Hillary Clinton is maintaining strong leads over Barack Obama in Pennsylvania and Ohio, a new Quinnipiac poll finds. Ohio votes on March 4, Pennsylvania on April 22.
The poll finds Clinton leading Obama 55-34 in Ohio and 52-36 in Pennsylvania. She has a particularly strong lead among women voters.
The polls were taken between Feb. 6 and 12, meaning both before and after some of Obama’s sweep of caucuses on Feb. 9 and 10, and before results were available for the “Potomac Primary” states, which voted on February 12.
The poll also surveyed hypothetical matchups of both Democratic candidates with John McCain in the swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, and found that all races were very close. McCain edges both Democrats in Florida and Ohio, while both Obama and Clinton edge McCain in Pennsylvania. All results, however, are within the margin of error.
New York Senator Hillary Clinton has commanding leads, especially among women, over Illinois Senator Barack Obama among likely Democratic primary voters in the critical swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to Quinnipiac University’s Swing State Poll, three simultaneous surveys of voters in states that have been pivotal in presidential elections since 1964. In these two states and Florida, a swing state that already conducted a primary, Arizona Senator John McCain, the Republican front-runner, is running neck and neck with either Clinton or Obama. Results are:
· Florida: McCain 44 percent – Clinton 42 percent; McCain 41 percent – Obama 39 percent;
· Ohio: McCain 44 percent – Clinton 43 percent; McCain 42 percent – Obama 40 percent;
· Pennsylvania: Clinton 46 percent – McCain 40 percent; Obama 42 percent – McCain 41
Clinton leads Obama 55 – 34 percent among likely Democratic primary voters in Ohio and 52 – 36 percent among likely Democratic primary voters in Pennsylvania. These are the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll’s first surveys in this election cycle of Ohio and Pennsylvania likely voters, a more select group than the wider range of registered voters surveyed in prior polls.
In each state, voters see the economy, not the war in Iraq, as the most important issue.
“Despite her losing streak, Senator Clinton remains far ahead of Senator Obama among likely Democratic primary voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“But in some of the earlier contests Obama has closed similar gaps and gone on to win. With Ohio, the next big state, along with Texas, voting on March 4, Senator Clinton must fend off another last-minute Obama surge in the Buckeye State,” Brown added.
“Ohio is as good a demographic fit for Senator Clinton as she will find. It is blue-collar America, with a smaller percentage of both Democrats with college educations and African-Americans than in many other states where Senator Obama has carried the day,” said Brown. “If Clinton can’t win the primary there, it is very difficult to see how she stops Obama.”
“With Senator Obama closing the gap, the winner in Pennsylvania probably will depend on whether blacks, young people and college graduates in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh can turn out in sufficient strength to overcome Senator Clinton’s strong lead among blue-collar voters and women,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
The survey found that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets only 6 to 9 percent running as an independent in any of the three states, and he seems to hurt McCain the most.
“If Mayor Bloomberg is thinking about running as an independent because he thinks he can win, he ought to think again,” said Brown.
In a general election matchup, McCain edges Clinton 44 – 42 percent among registered voters and gets 41 percent to Obama’s 39 percent.
If New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg runs as an independent candidate, results are:
- Clinton at 40 percent to McCain’s 38 percent, with 7 percent for Bloomberg;
- McCain with 37 percent to Obama’s 35 percent and 9 percent for Bloomberg.
In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 33 percent of Florida voters list the economy as the biggest single factor in their presidential vote, with 14 percent for the war in Iraq and 12 percent for health care.
Florida voters disapprove 61 – 31 percent of the job President George W. Bush is doing, but disagree 68 – 23 percent with the statement: “I am so angry at President Bush that I will not vote for Republican John McCain for President this November.”
“Florida is perhaps the most conservative of the big three swing states, but even there Senator McCain is getting about 80 percent of Republicans, indicating that this problem with conservative voters might not be as great as his problem with conservative leaders,” Brown said.
McCain gets 44 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent in the general election and edges Obama 42 – 40 percent.
With Bloomberg in the race, Clinton and McCain tie at 40 percent each, with 6 percent for Bloomberg; McCain gets 39 percent to Obama’s 38 percent with 6 percent for Bloomberg.
Among Ohio voters, 32 percent list the economy as the most important issue in the campaign, with 16 percent listing Iraq and 14 percent citing health care.
Ohio voters disapprove 61 – 31 percent of the job President Bush is doing, but only 23 percent say they will take their anger out on McCain.
Clinton leads McCain 46 – 40 percent in the general election, while Obama has 42 percent to McCain’s 41 percent.
In a three-way race with Bloomberg, Clinton leads McCain 42 – 36 percent, with 7 percent for Bloomberg; McCain and Obama are tied at 38 percent each, with 7 percent for Bloomberg.
The economy is the most important election issue for 27 percent of Pennsylvania voters, followed by Iraq at 19 percent and health care at 14 percent.
Pennsylvania voters disapprove 64 – 30 percent of the job President Bush is doing, but only 21 percent say they are so angry at Bush that they will vote against McCain.
From February 6 – 12, Quinnipiac University surveyed:
· 1,009 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent;
· 1,748 Ohio voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percent, including 564 Democratic likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent;
· 1,419 Pennsylvania voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent, including 577 Democratic
likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent.