Clinton Faces Uphill Battle in Remaining Primaries

Posted April 15, 2008 at 11:38pm

A series of Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg polls in three upcoming primary states – Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina – do not hold good news for Hillary Clinton. In surveys conducted April 10-14, Clinton led Obama 46 percent to 41 percent in Pennsylvania and now trails him 40 percent to 35 percent in Indiana. In North Carolina, Obama maintains the kind of lead he has had all along, 47 percent to 34 percent over Clinton. The margins of error were 4 percent. The Indiana result is at odds with an April 13 SurveyUSA poll that had Clinton ahead by 16 points.

And a Franklin & Marshall poll conducted April 8-13 similarly had Clinton and Obama in a tight race in Pennsylvania, with Clinton holding a 46 percent to 40 percent lead among likely primary voters with 14 percent undecided. Clinton led in this poll 51 percent to 35 percent in March. The margin of error among likely voters is 5.1 percent.

Pennsylvania votes next Tuesday, and Indiana and North Carolina on May 6.

But if the LA Times/Bloomberg and Franklin & Marshall numbers hold true as far as the popular vote, this is pretty bad news for Clinton who needs not just a win in Pennsylvania, but a big win especially since a CQ Politics district-by-district analysis of Pennsylvania predicts that her delegate margin over Obama, at best would be very slim. However, the poll indicates that these races are still very volatile with 12 percent undecided in Pennsylvania, 19 percent in Indiana and 17 percent in North Carolina. And the Pennsylvania polls have been all over the lot with some having her regain her double-digit leads and others showing her halting her slide, but with more modest leads over Obama than she enjoyed last month.

On the question of who had more honesty and integrity, voters favored Obama over Clinton by 47 percent to 26 percent.

The survey straddled the period in which the story of Obama’s “bitter” remark broke, so it did not completely reflect whether or not that controversy had an impact.