UTICA, New York – On the strength of good polling numbers on the final day before the primary elections in Indiana and North Carolina, Barack Obama of Illinois holds a convincing lead in North Carolina, but the race is simply too close to call in Indiana, the latest Zogby two-day telephone tracking poll shows.
The pair of surveys of the Democratic presidential contests shows Obama with a significant 14-point lead in North Carolina, winning 51% support to Hillary Clinton’s 37%. Another 12% said they were either favoring someone else or were as yet undecided. In Indiana, the race is clear as mud, as Obama holds a statistically insignificant lead of two points, winning 45% support to Clinton’s 43% support, with 12% either undecided or favoring someone else.
The electorates in both states are divided significantly along racial lines, income, and age, the telephone survey shows.
The telephone surveys, conducted May 4-5, 2008, are the final of Zogby’s two-day daily tracking surveys. In North Carolina, 643 likely Democratic primary election voters were polled. In Indiana, 644 likely voting Democratic primary voters were surveyed. Both surveys carry a margin of error of +/- 3.9 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 wins 79% support among African Americans, compared with 11% for Clinton, the junior senator from New York. But while Clinton wins among whites, 52% to 37%, Obama’s advantage among African Americans more than counteracts her advantage among those white voters. The African American vote in the North Carolina primary is expected to be about 32%.
Early voting in North Carolina began April 17th, and Obama has done well among the 30 percent in the survey who said they had already cast ballots. Among those voters, he leads Clinton by a 57% to 34% margin. Many of those ballots may have been cast before last week’s controversy over Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Geographically, Obama made inroads into what had been Clinton territory in western and eastern North Carolina, while Clinton closed to within three points in Charlotte. In the southeast corner of the state, Clinton held a 12 point lead.
Obama dominated among men, leading 56% to 34%, and among women, where he won 47% support to Clinton’s 40% – largely on the strength of Obama’s support among African American women. Obama also led among younger voters in the state, while Clinton enjoyed leads among older voters. Among a key age demographic group – those age 35 to 54 – Obama leads by 58% to 29% margin. This group is important because it tends to simultaneously bear many of the burdens facing American citizens, including economic, health care, and educational issues involved with raising children, planning for retirement, and dealing with problems posed by aging parents.
In Indiana, the race is all tied up among women who plan to vote in the Democratic presidential primary – at 44% each, while Obama holds a five-point lead over Clinton among men – 47% to 42%.
The overall Obama advantage in Indiana – though statistically insignificant – comes after another strong day of polling Monday. The one-day total, which comprises about half of the two-day tracking poll sample, saw Obama winning 47% support to Clinton’s 41%. Monday’s polling results are combined with Sunday’s numbers to produce the two-day tracking poll.
Among Indiana Catholics, Obama holds a three-point lead, while Clinton holds a similarly small edge among Protestants.
Clinton leads among white voters, 48% to 40%, with 12% left unsure or supporting someone else. Among African Americans in the Hoosier state, Obama leads by an 82% to 13% edge over Clinton, going a long way to boost Obama statewide. African American voters in the Democratic primary comprise about 11% of the electorate.
Obama made gains in Indianapolis and now leads there by a 62% to 30% margin, while Clinton leads by a similar margin – 58% to 32% – across southern Indiana. Across the northern tier of the state, including Gary in the west, South Bend, Elkhart, and Fort Wayne in the east, the pair are essentially tied – Clinton wins 44% to Obama’s 42%.
Among voters age 55-64, Obama has made a move forward and now wins 44% support, compared to 43% support for Clinton. Yesterday, Clinton held a two-point edge among those voters. This represents a key advance for Obama, who has had trouble winning support among older voters in earlier states. Conversely, Clinton has won a small lead among voters age 25-34 in Indiana, which is counter to what she has typically done in earlier states. Otherwise, Clinton leads among those voters over age 70, while Obama leads among younger voters other than that 25-34 age grouping.
As has been the case in other states, Clinton leads among low-income households, while Obama leads among wealthier Democratic voters. As was the case with the age demographic in Indiana, Obama has made inroads among those in lower income households that in earlier states had favored Clinton.