Local Politics

Poll: Clinton narrows gap on Obama

Posted April 29, 2008

WRAL News Poll image

— Hillary Clinton has cut into Barack Obama's sizable lead in North Carolina in recent weeks but still trails by double digits with a week left until the state's primary, according to a new WRAL News poll.

Polling firm Rasmussen Reports surveyed 774 likely Democratic voters statewide Monday, finding Obama's 23-point lead in early April has been whittled to 51 to 37 percent over Clinton. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Clinton picked up a key endorsement Tuesday morning, when Gov. Mike Easley threw his support behind her candidacy.

"Hillary Clinton is ready to deliver. That's the difference. She's ready to deliver today, immediately," Easley said.

Easley became the second super-delegate from North Carolina to endorse Clinton. Six have backed Obama, and nine others remain uncommitted.

Peace College political science professor David McLennan said the endorsement might mean more nationally than locally.

"It really, I think, is a symbol that the race may not be over just yet," McLennan said.

Meanwhile, Obama remained on the defensive over his relationship with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Wright has been criticized for comments against President George W. Bush and the Iraq War, and Obama has denounced the comments as divisive. In recent days, Wright accused the U.S. government of creating HIV to commit genocide against minorities.

"Rev. Wright doesn't speak for me. He doesn't speak for my campaign. I cannot stop him from making these outrageous comments," Obama said Tuesday. "When I say I find these comments appalling, I mean it contradicts everything I'm about and who I am."

On the poll numbers, Democratic consultant Gary Pearce said the question becomes whethern Obama finish the game and win in November.

"There's no way she can catch him unless some disaster happens," Pearce said. "(But) what that ultimately comes down to, as uncomfortable as it is for some people to talk about, is whether he's going to be able to attract enough white votes to win in the fall."

Reflecting national trends, Clinton leads among white women and older voters in North Carolina, while Obama leads among blacks and younger voters. Four-fifths of black voters favor Obama, while Clinton holds a 15-point lead among white voters, according to the poll.

Among white voters who earn less than $60,000 a year, Clinton leads by a 2-to-1 margin. Obama leads among white voters who earn more than $75,000 a year, according to the poll.

The candidates' frequent visits to the state in recent weeks have taken off a bit of their shine for voters. Their favorable ratings are each down 4 points from previous polls, although Obama still has a 71percent favorable rating and Clinton is viewed favorably by 62 percent of likely voters, according to the poll.

Among likely Clinton voters, Obama is viewed favorably by 38 percent, while Clinton is viewed favorably by 41 percent of likely Obama voters, according to the poll.

WRAL and Mason-Dixon Polling & Research sponsored a survey of voters with a week remaining before the North Carolina primary. Tune in to WRAL News at 5 and 6 and to WRAL.com for the results.

  • Wednesday: Presidential and gubernatorial races
  • Thursday: Lieutenant governor race
  • Friday: U.S. Senate race

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  • One flew over Randy_s nest May 1, 2008

    "They are moving away from him because he and his support Reverend Wright are Marxist."

    Do you know the definition of Marxism? In that case, please explain how Obama and Wright fits that description.

    Here's a little help to get you started: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism

  • bluford2 Apr 30, 2008

    The media and others continue to sling imaginary mud at Barack Obama yet remain silent in regards to Hillary and Bill Clinton's REAL dirty dealings. Don't worry, Hillary fans will learn more about it after she becomes the Democratic nominee in the general election.

    Bill and Hillary's upcoming fraud trial charges:

    1. Fraud and Deceit
    2. Negligent Misrepresentation
    3. Unfair business practices.
    4. Unjust Enrichment
    5. civil Conspiracy

    I ask you, how can anyone knowingly want a person such as this to become President of the United States?

  • colliedave Apr 29, 2008

    Honest question: is john boy one of the supremes since he no longer holds office?

  • dunnn Apr 29, 2008

    Come on NC, you know we need to shut his thing down. We need a new and improve POTUS, we don't need to keep going back and forth with the Clintons and Bushes.., take a chance OBAMA 08'

  • The Fox Apr 29, 2008

    I'm for change and hope, and when I'm through with you, all you'll have left in your pockets is change, I hope.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 29, 2008

    Voters aren't moving away from Obama because he is black. They are moving away from him because he and his support Reverend Wright are Marxist. Reverend Wright is also a racist.

  • now Apr 29, 2008

    Mslady, what is he going to change? I know his ad says he is going to change the planet and the world but that is pretty tall promises. Other than that, all I have heard is he is going to change something.

  • chivegas Apr 29, 2008

    "My wife and I will vote for Hillary ,then in November vote for McCain."

    I know alot of Republicans doing same. I want to see how long Hillary can hold out. It only makes it easier for McCain.

  • Mslady Apr 29, 2008

    OUT with the OLD (Clintons) & in with the NEW...GO OBAMA!!!



  • thinkbeforespeaking Apr 29, 2008

    this stuffis getting rediculous