Friday, April 04, 2008

Clinton, Obama even in Indiana, a 30% rural state

Two weeks ago we reported that Hillary and Bill Clinton were turning Indiana, which many pundits had presumed to be a Barack Obama state, into a pivotal battleground in the Democratic race for president. Now a poll confirms it: Clinton 49 percent, Obama 46 percent, with an error margin of 5 percentage points for each result.

The May 6 Indiana primary "is anybody’s ball game right now, said Del Ali of the Rockville, Md.-based Research 2000, which conducted the poll," writes Ed Ronco of the South Bend Tribune, a poll sponsor. "The winner, Ali said, will depend on a variety of factors, including the candidates’ abilities to hold on to certain demographic groups."

Stories on the poll offered no intelligence on Indiana's rural voters, who comprise about 30 percent of the state's electorate. But rural voters tend to be older, and among those over 60, Clinton led 60 percent to 34 percent. She had marginal, single-digit leads among those aged 30 to 59, while Obama led among younger voters, 63 percent to 36 percent.

"Some 39 percent of respondents said a candidate’s stand on the economy or job creation would most determine their vote," Ronco reports. "That’s followed by 22 percent who said they were most concerned about pulling troops out of Iraq," but Ali cautioned, “That Iraq number is so volatile.” He also questioned the result showing 22 percent of Clinton voters would support Republican John McCain if Obama were nominated, and 16 percent of Obama backers would choose McCain over Clinton. “I would be shocked if it was over 5 percent either way,” Ali said. “Those numbers display the passion that voters have for their candidate.” (Read more)

A Survey USA poll in Indiana, taken March 29-31, showed Clinton leading 52 percent to 43 percent, with an error margin of 4.3 percentage points for each result. Survey USA uses automated, recorded questions and telephone-pushbutton responses. (Read more)

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