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Clinton Climbs, Obama Slips In National Polls

For the first time in a month, Hillary Clinton has taken a statistically significant lead over Barack Obama, with a margin of 49 percent to 42 percent, according to the Gallup daily tracking poll. The poll was taken March 16-18 and has a margin of error of 3 points. While the survey was conducted largely before Obama’s speech in Philadelphia yesterday, in which he tried to defuse the controversy over racial remarks by his ex-pastor, Gallup said, “The initial indications are that the speech has not halted Clinton’s gaining momentum, as she led by a similar margin in Tuesday night’s polling as compared to Monday night’s polling.”

A Reuters/Zogby poll conducted March 13-14 said that the 14 point lead Obama enjoyed in February in its survey had dwindled to a statistically insignificant 47 percent to 44 percent edge. The margin of error was 4.4 percent. Zogby attributed Obama’s slide to the questions raised by Clinton and others about his experience and the controversy over Wright.

In its general election match-ups, Gallup had John McCain moving ahead of Obama 47 percent to 43 percent and leading Clinton 48 percent to 45 percent. That survey was conducted March 14-18 and had a 2 point margin of error.

Zogby’s general election match-up has McCain ahead of Obama 46 percent to 40 percent compared to last month when Obama was ahead by 7 points, and McCain leading Clinton 48 percent to 40 percent, compared to the 12 point advantage he enjoyed last month. The margin of error for this poll is 3.2 percent.

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