FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          

CONTACT: Jim Lee at (717) 233-8850

 

CLINTON’S LEAD CUT TO 3 POINTS IN CURRENT POLL,

NOW IN A VIRTUAL DEAD HEAT WITH OBAMA

 

Harrisburg, PA (Monday, April 14) - A new statewide poll conducted by Harrisburg-based Susquehanna Polling and Research, Inc., in the upcoming PA Democratic Presidential Primary Election shows Hillary Clinton with a slight 40/37 lead over Barack Obama with just one week remaining before the April 22nd Primary Election.  Eighteen (18) percent remain undecided, while 4% said they would vote for neither candidate; 1% refused to answer.  This represents a significant drop from her 14-point lead in our last poll conducted March 5-10, where Clinton led by a 45/31 margin. The current poll was conducted April 6-10 with 500 likely Democratic voters and has a margin of error of 4.3% at the 95% confidence level; the calls were made from our telephone call center in downtown Harrisburg using live survey interviewers.

         

“Clinton’s 3-point lead is within the poll’s 4% margin of error, so this race is now a virtual toss-up,” said Jim Lee, the firm’s president, who conducted the poll for public dissemination.  “Obama has a strong 62/19 favorable to unfavorable ratio in name ID (better than 3:1), and has succeeded in building up his positive image in the state, something he said all along he was capable of doing if voters had more time to get to know him.  At the same time, Clinton’s name ID shows a higher negative than Obama, with 25% having an unfavorable opinion of her compared to 61% who view Clinton as favorable,” Lee added.

 

Clinton still leads in the culturally conservative Southwest (57/17), the Northeast (44/26) and Central “T”/Johnstown-Altoona media market (40/32), but her leads in these areas has narrowed in comparison to March when she was winning with bigger margins.  Perhaps most surprising is Clinton’s shrinking margin in the Northeast, her natural strength given her family ties to the area, where her 38-point, 56/18 margin over Obama in March has now shrunk to 18 points (a swing of 20).   Meanwhile, Obama has strengthened his lead in the Harrisburg/South Central region (now 39/29), and surpassed Clinton in the 4 suburban counties surrounding Philadelphia (now 45/40), whereas Clinton led in March by a 42/35 margin; Obama’s 50/30 lead in Philadelphia is unchanged from our earlier poll.  “Obama’s media efforts are clearly paying off, he’s holding his base in the socially liberal areas of the state, and at the same time, has chipped away at her lead in areas where he knows he can’t win, but can at least have a respectable showing, namely in Central and Western PA, where Reagan Democrats are still key to a Clinton victory,” Lee said. 

 

Because voter turnout is expected to be near historic levels, this race will be decided by whether or not Obama can turn out the vote among new voters, those least likely to have voted in past primary elections and black Democrats, all of whom historically have been less likely to vote in primaries.  For instance, Clinton holds a 48/34 lead with senior citizens and a 42/35 lead with voters who have the strongest primary vote history based on past primary elections (i.e., 3 or 4 of the last 4 primaries), while Obama holds a near 2:1 lead with voters under 45 years old and a 50/30 lead with black Democrats; among those with less vote history in the poll it’s a 39/38 dead heat.  If Obama succeeds in turning out the vote among new registrants, younger voters on college campuses and in the African-American community, he may be able to pull off an upset victory.  However, still the undecided vote is still relatively high (at 18%), this vote is now even more up for grabs given Obama’s recent comments which the media is reporting are generally thought to be insensitive to voters in small towns, and may help stimulate turnout for Clinton in rural parts of the state if Obama isn’t able to give a more satisfactory explanation.

 

Endorsements by Governor Rendell and U.S. Senator Casey, Jr., for Clinton and Obama respectively don’t seem to be having much influence, however.  Eighty-one (81) percent of voters said Rendell’s endorsement would have “no impact” on their vote for Clinton, while 8% said it would make them “more likely” to vote for her compared to 10% who said it would make them “less likely”.  Similarly, 85% said Casey’s endorsement for Obama would have “no impact”, while 7% said it would make them “more likely” to vote for him while 8% said “less likely”.   “This suggests people are making up their own minds, and endorsements by either of the state’s top Democrats don’t seem to carry much weight.  However, this is probably more troubling for Clinton, who needs a big win in PA to stay in the race and has been counting on popularity from Governor Rendell to deliver the vote particularly in the Southeast where he is most popular.”

 

Susquehanna Polling and Research, Inc. is based in Harrisburg, PA and conducts surveys primarily in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Nevada and California and conducts surveys for both political clients (Republican only) and corporate firms (bipartisan).  More information about our company can be found at www.susquehannapolling.com.                                                                                

    Final Top Line Survey Results

Spring 2008 PA Statewide Poll

Sample Size: 500 Registered Democratic Likely Voters

Conducted: April 6-10, 2008

With Comparisons to March 2008 Survey

 

Good morning/afternoon/evening, my name is (YOUR FIRST NAME).  I am calling on

behalf of Susquehanna Polling and Research, a public opinion research firm.  May I speak to

(name on list) or (another registered DEMOCRAT voter) in your household?  (If no registered DEMOCRAT available, TERMINATE)        

 

INTRODUCTION:  We are conducting a survey of attitudes and opinions concerning some important issues facing Pennsylvania today. May we have a few minutes of your time to complete the survey?

 

F1: On a scale anywhere from 1 to 10, please rank your chances of voting in the upcoming Democratic primary election for president on Tuesday, April 22, with “1” meaning you are not planning to vote and “10” meaning you will definitely be voting?   (IF FIVE OR LOWER, TERMINATE CALL)

 

[N=100%]

 

Q1. What would you say is the single most important problem facing Pennsylvania today? That is, the one that you would like to see resolved by your state elected officials. (DO NOT READ CHOICES – ONE ANSWER ONLY)

 

1. Taxes                                             52      10%                               

2. Drugs/crime/violence                     39      08%           

3. Economy/jobs/unemployment           211   42%          

4. Growth/development/traffic            2        00%                     

5. Government spending/budget        3        01%                       

6. Politicians/government                            9        02%          

7. Streets/roads/transportation          15      03%           

8. Healthcare/prescription drugs         41      08%           

9. Medicare/social security                 0        00%

10. Education/schools                        28      06%

11. Gas/energy prices                        52      10%

12. Terrorism/National Security          0        00%

13. War in Iraq                                   15      03%

14. Morality/family values                            2        00%

15. Illegal aliens/Immigration             2        00%

16. Undecided/none                          16      03%

 

 


Now, turning to the upcoming elections for President…

 

(ROTATE Q2-Q3)

Q2. Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of him?

 

1. Favorable          309    62%

2. Unfavorable       96      19%

3. No opinion         96      19%

 

 


Q3. Is your opinion of Hillary Clinton favorable, unfavorable, or do you have no opinion of her?

 

1. Favorable          306    61%

2. Unfavorable       125    25%

3. No opinion         69      14%

 

 


Q4. What one or two issues will most influence your vote in favor of a candidate for President? Their position on: (ROTATE LIST-CHECK UP TO TWO ANSWERS)

 

50      (10%)                   1. Illegal immigration

311   (62%)        2. The economy

167    (33%)                   3. Healthcare

44      (09%)                   4. Terrorism and national security

250   (50%)        5. The war in Iraq

72      (14%)                   6. Bringing real change to the status quo

29      (06%)                   7. Positions on social and cultural issues like abortion or gay marriage

10      (02%)                   8. Undecided (DO NOT READ)

 

 


Thinking ahead to the Democratic Primary Election for President on Tuesday, April 22…

 

Q5. If the election were held today, would you vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? (ROTATE NAMES)

                                                                    3/10  %Ch

1. Clinton              200    40%                      45%  -5

2. Obama               183    37%                      31%  +6

3. Undecided         92      18%                      19%  -1

4. None/other        19      04%                      04%  --

5. Refuse              6        01%                      01%  --

 

 


(ROTATE Q6-Q7)

Q6. Governor Ed Rendell recently announced his endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President.  Does this make you more likely or less likely to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary election, or does this have no impact on your vote?

 

1. More likely         40      08%

2. Less likely                   49      10%

3. No impact                   408    81%

4. Undecided         4        01%

 


Q7. United States Senator Bob Casey, Jr. recently announced his endorsement of Barack Obama for President.  Does this make you more likely or less likely to vote for Barack Obama in the Democratic primary election, or does this have no impact on your vote?

 

1. More likely         34      07%

2. Less likely                   40      08%

3. No impact                   423    85%

4. Undecided         3        01%

 

 


Now, I have a few more questions for demographic purposes and then we’ll be through…

 

Q8. What is your approximate age according to the following brackets: 18-29, 30-44, 45-59 or 60 and over?

 

1. 18-29                19      04%

2. 30-44               92      18%

3. 45-59               214    43%

4. 60+                  174    35%

 

 


Q9. What is the last grade you completed in school?  (DO NOT READ CHOICES)

 

1. K-8                                                                             2        00% 

2. Some high school but did not graduate              14      03%

3. Graduated high school                                                149    30%

4. Technical or vocational school (2-year degree)  30      06%

5. Some college                                                     85      17%

6. Graduated college (4-year degree)                    124    25%

7. Graduate/professional school                                      96      19%

 

 


Q10. Is your main religious background Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or something else?

 

1. Catholic                       194    39%

2. Protestant                             124    25%

3. Jewish                        17      03%

4. Baptist                        27      05%

5. Agnostic/Atheist                   9        02% 

6. Methodist                             17      03%

7. Lutheran                     3        01%

8. Mormon                       0        00%

9. Christian                     24      05%

10. Evangelical               0        00%

11. Other                        78      16%

12. Refuse                       6        01%

 

 

 

 

 

 


Q11. Is your main racial heritage of Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, Asian American or another background? (CHECK ALL THAT APPLY)

 

1. Caucasian                            400    80%   

2. African American                  74      15%

3. Hispanic                               7        01%

4. Asian or Pacific Islander        2        00%

5. Native American                    2        00%

6. Other                                   16      03%

7. Refuse                                  7        01%

 

 


Q12.  What was your total household income for 2007 according to the following income brackets – less than $15,000, $15 to $30,000, $31 to $50,000, $51 to $75,000, $76,000 - $99,000, $100,000 to $200,000 or over $200,000?

 

1. Less than $15,000               34      07%

2. $15,000 - $30,000               57      11%

3. $31,000 - $50,000               95      19% 

4. $51,000 - $75,000               88      18%

5. $76,000 – $99,000              62      12%

6. $100,000 - $200,000           70      14%

7. $200,000+                          14      03%

8. Undecided                            5        01%

9. Refuse                                  75      15%

 

 


THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE SURVEY. HAVE A GOOD DAY.

 

Gender:

 

1. Male                  223    45%

2. Female              277    55%

 

 


Area:

 

22      (04%)                   1. Northwest [Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Warren, Forest]

 

63      (13%)                   2. Southwest [Lawrence, Beaver, Washington, Greene, Fayette,

                       Westmoreland, Indiana, Armstrong, Butler]

 

43      (09%)                   3. The “T”/Central [Jefferson, Elk, McKean, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield,

                       Centre, Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Fulton, Franklin, Huntingdon, Blair,

                                 Potter, Tioga, Bradford, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Sullivan, Lycoming,

                                 Clinton, Union, Snyder, Northumberland, Montour, Columbia, Mifflin,

                                 Juniata]

 

67      (13%)                   4. Northeast/Lehigh Valley [Luzerne, Carbon, Monroe, Schuylkill,

                       Lackawanna, Lehigh, Northampton, Pike, Wayne]

 

47      (09%)                   5. South Central [Perry, Cumberland, Adams, York, Lancaster, Lebanon,

                       Dauphin, Berks]

 

83      (17%)                   6. Southeast [Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks]

 

74      (15%)                   7. Allegheny County

 

101    (20%)                   8. Philadelphia

 

 


The margin of error for a sample size of 500 is +/-4.38%

 

 

 


© Susquehanna Polling and Research, Inc.