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Hillary has slight edge over Obama

world Updated: Apr 16, 2008 23:03 IST

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Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is leading her party rival Barack Obama by only 5 percentage points in Pennsylvania, a new survey shows, indicating that she might not be headed for a convincing victory that she needs to jumpstart her stuttering campaign.

With margin of error at plus-minus 4 per cent, the new poll shows statistical dead heat between the two rivals. At one time, Hillary had led Obama by double digits but he has slowly eroded her lead to a point at which he could feel comfortable.

The just released Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll reveals Hillary trails Obama by 5 points in Indiana and by 13 points in North Carolina.

The poll found Hillary leading Obama 46 per cent to 41 per cent in Pennsylvania — a far cry from the double-digit margins she held in earlier polls.

But the voting pattern could change substantially as a large number of likely voters for Democratic primaries are still undecided — 12 per cent in Pennsylvania, 19 per cent in Indiana and 17 per cent in North Carolina.

But the results do underscore the rough road ahead for Hillary in the balloting in Pennsylvania and, on May 6, in Indiana and North Carolina, Los Angeles Times noted.

Obama leads Hillary in the number of convention delegates selected, states won and popular votes cast. She is hoping that a decisive win in Pennsylvania and a victory in Indiana will slow his momentum and bolster her plea for support from superdelegates — the elected officials, party leaders and activists who likely will decide the nomination.

The poll, conducted under the supervision of Times poll director Susan Pinkus, interviewed 623 voters in Pennsylvania, 687 in Indiana and 691 in North Carolina who expected to cast Democratic ballots.

The telephone interviews took place from Thursday through Monday, meaning the bulk were conducted just as controversy broke out over an Obama remark widely criticised as demeaning rural voters in Pennsylvania, Los Angeles Times said.

He suggested that for some residents of small towns, their commitment to gun rights, religious faith and hostility toward foreign trade had its roots in their “bitterness” about economic hardships. No question specifically on the controversy was asked.