that polls show Obama has a big lead in the May 6 North Carolina primary which has 134 delegates. These states are the two biggest prizes left on the primary trail.