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Texas Polls Still Show a Close Race

Texas polls on the eve of the primary – with the exception of one – show Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton running tied or within the margin of error of each other. But even that dissenting pollster described a race that is “up for grabs.” The race may hinge on how well each of them turn out core blocs of supporters, particularly Hispanic and black voters. This differs somewhat from Ohio where some polls showed Hillary Clinton opening up a lead beyond the margin of error.

A Belo Texas Tracking poll has the candidates tied at 46 percent each with a 3.6 percent margin of error. The poll was conducted Feb. 27 – March 1.Clinton leads among 68 percent to 26 percent among Hispanic voters who make up 24 percent of the sample while Obama leads 79 percent to 8 percent among black voters who make up 22 percent of the sample. White voters, who comprise 49 percent of the sample, favor Clinton 51 percent to 42 percent. Clinton leads among women by about the same margin that Obama leads her among men. Belo says it believes the race will be decided by black and Hispanic voter turnout. Twenty-five percent of Texas Democrats pick the economy as the most important issue and they favor Obama by 47 percent to 43 percent; 17 percent cite health care, and they back Clinton 47 percent to 43 percent, and among the 16 percent who singled out Iraq, Obama led 62 percent to 37 percent.
Rasmussen Reports also says turnout will be the key. It’s survey taken March 2 has Clinton ahead 48 percent to 47 percent with 5 percent undecided and a 4 point margin of error. In this survey, Clinton leads among voters most concerned about the economy and, as with the Belo poll, she also leads on the health care issue while Obama has more support from those most concerned about Iraq.
The Zogby poll conducted Feb. 29-March2 has has Obama leading Clinton 47 percent to 44 percent with a 3.7 percent margin of error. Zogby says, “Clinton continues to enjoy a sizable lead among Hispanic voters, but Obama has made gains in the last day among white voters, where the two are now tied.” Obama has a big lead among voters under 30 while Clinton enjoys a sizable margin among voters over 65.
– SurveyUSA has Clinton and Obama in a dead heat at 49 percent for Obama to 48 percent for Clinton with a 3.5 percent margin of error. The poll was conducted March 1-2. Clinton leads 64 percent to 33 percent among Hispanics who make up 32 percent of the sample (larger than some of the other surveys); she leads 50 percent to 46 percent among whites who make up 48 percent; and, Obama leads 70 percent to 18 percent among black voters, who make up 17 percent of the sample. The two run pretty evenly among the 35 to 64 age group, but Obama is way ahead among 18-to-34 voters as is Clinton among voters over 65.
– The exception in this bunch is an Insider Advantage/Majority Opinion poll conducted March 2 That has Clinton ahead 49 percent to 44 percent with 7 percent undecided and a 3.8 percent margin of error. “It is entirely possible that we have missed the mark here, given that so many pollsters have shown Sen. Obama with a growing lead,” said Matt Towery of InsiderAdvantage. “But I would note that the most recent surveys all indicate a tightening of the race; and also that the breakdown by demographics in our survey is amazingly similar to the PPP numbers. If nothing else, it appears that Texas truly is up for grabs.”

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