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Polls Show Obama, Clinton Still Close And McCain Still Way Ahead

The news from the Gallup daily tracking poll is about the same today as the last few surveys – Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are in a statistical tie. In the Feb.11-13 survey, Obama leads Clinton 46 percent to 45 percent with a 3 point margin of error. Some of the interviewing took place after Obama’s sweep of the Potomac Primaries but there were no signs yet of any pickup from his string of victories. On the Republican side, John McCain leads Mike Huckabee 51 percent to 29 percent.

An American Research Group poll conducted Feb.9-13 has Obama ahead of Clinton 47 percent to 45 percent with a 4 point margin of error. In its January poll, Clinton had led Obama 47 percent to 27 percent. McCain leads Huckabee 54 percent to 31 percent, a gain for Huckabee of 12 points in the now-narrowed GOP race.

The Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll is a big departure from Gallup and ARG, showing Obama now with a double-digit lead over Clinton, 49 percent to 37 percent, with a 4 point margin of error. Rasmussen says Obama has opened modest leads over Clinton among women voters and white voters, and has a 69 percent to 10 percent margin among black voters.

Rasmussen’s general election match-ups show Obama ahead of McCain 46 percent to 42 percent, while McCain leads Clinton 48 percent to 41 percent.

Gallup provided a historical look about where ultimate nominees of each party stood in its final tracking polls of primaries, drawing the conclusion that McCain is not quite yet at the point of being able to say he has the nomination “sewn up” based on popular preferences.

– **February 2004:** John Kerry had 64 percent to John Edwards’ 18 percent.
– **February 2000:** Al Gore led Bill Bradley 65 percent to 28 percent. George Bush led John McCain 57 percent to 34 percent.
– **March 1996:** Bob Dole has 58 percent to 15 percent each for Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes.
– **March 1992:** Bill Clinton had 71 percent to Jerry Brown’s 25 percent.
– **May 1988:** Mike Dukakis led Jesse Jackson 69 percent to 21 percent. In March, George H.W. Bush led Dole 69 percent to 22 percent.
– **May 1984:** Walter Mondale led Gary Hart by 46 percent to 34 percent, followed by Jackson at 10 percent.
– **March 1980:** Ronald Reagan led Bush the First by 55 percent to 25 percent.

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