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Clinton Keeps Her Pa. Lead

By Jon Cohen
Hillary Clinton holds a nine-point lead in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll. But it is the survey's general election numbers from three key swing states that may do more to bolster the New York senator's campaign.

In hypothetical match-ups with presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, Clinton outperformed Barack Obama in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In each of these states, Clinton is propelled by solid support among female voters, and Democrats -- particularly white Democrats -- in all three are less likely to defect to McCain with Clinton atop the Democratic ticket.

Overall, Clinton is up nine points over McCain in Ohio, while Obama runs about evenly with the Arizona senator. Clinton also has a more sizable edge in Pennsylvania and is competitive in Florida, a state where McCain is up nine points on Obama in the new poll.

Polling about November in the midst of a hotly contested primary contest is a perilous enterprise, but a Clinton campaign eager to sway superdelegates is sure to latch onto the new data. And the crosstabs do reveal some early obstacles for Obama.

About one in five Democrats in each of these three states said he or she would support McCain if Obama were the Democratic nominee; that is about double the proportion who would vote for the Republican against Clinton. And Clinton outpaces Obama among white women by double-digits in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania alike.

There are other new polls of varying quality causing ripples today. Here is one place to go to help sort the good and the bad: "5 Tips for Decoding Those Election Polls."

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 2, 2008; 2:17 PM ET
Categories:  The Pollster  
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