Two new Zogby polls were released today, and they reveal that Obama has a growing lead in North Carolina, but the race is still a virtual tie in Indiana. Obama has added four points to his lead in NC, and now leads Clinton 51%-37%. In Indiana Obama still holds a two point lead 45%-43% with 5% for someone else, and 7% not sure.
This primary is still polarized by race. In North Carolina Obama leads among African American voters 79%-11%, but Clinton leads among whites 52%-37%. Early voting began in the state on April 17, and 30% of those surveyed said that they had already voted. Obama leads this group 57%-34%. Obama leads among men 56%-34%, and women 47%-40%. His strength among women is with young African American women.
Obama still wins among younger voters and Clinton the older voters. The key is the group aged 35-54. Obama leads the middle aged crowd 58%-29%. North Carolina looks like a solid win for Obama tonight. Clinton strength among white voters could hold Obama’s margin of victory under double digits, but a 7-9 point sounds about right.
The story is much different in Indiana, where Obama leads among men 47%-42%, but the race is tied at 44% among women. Interestingly, in yesterday’s half of the two day poll that makes up the results Obama led 48%-40% with 12% undecided. Clinton leads among whites 48%-40%, and Obama leads among African Americans 82%-13%.
The problem for Obama in Indiana is that only 11% of the Democratic primary electorate is African American, compared to 32% in North Carolina.
Obama has a big lead in Indianapolis, but Clinton has a big lead in southern Indiana.
The key part of the state to watch tonight will be the northern tier from Gary to Fort Wayne. The candidates are essentially tied there, with Clinton holding a two point lead 44%-42%.
This race is a little flipped because Clinton has a small lead among voters aged 25-34, and Obama has a one point lead with voters age 55-64.
There is a very real possibility that the candidates split the delegates in the two contests tonight. I don’t think that either gets a blow out.
For perceptions sake both candidates need a sweep, but if either gets it, it won’t be by much. Obama doesn’t need big wins. He can afford to keep on splitting states and inching his way to the nomination. This is the slow road, but Obama can afford grind Clinton down and run out the clock on this primary season.
Full Zogby Results: