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Clinton Lead in Pa. Dwindles

By Jon Cohen
Hillary Clinton's Pennsylvania lead has dwindled to six points, according to a new statewide survey of likely Democratic primary voters.

With two weeks to go until the crucial April 22 primary, a new Quinnipiac University poll finds 50 percent of likely voters supporting Clinton and 44 percent backing Barack Obama. Three weeks ago, Clinton was 12 points ahead of Barack Obama in the poll; in late March it was nine points.

Clinton's lead, however, may be stronger than the apparent movement suggests. Support for the New York senator has been steady in the 49 to 53 percent range in each of Quinnipiac's polls since Super Tuesday. Almost all of the changes have come from varying percentages of Obama voters.

Since mid-March, Obama has narrowed Clinton's advantage among women, white voters and economy voters, and made strides in the central and southeastern parts of the state. Among women, Clinton's 13-point lead is down from 24 points, and her 15-point edge among those prioritizing the economy is now just four points.

Nevertheless, as many Pennsylvania voters now rate Clinton favorably (71 percent) as said so when her lead was twice the size. And Obama's positive rating is up slightly over the period, to 67 percent.

Also of note in this season of highly variable pre-election polls is that while the Quinnipiac poll is one of the most reliable covering Pennsylvania, the data should not be read as a prediction two weeks out (no poll should). All pollsters conducting interviews until the eve of elections this year have stumbled, with many mischaracterizing the momentum of particular candidates.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 8, 2008; 2:35 PM ET
Categories:  The Pollster  
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