Poll: Texas slipping away from Clinton

February 26, 2008 6:12:48 AM PST
There's a big change in the Texas race for the Democratic presidential nomination. According to our exclusive statewide Eyewitness News tracking poll conducted by Survey USA, the Republican race is virtually over and there may be some signs the Democratic race may be heading down that path, as well. We'll say this quickly. Hillary Clinton is picking up support among senior citizens statewide and voters in central and south Texas. Other than that, it's pretty much bad news for her.

"We've got to get people to think about what's important if you want to be part of picking the next president," she said.

Last Monday, our poll showed Clinton would win a close Texas race. Not anymore. This week, it's 49% to 45% for Barack Obama. She lost nine points statewide in a week. If the primary were tonight, Obama would win 49 to 45 percent.

  • Senator Obama's lead in east Texas, which includes Houston, grew from 5 points last week to 18 now.
  • He grew his lead among African-American voters by 8 points and now has support of 85 percent of likely black voters.
  • His lead among younger voters is now 22 points, also up from last week.
  • Clinton's lead among all important Hispanic voters shrunk from 23 points last week to 13 points now.
"This state is slipping away from Hillary Clinton," said KTRK political analyst Dr. Richard Murray.

Murray suggests the trouble for Clinton might end this election before election day. Across the state, voters are showing up for early voting in record numbers, with large turnouts in areas that aren't necessarily Democratic strongholds.

Our poll shows nearly one in four voters in the Democratic primary will be Republicans or independents. Obama's always had the majority of those voters. And while that race is narrowing, he still does.

"For a good many Republicans, especially young Republicans, they like Senator Obama," said Dr. Murray. "But for older Republicans, it's just a visceral dislike for Senator Clinton and they just happen to have an opportunity to end her political ambitions here in Texas."

Cinton does lead among people who've already placed their early vote, 51 to 46 percent. We will see if that lead holds when early voting ends on Friday.

On the Republican side, our exclusive statewide poll has John McCain with a comfortable 24 point lead over Mike Huckabee. Texas Congressman Ron Paul is in third place.

We've got the full Eyewitness News/Survey USA poll results here: Democrat | Republican

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