Political Capital with John Harwood

Clinton And Obama Find Indiana Voters Split Over Them


A new poll shows Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton tied in the critical May 6 Democratic primary in Indiana.

Among voters who say they plan to vote in the primary, the poll shows that Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton each draw 37%. Some 21% of the electorate is undecided in the poll by Bellwether Research and Consulting, an Alexandria, Va-baed firm that conducts surveys for Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The poll was conducted April 28-30, as the controversy over Mr. Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright drew heavy media attention. Bellwether President Christine Matthews said Mrs. Clinton led by 13 percentage points among self-identified Democrats. But Mr. Obama drew even with strong support from self-identified independents and Republicans in Indiana, which has no party registration and permits any registered voter to participate.

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Other surveys in recent days have shown Mrs. Clinton opening up a slight lead; an average of those polls on the web site pegs Mrs. Clinton’s advantage at six percentage points.

Ms. Matthews said the outcome may hinge on turnout for the competitive race for Congress in the Indianapolis-area 7th district, whose incumbent Andre Carson has endorsed Mr. Obama.

“If turnout in this Congressional district is 50% higher than the rest of the state, it will add several percentage points to the Obama vote that does not show up on any pre-election polling,” Ms. Matthews observed.

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