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Fox News Poll Makes It Three


And then there were three. A new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics survey of 900 registered voters nationwide (2008 presidential match-ups article, results,Bush/Iraq/Iran article, results) shows, among other things, the same tightening race for President as two other recent national surveys. Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Barack Obama (34% to 23%) followed by former Vice President Al Gore (14%) and former Sen. John Edwards (12%) in a national primary. The Fox survey shows the same narrowing of the Clinton's lead as the surveys by Time and ABC News/Washington Post tied to a much closer contest among African-American voters. The Fox story puts it succinctly:

The nomination race has tightened among the Democratic contenders. In the last month Clinton has slipped 9 percentage points and Obama has gained 8 points. The reason for the shift is tied to Obama's dramatically improved standing among black voters - narrowing Clinton's previous edge of 30 points to 11 points today.

So let's step back and consider what recent national surveys tell us about candidate preference among African-American Democrats. In January, surveys showed Clinton leading Obama among black Democrats by 24 points (CBS News), 30 points (Fox News) and by 40 points (ABC News/Washington Post), combining December and January samples). In the last two weeks, surveys have shown Obama either leading among African Americans by 11 points (ABC/Post), by 9 points (Zogby), trailing by 11 points (Fox News), or splitting "about evenly" (Time).

Any one of these sub-samples is relatively small, and thus subject to more random error than a full survey. The comparisons above are also not entirely "apples-to-apples," but the results are largely consistent: The race has between Clinton and Obama among African-Americans has tightened considerably over the last month.

Also, as noted yesterday, both the ABC/News Washington Post and Time surveys indicate a big jump in Obama's recognition and favorability over the last month, presumably as a result of the continuing media focus on the race. I'm speculating, of course, but the irony may be that the recent spate of "is-he-black-enough" stories had the effect, not only of further raising Obama's profile, but also clarifying his heritage (African American, not Muslim) and thus helping to produce a tighter race among black voters.

**In their original January release (as cited by my blog post), ABC News reported Clinton leading Obama by 26 points (53% to 27%) over among African Americans interviewed in December and January. According to an email I received yesterday from Washington Post polling director Jon Cohen, "the original ABC numbers were incorrect, they've updated their analysis to the correct 60-20."

 

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