Five days before the important Democratic presidential primaries in North Carolina and Indiana, Barack Obama of Illinois enjoys a substantial lead in one state and remains tied with Hillary Clinton of New York in the other, a new Zogby daily tracking poll shows.
Obama leads by a 50% to 34% margin over Clinton in North Carolina, while the two are tied at 42% support each in Indiana.
The telephone surveys, conducted over two days, began on April 30 and were completed May 1. They comprise the first of Zogby’s daily tracking surveys that will continue until Tuesday. In North Carolina, 668 likely Democratic primary election voters were polled. The survey carries a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points. In Indiana, 680 likely voting Democratic primary voters were surveyed. That poll carries a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.
The telephone surveys were conducted using live operators working out of Zogby’s call center in Upstate New York.
In North Carolina, Obama dominates all age groups with one exception – those age 70 and older, where the two are essentially tied.
Clinton leads by 10 points among white voters in North Carolina – 47% to 37% - but Obama dominates among African American voters, 73% to 10% for Clinton. Among men, Obama leads, 57% to 30%, and he leads among women voters as well – winning 44% support to Clinton’s 37% backing.
Asked if the statements of controversial Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright made voters more or less likely to support Obama, 15% of North Carolina voters said they were less likely to support him, while 4% said the comments made them more likely to support Obama.
In Indiana, the two Democrats were deadlocked at 42% each, with 16% either favoring someone else or yet undecided.
The demographic breakdowns in Indiana mirror what we have seen in earlier voting states, with Obama leading among younger voters and Clinton leading among older voters. A key middle-age demographic – those age 35 to 54 – now favors Obama by a 48% to 41% margin in Indiana, but this demo turned out to be a key battleground in Pennsylvania, which has a somewhat similar population make-up.
Obama leads in northern Indiana, a large section of which is influenced by Obama’s hometown Chicago media market. In the southern half of the state, which features a population much like that of Ohio next door, Clinton enjoys a double-digit lead. Obama enjoys an 11-point lead among Indiana men, while Clinton leads by seven points among women.
After getting clobbered among Catholics in Pennsylvania nearly two weeks ago, Obama wins 41% support from Indiana Catholics, compared to 40% who support Clinton. Conversely, Clinton leads among Protestants by six points after having lost among them in Pennsylvania.
Nearly three in four in Indiana – 72% - said they held a positive overall view of Obama, compared to 68% who held a positive opinion of Clinton.
The statements of Rev. Wright have had more of an impact in Indiana than in North Carolina. In the Hoosier state, 21% of likely Democratic primary voters said they were less likely to vote for Obama as a result of his former pastor’s statements.
There is clearly some disaffection within the Democratic electorate. Asked who they would support in a general election match-up between Clinton and McCain, 20% of Indiana Democratic voters said they would support McCain, while 21% said they would vote for McCain if he were running against Obama in the general election this fall. Asked about the same head-to-head general election match-ups, North Carolina voters were slightly less willing to cross party lines to support the Republican nominee – 16% said they would vote for McCain in both the McCain-Clinton match-up and the McCain-Obama match-up.
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