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Obama Catches Clinton in AP’s National Poll … And a Gallup Mystery

Read the Associated Press/Ipsos poll

Barack Obama has a 46 percent to 43 percent lead, within a 4.6 percent margin of error, in an Associated Press national poll conducted Feb.22.24. Clinton had a 5 point lead in this poll earlier in February. And then there is the matter of the USA Today/Gallup poll which shows Obama with a big national lead over Clinton and the Gallup daily tracking poll … which does not. But more about that in a minute.

Looking at key blocs of voters in the campaign, AP says its survey shows “how the bottom is falling out among some supporters of Clinton.” Clinton and Obama had evenly divided white men voters and liberals in the last survey, but Obama now leads in those groups by 23 points and 17 points respectively.

On the Republican said, John McCain leads Mike Huckabee 53 percent to 27 percent and has large leads over Huckabee among loyal Republicans, conservatives and Southerners. He runs about even with Huckabee among evangelical Christian voters.

Meanwhile, a USA Today Gallup poll had Obama waaaay out in front of Clinton by 51 percent to 39 percent with a 3 point margin of error. The poll was conducted Feb.21-24. The odd twist is that Gallup’s own daily tracking poll today, based on interviewing Feb.22-24, shows Obama narrowly ahead of Clinton 47 percent to 45 percent with a 3 point margin of error.

Frank Newport, editor of the Gallup poll, tried to explain the difference in a posting to the site. He said the daily tracking poll and USA Today/Gallup poll had “some differences in the methodology.” But noting that the two polls were fairly consistent on the Republican race, he said, “I think the Democratic differences may well be another indicator of the conflicted nature of the Democratic race this year… there is a lot of volatility out there among Democrats.”

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