WISCONSINREPORT.COM (04/09/08) - Illinois U.S. Senator Barack Obama is catching up with New York U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary and now trails 50 - 44 percent among likely primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released April 8th. This compares to a 50 - 41 percent Sen. Clinton lead in an April 2nd poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University. Comparing the polls released a week apart, Obama is gaining in most demographic categories in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Democratic Primary will be held April 22nd.
In this latest survey, one of the biggest shifts is among women who went from 54 - 37 percent for Hillary Clinton April 2 to 54 - 41 percent for her in the latest poll results.
A look at other groups shows:
White voters for Clinton 56 - 38 percent, down from 59 - 34 percent last week.
Black voters back Obama 75 - 17 percent, compared to 73 - 11 percent.
Men are for Obama 48 - 44 percent, compared to a 46 - 46 percent tie last week.
Voters under 45 go with Obama 55 - 40, while older voters back Clinton 55 - 38 percent.
"With two weeks to go, Sen. Barack Obama is knocking on the door of a major political upset in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"Obama is not only building on his own constituencies, but is taking away voters in Sen. Hillary Clinton's strongest areas - whites including white women, voters in the key swing Philadelphia suburbs and those who say the economy is the most important issue in the campaign," Richards said when eleasing the results of the latest poll.
"The Pennsylvania primary is like a game of horseshoes: Sen. Obama needs only to come close to be considered the winner - taking away, perhaps fatally, Sen. Clinton's argument she is the candidate best able to defeat Sen. John McCain in critical swing states like Pennsylvania," Tichards continued.
Obama leads 55 - 37 percent among Philadelphia voters and 53 - 42 percent in the Philadelphia suburbs, widening a 49 - 44 percent April 2 lead in this critical area.
By a 71 - 23 percent margin, Pennsylvania likely Democratic primary voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton, compared to 67 - 19 percent for Obama.
The economy is the single most important issue in deciding their primary vote, 52 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats say, followed by 22 percent who list the war in Iraq and 15 percent who cite healthcare.
Voters who list the economy as their top issue give Clinton a small 49 - 45 percent margin over Obama, down from 53 - 39 percent. Voters who cite the war in Iraq back Obama 51 - 44 percent. Voters worried about health care go with Clinton 62 - 32 percent.
"The economy was supposed to be Clinton's ace in the hole in Rust Belt states such as Pennsylvania, but Obama is holding a good hand, too," Richards said.
Looking at the qualities they most want in a candidate, 37 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats are looking for a strong leader, with 27 percent looking for someone who is trustworthy and 18 percent seeking someone who shares their values.
Among those looking for a strong leader, Clinton leads 64 - 31 percent. Obama leads 59 - 32 percent among voters looking for a trustworthy candidate.
Pennsylvania Democrats approve 65 - 23 percent of the way Obama is handling race issues in the campaign, with white voters approving 62 - 25 percent and black voters approving 80 - 14 percent.
Voters approve 56 - 28 percent of the way Clinton is handling race issues, with white approval at 60 - 24 percent and black approval at a negative 35 - 48 percent.
From April 3 - 6, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,340 Pennsylvania likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.