Obama Gains on Clinton
Giuliani Falls to 4th in National Pol
Monday, January 14, 2008; Page A01
As the campaigns head into the next round of voting this week, the competitive contests in both parties have captured the public's attention. Four in five are closely tuned in, and a third are "very closely" following the races, a sharp increase from a month ago, and well higher than the proportions saying so at this stage in 2000 or 2004.
Clinton had dominated in national polls from the outset, holding a 30-point advantage as recently as a month ago, but the competitiveness of the first two contests appears to have reverberated among Democrats across the country.
In the new poll, 42 percent of likely Democratic voters support Clinton (N.Y.), and 37 percent back Obama (Ill.). Clinton's support is down 11 percentage points from a month ago, with Obama's up 14. Former senator John Edwards (N.C.) held third place with 11 percent, followed by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) at 2 percent..................
Despite the dip in support for Clinton, 68 percent of those backing her are "strongly" behind her candidacy. But Obama's support has both grown and deepened: Fifty-six percent are solidly behind him, up from 41 percent last month.
Clinton continues to lead Obama among Democrats, although by a slimmed-down, eight-point edge, while Obama has a 13-point edge among independents. Independent voters helped the senator from Illinois win Iowa and broke heavily for him in New Hampshire. Many of the upcoming contests limit participation to registered Democrats, which Clinton's advisers see as an advantage.