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Newsmax/Zogby Tracking: Hillary Gains in Final Weekend

Sunday, 20 Apr 2008 08:23 PM

The final weekend before Tuesday’s important primary election in Pennsylvania was good for New York’s Hillary Clinton, as she made a definitive move toward victory over rival Illinois’ Barack Obama, a fresh Newsmax/Zogby daily telephone tracking poll shows.

She gained two points over the past 24 hours as Obama lost one point, and she now leads 48% to 42%, the latest polling shows. Meanwhile, the undecideds dropped by two points. Her edge was three points yesterday but had wobbled within a tight margin. Clinton’s advantage is still within the margin of error, but she is close to getting beyond it as Election Day looms.

The two-day tracking survey, which was conducted April 19-20, 2008, included 11% who were either undecided or supported someone else.

The telephone survey, conducted using live operators working out of Zogby’s on-site call center in Upstate New York, included 602 likely Democratic primary voters in Pennsylvania. It carries a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percentage points. The Newsmax/Zogby polling in the Keystone state will continue through Monday evening, with the final release issued early on Election Day.

Pollster John Zogby: “A big one-day of polling for Clinton. If a 10-point victory is the pundit-driven threshold she needs on Tuesday, it looks like she can do it. This does not look like a one-day anomaly – undecideds dropped to only 5% in this latest single day of polling, and they are breaking Clinton’s way. As I suggested yesterday, if white and Catholic voters, who still are the biggest portion of undecideds, actually vote, Clinton will have her double-digit victory. Just today alone, she polled 53% to Obama’s 38%.

“She had big pickups of support in the western region, among voters 50-65, and among women. She has tightened Obama’s lead among men and she maintains her Catholic base. For the first time in our poll, Clinton climbs into double digits among African Americans.”

While Obama continues to lead in eastern Pennsylvania by a 53% to 37% margin, he lost ground in the central part of the state – Clinton now leads there by 16 points, up from eight points in earlier polling late last week. Clinton also expanded her edge in western Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, and now leads there, 56% to 33%.

Clinton has made steady progress among Pennsylvania men, and now trails Obama among the demographic by just three points – 45% to 42%. Meanwhile, she has maintained a big 53% to 40% lead among women.

A key demographic battleground in this race has been among those age 35-54, the single largest age demographic group in the state. Two weeks ago, Clinton lead among those voters, but by last week, Obama had an edge. For the first time in our latest tracking poll leading up to tomorrow’s election, Clinton has regained the lead of these voters and now leads among voters age 35-54, 49% to 44%.

As has been the case in other earlier voting states, Obama holds a big lead among voters younger than age 35, while Clinton leads among voters age 55 and older. After Florida, Pennsylvania has the oldest voters in the nation.

Clinton leads among Catholics, 63% to 25%, reflecting a small gain for Clinton. But Obama continues to lead among Protestants by a 52% to 40% margin, though he continued to lose a small amount of support. The two religious demographic groups are roughly the same size in Pennsylvania.

Among the very liberal Democratic Party voters, Obama expanded his edge to 29 points, a big jump since yesterday. However, Clinton has expanded her lead among mainline liberals, and now holds a 50% to 43% advantage. She also leads by larger margins among moderates and conservative Democratic primary voters.

The economy continues to be the most important issue to voters, and they continue to favor Clinton over Obama in terms of choosing a candidate who would both help their personal financial situation, and help the U.S. economy at large. As has been the case since the beginning of the Newsmax/Zogby daily tracking, Clinton was also seen as the candidate who better understands Pennsylvania – by an almost two-to-one margin.

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