The Democratic presidential race has closed to a virtual tie with Barack Obama ahead of Hillary Clinton by 49 percent to 46 percent, well within a 4.5 percent margin of error in this new CNN/Opinion Research poll. In last month’s poll, Clinton had led Obama 42 percent to 33 percent. CNN says that if you average its poll with the other big ones we reported over the weekend – Gallup, Pew Research Center, ABC News/Washington Post and CBS/New York Times – Clinton leaves Obama by a scant 45 percent to 43 percent.
The Gallup daily tracking poll conducted Feb. 1-3 has Clinton leading Obama 47 percent to 43 percent with a 3 percent margin of error. McCain leads Romney 45 percent to 25 percent with 17 percent for Huckabee.
A Cook Political Report/RT Strategies survey conducted Jan.31-Feb.2 had Obama ahead of Clinton 43 percent to 37 percent, a big reversal from December when Clinton led in this poll by 38 percent to 26 percent. The margin of error is 51. percent. Among Republicans, McCain is in front, 39 percent to 24 percent over Romney with Huckabee at 18 percent. Margin of error is 5.6 percent.
In hypothetical general election match-ups, Obama is ahead of McCain by a hair 45 percent to 43 percent, and bests Romney 51 percent to 40 percent. McCain beats Clinton 45 percent to 41 percent, but Clinton leads Romney 48 percent to 42 percent. Margin of error is 3.1 percent.
This general election finding pretty much matches up with the one in Sunday’s Washington Post-ABC News poll Post-ABC News poll which said McCain would beat Clinton 49 percent to 46 percent, but would lose to Obama by the same margin. Romney would lose to either Democrat by double-digits. The Pew poll found that McCain and Obama “stand apart from the other candidates in their wide appeal across partisan lines.”
An NPR poll conducted Jan. 29-31 by Public Opinion Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research had McCain in a statistical dead heat with both Obama and Clinton: ahead of Clinton 48 percent to 45 percent and ahead of Obama 48 percent to 47 percent, both with a 3 percent margin of error. Obama beats Romney 53 percent to 41 percent, but Clinton holds a smaller lead over Romney, 49 percent to 44 percent.
There is an excellent analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of both Super Tuesday and national polls at Pollster.com, including an explanation of the differences between Democrats and Republicans about what “victory” in a state means.
Check here for a round-up of recent polls from Super Tuesday states.