March 20th, 2008
12:55 PM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Clinton takes national lead over Obama

 Clinton has taken the lead from Obama, the first time in weeks, according to Gallup.
Clinton has taken the lead from Obama, the first time in weeks, according to Gallup.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Hillary Clinton has reclaimed the lead from Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential race for the first time since early February, a new national poll out Thursday suggests.

In the latest Gallup daily tracking poll, Clinton holds a 7 point lead over the Illinois senator, 49 to 42 percent. That lead is outside the poll’s statistical margin of error of 3 points - the widest gap between the two candidates in weeks.

Clinton's last lead was in a Gallup poll taken just after the round Super Tuesday contests, and the two candidates have been statistically tied since. But Obama has held a numerical lead over Clinton for most of that time, and started to decline in the tracking poll late last week - a sign the uproar over his former pastor's sermon's may be taking its toll.

The latest tracking poll was conducted March 14-18, almost entirely before Obama gave a widely praised speech on his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and race relations in America.

But according to Gallup's Jeff Jones, "the initial indications are that the speech has not halted Clinton's gaining momentum as she led by a similar margin in Tuesday night's polling as compared to Monday night's polling."

A new Gallup poll also showed apparent Republican presidential nominee John McCain leading both Democrats, a sign Clinton and Obama's continued back-and-forth is benefiting the Arizona senator. McCain holds a 4 point lead over Obama (47-43 percent) and 3 point lead over Clinton (48-45 percent). That poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Kyle

    You all need to update your poll! How ridiculous for a news organization to not have today's results! Go to gallup.com and you will see that today's results show that the gap has narrowed in large part due to their description of a positive Obama trend after his speech in polling conducted yesterday. CNN you should be able to get this story right and report current numbers. I am hoping to see a correction ASAP!

    March 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. William Schar - Minneapolis, MN.

    The poll is irrelevant, there is NO way for her to mathematically win the nomination EVEN if you include the results as they stand from Florida and Michigan. Guess how much of a Lead Clinton has over Obama with those two states. -82. That's right Obama still leads Hilary with those results tabulated in. After Pennsylvania, she has Indiana and Kentucky that she can win. She can only win if the superdelegates endorse her. And guess what will happen if that happens. Anybody remember what happened with Herbert Humphrey and George McGovern? Same scenario. We got Nixon. This time we'll get a McCain, who isn't nearly as smart or competent as a Nixon, but just as potentially destructive. I'm tired of Hilary's endless campaign. She is the one hurting the democratic party not Obama. The people that say he should step down are CRAZY. The delegate math favors him overwhelmingly. As does his campaign strategy in the fall. Clinton wants to count on the same old strategy that worked so well for Gore and Kerry. Obama wants to compete head to head with McCain in every state. The Republican's can have Florida I say. If we take away enough southern and western states, a win in florida or ohio is irrelevant to a National Campaign.

    March 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. LMC

    If this race was halfway fair, Obama would be the one out of it. The media tip-toed around him so long we couldn't get to know him at all. Obama limited his access to the media–do you think Hillary would have been allowed to get away with that? BOTH candidates said in September that they would do everything they could to see the MI and FL votes were counted. Only one candidate is following through. The Texas Democratic Party has refused to investigate the more that 2000 charges (some backed with videotaped evidence) of cheating by some Obama supporters in the Texas Caucus.

    Obama has flip-flopped on the issues so many times I'm surprised he can keep his positions straight–public financing in the general election, talking to leaders of enemy countries, NAFTA, Iraq. Today he gave a brilliant speech saying the war is a drag on our economy–DUH.

    The news is all Obama all the time. Enough!

    March 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. CG

    This is a sham, it was Obama's pastor that said what he said, not Obama. How are people so dumb now? Were they really behind Obama or were they just waiting for anything. It also figures that since they could not get him they should find the people that was close to him? They are really reaching and desparately.

    March 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. OBAMA 2008

    LET'S GO OBAMA!!!!!!

    You are the ONE candidate to bring about the change this country needs.
    Come on Obama Supporters let's get out the vote and continue to stand for change!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YES WE CAN!
    FIRED UP & READY TO GO!

    .:: Obama 08 and beyond ::.

    March 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Andrea L

    The fighter is comming back go Hiliary- It's not over until it's over
    come on democratic let count get Flordia and Michigan done

    PS- I am so tried of TV "Newcaster" counting her out, did you guys vote or just talk a lot

    andrea Baltimore

    March 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. toe

    Jessica, MI

    Yes, let's start a new campaign-- Obama is a white guy!!!!

    Why not, he is just as white as he is black? Some (not all) members of White America are afraid to vote for him because he is racist? against himself? his white mother?

    Oh, he favors his absentee black father-- NOT!

    This is foolishness.

    March 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. NC

    I don't care what the polls say, I say "Not This Time"

    Obama08!

    March 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Isaac, Wisconsin

    Thank God for our party..Go Hillary....

    March 20, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. Colo

    jepp, now its time for Obama to drop out.

    Bye bye

    March 20, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Aries(NJ)

    ALL who will REPUBLICAN

    March 20, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. CLA123

    Tom – C-Ville, Clinton's negative attacks? You have got to be kidding! What about Wright's negative and hate fillled attacks on all white Americans. And Obama has lived with this for 20 years. What do he and Michelle say to their young girls after they hear that trash. What impression are they allowing their children to be subjected to. Will they grow up believing in UNCLE Wright. Believing that what he says is ok and acceptable.

    His attendance in this church, his connection to Rezko, his connection to Ayers all question that which he has made his major reason for you to support him for president. His judgement and his credibility. Now they are grey areas, they are questionnable.

    THis is a man who can take a hit at Clinton anytime he wants and she is not permitted to respond or defend herself without being called racial.

    Obama uses his race as a shield to protect him from all attempts to campaign against him. He is genius at turning any statement into a racial attack against him. He has captured the imagination of so many who have bought into his dreams but he never tells us how he plans to change his dreams to reality. He's already shown us how he will unite the nation by his statement that 2.3 million votes are worthless and refusing to accept them.

    It is my sincere fear that his dream will become America's nightmare

    March 20, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. cs

    OBAMA IS RADIOACTIVE IN SWING AND RED STATES BECAUSE OF HIS ANTI-AMERICAN RACIST PASTOR. JUST, LIKE BUSH IS RADIOACTIVE IN ALL STATES.

    WHAT "RED STATE" DEMOCRATS IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WANTS OBAMA TO CAMPAIGN FOR THEM NOW.

    THE VIDEO OF OBAMA'S PASTOR WILL BE PLAYED OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN SWING AND RED STATE DISTRICTS, ESP "GOD DAM AMERICAN" AND AID/HIV COMMENTS.

    THE REPUBICANS WILL TIE EVERY SWING/RED STATE DEMOCRATS WITH OBAMA PASTOR, JUST LIKE THE DEMOCRATS DID WITH REPUBLICANS AND GEORGE BUSH.

    THIS MEANS DEMOCRATS MAY LOSE SEATS.

    OBAMA POLL DROP IS JUST THE BEGINNING NOT THE END OF THIS PROBLEM

    March 20, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. mb

    I'm a michigan resident, and if anything, I'm not upset that my vote didn't count. I'm more upset that Mrs. Clinton, now that she is behind in the votes, all of a sudden, wants a recount ! Why didn't she follow what her own party stated and not campain like Obama? I'm sure if the situation was reversed, Mrs. Clinton would act the same way.

    Personally, these polls are a joke and the only one that matters is in November. The sooner this entire campain is over the better ! Be it Hillary or Obama, just get on with it already !

    March 20, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Allen

    You hillbilly supporters are a riot... You ask the person that the majority of americans want in office to step down?.... You are truly brainwashed beyound repair..... How could you people support a known crook?.... A crook and a lier?.... Your remarks are fubar!

    March 20, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. Karta

    of course, everytime I said something nice about Hillary, this words will pop up YOUR COMMENT IS AWAITING MODERATION, thanks CNN :))

    March 20, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Dr. Norma Trolinder

    For those who still have questions about Rev Wright, Obama, and Trinity United Christian Church connections. Read their web sites' statements on "Black Values" (they may already have removed mention of "Black Liberation Theology" but no matter.....go to wikipedia and get the whole documentation. You will find Rev Wright and his written views prominently listed. This is not just about something someones' pastor said that was offensive. It is far more reaching.

    March 20, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. dAnnE

    If we are going to judge people based on their surrogates, then can we do it for all candidates and not just some. In the beginning I thought the the Wright controversy should have been addressed, but the longer it continues to go on I believe that it is just America showing it's true discriminatory characteristics, yet again.

    March 20, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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