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Clinton Lead Shrinks In Ohio

Two polls released today show Hillary Clinton still maintaining a lead in Ohio beyond the surveys’ margins of error, but with Barack Obama slowly but surely cutting into it.

Clinton leads Obama 48 percent to 43 percent in a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted Feb.25, but that’s 3 points less than what Clinton led by last week. The margin of error is 3 percent. That’s in line with polls Monday that also showed her lead eroding in Ohio.

The Rasmussen numbers suggest that Obama may have scored points by trying to hang the NAFTA trade agreement around Clinton’s neck. Voters said by a 53 percent to 14 percent margin that they believed Obama opposed the treaty, but they are unsure of where Clinton stands. Only 16 percent of Democrats believe NAFTA, which was negotiated under President Bill Clinton, is good for the nation.

SurveyUSA put Clinton ahead of Obama 50 percent to 44 percent with a 3.6 percent margin of error in a poll conducted Feb.23-25. Two weeks ago, Clinton’s SurveyUSA lead was 17 points. Clinton and Obama run fairly evenly among the 57 percent of the sample who are between ages 35 and 64, but Obama leads by 17 points among the one-fifth of the sample between 18 and 34, while Clinton has a 2-to-1 lead among the one-fifth about 65. Obama leads among males (42 percent of the sample) 55 percent to 39 percent, while Clinton leads among women voters (58 percent of the sample) by 58 percent to 36 percent.

The economy topped the list of voter concerns at 48 percent, and Clinton led Obama among this group 54 percent to 40 percent. Health care was cited by 20 percent of voters as the most important issue, and Clinton led Obama here 52 percent to 45 percent. Iraq was third at 12 percent, and these voters favored Obama 52 percent to 46 percent. No other issues came close.

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