Local Politics

Poll: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama in tight race for N.C. votes

Posted May 1, 2008
Updated May 2, 2008

— It is an exciting time for North Carolina voters. For the first time in decades, they have a say in the Democratic primary for president.

A WRAL news poll released Wednesday shows Barack Obama's double-digit lead over Hillary Clinton among Tar heel Democrats is eroding.

Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. surveyed 400 likely Democratic voters Monday and Tuesday. The results show Obama with a 7 point lead over Clinton, with 9 percent undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

“Right or wrong, it's the Wright phenomenon for Obama,” said David McLennan, a political science professor at Peace College.

McLennan said Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is dragging down the Illinois senator. Wright has made comments such as suggesting that the AIDS virus was invented by the government to destroy "people of color."

“It is a media-driven story. Wright is very controversial. He makes controversial statements. He gets people fired up, but it's not one of the top issues in the polls,” McLennan said.

When asked what issues matter most to North Carolinians, 51 percent said jobs and the economy; 14 percent said the Iraq war, and health care followed those.

As the candidates make their last-minute push toward Tuesday's primary, the question will be which one can carve into the other's core group of constituents.

Obama scores well with voters under age 35, while Clinton edges him out with voters over 50.

Where there is no competition is race. Eighty-seven percent of African Americans plan to vote for Obama, while 62 percent of whites said they will vote for Clinton. There has been very little evidence suggesting either candidate can cut into those numbers before Tuesday.

“I don't think it's about advertising. I don't think it's about personal appearances. I think it really, it's who's energized to come out on Election Day,” McLennan said.

Voters gave Clinton the edge in dealing with the economy, Obama with the war in Iraq.

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  • One flew over Randy_s nest May 1, 8:50 p.m.

    "What group of 100 people agrees to the point of 87%. " - Marco Polo

    Rednecks voting for Clinton in the primary.
    I guess they must be racists too, right?

  • MarcoPolo May 1, 8:23 p.m.

    Vote Obama- Vote a Racist.

  • MarcoPolo May 1, 8:22 p.m.

    E94de, McCain or Clinton didn't sit in Duke's church for over 20 years. Talk about weak argument, weak character, and weak man.

    There is nothing redeeming about this man. What has he done? We are just finding out who he is.

    He's a typical politician and a typical racist. NOW- he's denying his associations of 20 years. His wife's words about not being proud of america, the whole refusal to put his hand over his heart (yes- there are written "regulations" on how officers and commanders, which he is trying to achieve, are supposed to act during the ceremony), his reasoning thereafter that the National Anthym represents america's opression over other nations, Rev Wright.

    We are just finding out about this racist. I am reaaffirmed of the racist beliefs of majority of the black population. 87%. What group of 100 people agrees to the point of 87%.

    Obama could be president of Durham if this doesn't work out for him. We know where they stand....Duke LAX.

  • One flew over Randy_s nest May 1, 7:19 p.m.

    "If Obama is elected be prepared for four years of reverse discrimination and racism at the hands of Reverend Wright, Al Sharpton, and others...." - TarheelsDontLikeEdwards

    That's a really weak argument. That's like saying "If McCain or Clinton is elected be prepared for four years of discrimination and racism at the hands of David Duke, Tom Metzger, and others"; simply a weak argument with no factual support.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 1, 5:47 p.m.

    If Obama is elected be prepared for four years of reverse discrimination and racism at the hands of Reverend Wright, Al Sharpton, and others....

  • OhYea May 1, 5:33 p.m.

    A vote for Obama is a vote to finally get reparations

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 1, 4:35 p.m.

    Obama will have to significanly raise taxes to pay for all of the promises that he's made with his socialist and populist programs. This tax increase will hit everyone other than those who are on welfare. There aren't enough wealthy people around to tax enough to pay for all of the socialist and populist programs that Obama has promised.

    Obama has played the class warfare card and said he would only raise taxes on those mean old wealthy people who are successful.

    When the campaigning started, wealthy was definied as $750,000. Then it slid to $500,000. Now Obama is defining wealthy as $200,000.

    Pretty soon wealthy is going to be defined as $100,000, then $75,000, and then $50,000 or less so that there are enough people to be taxed to pay for all of the programs.

  • bronzegoddess40 May 1, 4:29 p.m.

    Hi Smoke,I meant no harm to you either, just a comment to those that do think that way and mean it. :)

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 1, 4:29 p.m.

    Who care what his name is. Just vote for Obama.

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 1, 4:27 p.m.

    Stop worry about why his parents gave him this particular name. Just be sure and vote for Barack Obama for your next president. :)

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