February 3rd, 2008
12:20 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll suggests Obama, Clinton in dead heat in California

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/03/art.cali.ap.jpg caption=" Clinton and Obama are tied in California, a new poll shows."]

(CNN) - A new poll out Sunday suggests Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are locked in a dead heat for the biggest prize on Super Tuesday: delegate-rich California.

According to a just released poll from the Field Research Corporation, Clinton only holds a statistically insignificant 2 point lead over Obama in California, 36 percent to 34 percent. Meanwhile the poll shows 18 percent of California Democrats have yet to make up their minds.

The poll suggests the race has significantly narrowed in the state in only a matter weeks– most polls two weeks ago showed Clinton with a double-digit lead there. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll taken a week ago showed Clinton with a 17 point lead in California. John Edwards, then still a presidential candidate, registered 11 percent.

If the eventual outcome of the race is as close as the poll suggests, both candidates stand to rack up significant numbers of delegates in the state: On the Democratic side, California awards its 370 delegates proportionately.

The poll shows the race on the Republican side isn't as close - John McCain holds a 32-24 percent lead over Romney with Mike Huckabee at 13 percent. Ron Paul pulls 10 percent of support among likely Republican voters.

California is worth 170 delegates for the Republicans and unlike the Democrats, the winner of the state's primary will be awarded them all.

The poll, conducted January 25-Febuary 1, surveyed 481 likely Republican primary voters and 511 likely Democratic voters and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

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- CNN Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: California • Presidential Candidates
soundoff (291 Responses)
  1. cristina


    "Obama's main claim to fame is that he's a compelling speech-maker. Yet unlike the rhetoric of a Kennedy or King, Obama's rhetoric seems aimless. He calls for hope, for change. Fine, but hope to do what, to change to what? He hasn't said yet. He doesn't seem to know. Shorn of purpose, his rhetoric seems increasingly an exercise in technique and style, "sound and fury, signifying nothing". He says that one of the high qualities of leadership is the ability to inspire by words, and he is right. It's a rare ability. But inspire to what end?

    It's a pity. He promised so much."

    February 3, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. First time voter - NC

    For me it's Obama or no one. This is wonderful news, although after New Hampshire I am very wary of these polls and pundits. In any event, Obama has worked hard, and I do hope that Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents realize that he is not only our best candidate, but our best chance of winning in the general election. The Republicans are praying for a Clinton victory so they can bulldozer over her in November. We Democrats can't afford to take that chance. Let's put our best player out there and support him like the unstoppable team that we can be.

    Obama '08!!!

    February 3, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Obama

    California is Hillary Country

    February 3, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. JA Cook

    It's good to see people looking harder at the Clintons' record and more of the same.

    "It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush, and it might take another one to clean up after the second."

    How quickly we forget that the Clintons stayed out of sight during Al Gore's campaign because they were considered a liability. It took a Clinton to leave the White House door open for a Bush to get in again.

    It took another Bush to make the Clintons look good again.

    Let's move forward into a truly new future.

    February 3, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. LRB

    what about the fox poll out today that has obama witn a 3 point lead? surely that would be relevant given to support the poll cited above.

    February 3, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Maryanne in PA

    Wow. That's stunning. California was supposed to be Hillary's stronghold.

    I won't trust these polls - they've been so wrong before.

    But *IF* Obama won or tied in CA, that would be a HUGE blow to Hillary.

    But right now, we basically just don't know. We'll find out Tuesday....

    February 3, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |

    GO HILLARY!!!!!!!

    February 3, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. no to clinton yes to obama

    Obama secured endorsements from: Janet Napolitano, Democratic governor of Arizona; Kathleen Sebelius, Democratic governor of Kansas; Claire McCaskill, Democratic senator from Missouri; Tim Kaine, Democratic governor of Virginia, and Ben Nelson, Democratic senator from Nebraska.

    What do all these states have in common? They are all states that George W Bush won twice. If you’re the next generation of Democrat, trying to appeal to the centre of the country, Obama is your candidate. Clinton takes the party and national politics back to the polarised red-blue ideological past. The danger of this is that if you are someone in the middle – on the purple edge of the red-blue divide – then the polarising nature of Clinton might mean that if she were the candidate you might vote Republican. Obama is the salve for this syndrome.


    February 3, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Progressive

    The true "Comeback Kid".

    February 3, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. cristina

    Not so fast CNN you are picking and pulling one poll in California. Wake up CNN
    Do I have do the reserch for you? These NEW polls in California on have Obama ahead in one, out of how many? SEE FOR YOURSELF PEOPLE. CNN stop showing bias. These are new polls.

    RCP Average 01/25 – 02/02 – 41.3 38.8 Clinton +2.5

    February 3, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Kat, Huntington, West Virginia

    strange, most all other polls have her with a lead! it will be tight for sure, but at the end of the day the good people of California (and the other Super Tuesday states) will see that the only choice for president is Hillary! Wish I could cast my ballot for her on Tuesday too.
    Hillary 08

    February 3, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Sean McM

    When are you in the media going to STOP quoting polls???? This is your only tool??? What ever happened to good old fashioned investigative journalism!

    They are so-called tied? Not in our household. We prefer an experienced physician over one that HOPES for positive results. Period. The end.

    February 3, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Bill

    Even though the polls are neck and neck, such an analysis fails to take into account the effect of the absentee ballots. Remember, the absentee ballots were due weeks ago when Clinton was winning by wide margins and Edwards was still in the running. I think Obama will not be able to come past this issue in the votes.

    February 3, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. JohnS

    Bill was able to "con" the Republicans and even lie, with some degree of innocence to this nation. I guess getting him back to the White House will be harder for the Republicans to ever catch him again; both Bill and Hillary now have the experience to "cover up" without ever being caught.

    Conclusion: Hillary/Bill have the Best Experience; so the Dems should vote to get them back to the White House!!! Is this the type of experience the Dems really need?

    In short, this race is for the Dems to lose, AGAIN, by voting for Hillary!!!! If they could NOT win with stronger candidates like Gore and Kerry, do they really expect to win with Hillary with all the Clinton baggage?

    February 3, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. Ray

    guess we will have to wait and see. They were close in New Hampshire and Nevada also.

    February 3, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. M. P. Wagle

    Based on the scores developed by me, (to be called ' Wagle Astrological Score’,) using a mathematical model and several astrological attributes, the following are the scores of front runners. However, the score is still at the experimental stage and should therefore be considered only as indicative.

    In the present elections, the scores of the front-runners are as follows.

    Republican Party: John McCain = (+) 2,508; Mitt Romney = (+) 1,959.

    Democratic Party: Barack Obama = (+) 2,422; Hillary Clinton = (+) 787.

    Thus, in all probability, elections to the presidency will be between McCain and Obama. As their scores are almost equal, elections will be closely contested. However, McClain has marginally upper hand over Obama.

    A Note of Caution: As the time at birth of Obama is not known, his score is likely to be misleading to some extent.

    February 3, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  17. Chris

    The author of this article is incorrect. California is not a winner take all state on the Republican side, but instead awards its delegates based on congressional district.

    February 3, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  18. Teri

    How can you have a dead heat in California – when 18 percent of the votes are missing? I wouldn't e counting on anybody until we get some valid polls and even those are wrong most of the time.

    Its a crap shoot but I hope Hillary comes out in first place for she is the logical choice. We have already had 8 years of inexperience, and cannot afford more of that.

    Voters have to choose based on logic not hype. Obama has Oprah's money machine working for him and I am surprised she turns her back on women when it was women who make her a billionaire.

    February 3, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. agnes

    I do not buy Obama's saying he was against the war. when 90% of us (not knowing that we were being misled)stood up and cheered when saddam's statue came down in the square. I think even Obama felt a little glee at that moment. His stance now sounds hyprocrital.

    February 3, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. tomdavie

    Yes. We have been looking at the 'polls' .

    Polls that are as tapdanced as the headlines pumped out by the Obama rigged media.

    These 'polls' reject anyone who has already pre advanced voted. They do not break the poll down by age or gender. They refuse to say how many people who participated were twenty year old men .

    They refuse to say if they just did the poll in san francisco. Go to realclear politics .com and you will see the last comprehensive poll conducted where they actually broke down the vote in all the categories had Clinton leading by double digits.

    But way to PUMP out the propoganda for Obama.

    yes. I know you wont post this.

    February 3, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. Nobama Noprah

    what is it cnn? always sweet news on oh-boy-ma?
    please tell it as it is, not as you r biased eyes see it. hillary rocks!!!

    February 3, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Jason

    I am a independent, but plan on swinging to the right in this election. I am frankly not impressed with any canidates on either side, but I really believe this country needs someone who can hit the ground, and I don't see Obama being able to do that. Clinton, I believe is ready, but I just can't seem to relate to her. I like Romney, but think the conservatives waited to long to garner support for him.

    February 3, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |

    Barack Obama advances America's future forward

    February 3, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. Lisa Gross

    I went yesterday to a rally in Minneapolis Minnesota and all I can say is "WOW!" He is so inspiring and I couldn't even sleep last night, I kept waking up thinking about the rally. There is something special happening here! I sat next to a hispanic couple who couldn't seem to stay in their seats, they kept standing to appauld everything that Obama was saying. On the other side was a young white teacher and her friends. I am african-american and a female and I was so proud to see so many people there supporting the same candidate that I was supporting. As I was freezing waiting in line to go into the Target Center, you could hear so many different conversations going on about how people are feeling about this Senator! There were young and old, white and black and in between, handicap and athletic, so many inspiring people all coming together for someone who gives us hope! Thank You, Mr. Obama!

    February 3, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. Andre

    Maybe Hillary would have a bigger lead if you would stop being so pro-obama in all your articles and give a more positive spotlight on Hillary, CNN!!!!!!!!

    Hillary 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 3, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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