Clinton Builds Big Lead In Pennsylvania

Posted March 20, 2008 at 11:06am

Hillary Clinton is leading Barack Obama by 51 percent to 35 percent among likely Democratic voters in the critical primary state of Pennsylvania, according to a Franklin & Marshall poll conducted March 11 to 16. The margin of error is 5.7 percent. Nearly 1 in 7 likely voters are still undecided. Clinton’s lead had been 12 points in F & M’s February survey.

Since the last poll, Obama’s favorability rating dropped 10 points to 47 percent and his unfavorable rating rose 16 percent to 25 percent. “Considering the losses that Obama took in Texas and Ohio, and when you add to it the negativity of the comments attributed to Reverend Wright, that’s two shots to the body that Obama is having trouble dealing with,” said political scientist Joseph DiSarro said. The F & M poll was completed before Obama’s speech on race on Tuesday.

DiSarro’s point may well touch on the same dynamics of national and state polls that came out yesterday showing slippage by Obama on both fronts.

Top issues cited by Pennsylvanians were the economy (39 percent), Iraq (23 percent), and health care (18 percent).