March 3, 2008 - Clinton Leads Obama By 4 Points In Ohio Dem Primary Quinnipiac University Likely Voter Poll Finds; Big Split Among Men, Women Voters

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New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's margin over Sen. Barack Obama among Ohio likely Democratic primary voters has shrunk to 49 - 45 percent on the eve of the state's March 4 balloting, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 55 - 34 percent Sen. Clinton lead in a February 14 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University and a 51 - 40 percent lead February 25.

Sen. Obama has made gains in the last week especially among men and black voters.

The gender gap is a key factor in this latest survey, as women support Sen. Clinton 55 - 39 percent, while men back Sen. Obama by a mirror image 55 - 39 percent margin. Clinton's strength among lower income voters, 50 - 44 percent, and among older voters, 55 - 39 percent, also gives her an edge over Obama.

The Illinois Senator leads 58 - 37 percent among voters under 45. He also gets 90 percent of the black vote, while Clinton leads 60 - 34 percent among whites.

"The profiles of the Clinton voter and the Obama voter in Ohio are almost mirror images," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Men are for him; women for her. Those higher on the socio-economic scale are for him; those lower for her. Older people are for her; younger voters for him.

"The big unknown is turnout. It's not just whether it is higher than normal, which everyone expects it to be. The key question is whether turnout is disproportionately higher among some demographic groups than others."

Among white men, Obama gets 47 percent to Clinton's 46 percent, while Clinton holds a 68 - 26 percent lead among white women.

"Sen. Clinton always has had a gender gap, but the 22-point difference between her support among white men and white women is extraordinary," said Brown. "She is ahead overall because women have made up 55 to 60 percent of primary voters in most Democratic primaries. That is a considerable advantage for her."

Clinton's margin among those without college degrees, which had been 57 - 34 percent February 25, has narrowed to 51 - 43 percent. Obama's support among those with sheepskins, which had been 58 - 33 percent in the last survey, also has dropped, to 49 - 45 percent.

Self-identified Democrats voting in this primary give Clinton a 49 - 44 percent margin, while independents who are likely to vote in the Democratic primary go 50 percent for Obama and 48 percent for Clinton.

"Sen. Clinton is still ahead, but her presidential ambitions depend on whether those who have been her supporters resist jumping on the Obama bandwagon and go to the polls for her," said Brown.

There is strong loyalty for both candidates, with 88 percent of Clinton supporters and 86 percent of Obama backers saying their mind is made up.

From February 27 - March 2, Quinnipiac University surveyed 799 Ohio likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.

For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. If the 2008 Democratic primary for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for whom would you vote? (If undecided q1) As of today, do you lean more toward Clinton or Obama? This table includes "Leaners".
                        LIKELY DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS...................
                                                                Wht     Wht
                        Tot     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk     Men     Wom
 
Clinton                 49%     39%     55%     60%      4%     46%     68%
Obama                   45      55      39      34      90      47      26
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          -       -       -       -       -       -       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         -       -       -       -       -       -       -
DK/NA                    6       6       5       6       6       7       5
 
                                        EDUCATION.....
                        AGE IN YEARS    No col College  ANNUAL HSHLD INCOME
                        18-44   45+     degree degree   <50,000 >50,000
 
Clinton                 37%     55%     51%     45%     50%     47%
Obama                   58      39      43      49      44      48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          -       -       -       1       -       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         -       -       -       -       -       -
DK/NA                    5       6       6       5       5       5
 
                        PARTY ID....
                        Dem     Ind
 
Clinton                 49%     48%
Obama                   44      50
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          -       -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         -       -
DK/NA                    6       2
 
 
2. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the primary?
                        LIKELY DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS
                                CAND CHOICE..
                        Tot     Clinton Obama
 
Made up                 87%     88%     86%
Might change            12      11      14
DK/NA                    1       2       1