This is bad news for Hillary because what it may signal is many Dems are ready to just wrap this thing up.
The latest survey has the Democratic rivals in a dead heat, each with 45% support from registered Democratic voters. That is a slight improvement for Sen. Obama, though a statistically insignificant one, from the last Journal/NBC poll two weeks ago, which had Sen. Clinton leading among Democratic voters, 47% to 43%.
While Sen. Clinton still leads among white Democrats, her edge shrank to eight points (49% to 41%) from 12 points in early March (51% to 39%). That seems to refute widespread speculation — and fears among Sen. Obama’s backers — that he would lose white support for his bid to be the nation’s first African-American president over the controversy surrounding his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. of Chicago.
Not only that, her negatives are going up too:
The negativity of the Obama-Clinton contest seems to be hurting Sen. Clinton more, the poll shows. A 52% majority of all voters says she doesn’t have the background or values they identify with. But 50% say Sen. Obama does share their values, and 57% agree that Sen. McCain does.
Also, fewer voters hold positive views of Sen. Clinton than did so just two weeks ago in the Journal/NBC poll. Among all voters, 48% have negative feelings toward her and 37% positive, a decline from a net positive 45% to 43% rating in early March. While 51% of African-American voters have positive views, that is down 12 points from earlier this month, before the Wright controversy.
More ominous for Sen. Clinton is the net-negative rating she drew for the first time from women, one of the groups where she has drawn most support. In this latest poll, voters with negative views narrowly outstrip those with positive ones, 44% to 42%. That compares with her positive rating from 51% of women in the earlier March poll.
Both she and Sen. Obama showed five-point declines in positive ratings from white voters. But where she is viewed mostly negatively, by 51% to 34% of whites, Sen. Obama’s gets a net positive rating, by 42% to 37%. Among all voters, he maintained a significant positive-to-negative score of 49% to 32%â€”similar to Sen. McCain’s 45% to 25%.
Interesting to see he has a net 17% positive rating among all voters, but only a net 5% positive rating among Dems. Tells you how brutal and divisive this campaign has become.
The obvious caveat here is that it’s one poll. But when grouped with other polls, a trend emerges that suggests the Wright issue has been marginalized…at least for the primary season. No telling what’s going to happen in the general, and we all know we’re going to see those clips again.
Now Barack, about Michelle…