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Clinton Closes on Obama in Texas

Saturday, 01 Mar 2008 09:11 AM

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Democrat Hillary Clinton stemmed her losses and solidified her base in Texas, reversing a slide against rival Barack Obama in the race for their party’s presidential nomination, while Obama continued his thrust to catch her in Ohio as voters in these two big states prepare to vote on Tuesday, the latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Houston Chronicle two-day rolling telephone tracking polls show.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain appears to be continuing his march to the GOP nomination, holding big leads in both states, the surveys show.

Clinton leads by a scant one percent among Texas women, but the race is also close among Texas men, where Obama leads by just 5%, much less than in some earlier states in this epic Democratic Party battle. As has been the case elsewhere, Clinton leads among older voters, but Obama leads big among younger Texas Democrats. Clinton had a big day Friday in the Zogby call center, leading Obama by double-digits in the Texas survey. She retains a significant lead among Hispanic voters there, a key demographic in the Democratic primary.

In Ohio, the two Democrats have drawn dead-even to the tenth of a percent (44.8% each), as Clinton continued to show strength in northern Ohio outside Cleveland, but trailed Obama badly in northeast Ohio and in burgeoning central Ohio, where the capital city of Columbus is home to many state government workers. Clinton leads in the more sparsely-populated, less affluent southern Ohio region. She also retains a small lead among Catholics, an important voting bloc in this Rust Belt state.

In the GOP race, McCain has commanding leads in each state, and has focused most of his fire on the Democrats instead of on Republican opponents. He has successfully reduced the resistance among the conservative base to about 20%, down from about one-third of the GOP electorate in recent states. In Ohio, he leads 58% to 23% for Arkansas’ Mike Huckabee, and in Texas, his edge is 54%-31%. Among Texas conservatives, McCain leads 59% to 28% over Huckabee.

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