A new poll done by Mason-Dixon for WRAL TV in North Carolina of 400 likely Democratic voters in the state found that Hillary Clinton has shrunk Barack Obama’s once double digit lead down to seven points. Obama now leads Clinton 49%-42%, with 9% undecided. The poll’s margin of error is five points.
Jobs and the economy were listed as the number one issue in the state by 51% of respondents. The Iraq war was second at 14%, and healthcare was third. The age and race gaps that we have seen all through this primary are continuing in the Tar Heel State. Obama dominates with voters under 35, 62%-36%, and Clinton has a small lead with voters over 50, 47%-45%. Obama is supported by 87% of black voters, and Clinton 62% of whites.
Obama leads 48%-43% among Democrats, and he leads Independents 55%-38%.
Fifty five percent of respondents said that they were looking for a candidate that represents change. Thirty six percent said that that wanted someone with the right experience.
What does all of this mean? Strictly by the numbers, Obama should be leading by more in the state. This poll was done on Monday and Tuesday of this week, after Rev. Wright’s little weekend media junket. Since Obama still maintained his solid lead with black voters, it is pretty safe to guess that Wright managed to shift some white voters to Clinton.
The respondents focus on the economy explains why both Democrats have been hammering this issue on the campaign trail, but until Obama’s lead gets under 5%, I doubt that he is in any real trouble in the state.
What this poll demonstrates is that both candidates have a strong base of support, that won’t allow the other to pull away. Clinton needs to run the table, but even if she does, I think enough superdelegates have made up their minds to support Obama and make him the nominee.