Obama Obliterates Clinton's Penn. Lead; Now 42% vs. 47%
Forty-seven percent (47%) say they have followed news stories Very Closely about Clinton's Bosnia misstatements. Another 27% have followed those stories Somewhat Closely. Overall, 19% consider that issue to be Very Important in their voting decision.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Pennsylvania shows Clinton leading Barack Obama by just five percentage points, 47% to 42%. For Clinton, that five-point edge is down from a ten-point lead a week ago, a thirteen-point lead in mid-March in and a fifteen-point advantage in early March.
Support for Clinton slipped from 52% early in March, to 51% in mid-month, 49% a week ago, and 47% today. During that same time frame, support for Obama has increased from 37% to 42%.
Obama recently received a key endorsement from Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey and has also spent more on television ads than Clinton. If Obama is able to pull off an upset in the Keystone State, it would effectively end the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination.
Obama currently leads Clinton nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. However, while an Obama victory could end the nomination battle, Clinton remains ahead in the state and recently demonstrated her ability to finish strong in the Ohio and Texas Primaries.
Tensions clearly remain in the contest. If Obama is nominated, just 56% of Clinton supporters say they are likely to vote for him against John McCain. Forty percent (40%) of Clinton voters in Pennsylvania say they are not likely to vote for Obama.
On the other hand, if Clinton is nominated, just 67% of Obama supporters say they are likely to vote for her against McCain. Twenty-nine percent (29%) are not.
Just 21% of Pennsylvania's Primary Voters say that Clinton should drop out of the race while 18% would like Obama to leave. Those figures are similar to results from a recent national survey.
Fifty-one percent (51%) in Pennsylvania say it's very likely the contest will not be resolved until the convention in Denver. That figure includes 61% of Clinton voters and 38% of those who support Obama. Overall, another 33% say a convention decision is Somewhat Likely.
Forty-seven percent (47%) say they have followed news stories Very Closely about Clinton's Bosnia misstatements. Another 27% have followed those stories Somewhat Closely. Overall, 19% consider that issue to be Very Important in their voting decision. That figure includes 6% of Clinton supporters and 36% of Obama voters. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Pennsylvania voters say that most politicians lie or embellish the truth when discussing their own accomplishments. Only 12% disagree.
Clinton voters, by a 64% to 26% margin, believe that American society is generally fair and decent. Obama voters are evenly divided; 45% hold that optimistic view while another 45% say society is generally unfair and discriminatory.
Among voters who say the economy is the top voting issue, Clinton maintains a sixteen-point lead over Obama. Among those who view the War in Iraq as the top issue, Obama has a seventeen-point advantage. Among those who say health care is most important, 48% prefer Clinton and 40% choose Obama. Overall, 54% say the Economy is most important, 19% say it's the War in Iraq, and 10% say Health Care.
In the Keystone State, Clinton is now viewed favorably by 74% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters, Obama by 73%.
A separate survey found that both Democrats are in a competitive race with John McCain for Pennsylvania's Electoral College votes. Nationally, McCain currently leads both Democrats in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. Looking at the Electoral College, the race is essentially a Toss-Up.
Just 3% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters rate the economy as good or excellent while 70% say it's in poor shape. Just 2% say it is getting better while 91% say the economy is getting worse. Nationally, the Rasmussen Consumer Index shows that consumer and investor confidence has fallen to the lowest level of the past seven years.
Rasmussen Markets data just prior to release of this poll shows that Clinton is overwhelming favored to end up victorious in Pennsylvania (current prices: Clinton 83.7 % Obama 17.0 %). Overall, the Markets give Obama a 81.7 % chance to win the Democratic nomination while expectations for a Clinton victory are at 15.6 %.
Numbers in this paragraph are from a prediction market, not a poll. Using a trading format where traders "buy and sell" candidates, issues, and news features, the Rasmussen Markets harness competitive passions to provide a reliable leading indicator of upcoming events. We invite you to participate in the Rasmussen Markets. It costs nothing to join and add your voice to the collective wisdom of the market.
This telephone survey of 730 Likely Democratic Primary Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports March 31, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.