Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New North Carolina Poll Suggests Obama's Speech Helped Him With Whites

There is a new poll out of North Carolina today from Public Policy Polling (PPP). PPP released a poll last week that was based on interviews conducted on Monday, March 17th. This was after the Wright scandal had broken but before Obama's speech on race. In that poll, Obama and Clinton were in a dead heat (Obama 44%, Clinton 43%). However, in the poll conducted on March 24th, Obama's lead was 55-34%, a major shift.

Perhaps even more significant is the movement among whites polled in North Carolina. Last week, Obama trailed Clinton by 26% among whites (30-56%). However, that gap narrowed to just 7% in the most recent survey (40-47%).

This provides some initial evidence that Obama's speech was successful in helping him win back some support among whites who may have been driven away by the Wright scandal. Will there be a similar shift in Pennsylvania? We should know relatively soon.

UPDATE (2:15pm): As if on cue, Clinton has raised the Wright controversy in a recent interview.

UPDATE 2 (2:25pm): On looking over the crosstabs a bit more, I noticed something else interesting in NC. Not only did Obama increase his support among whites since the speech, but he also gained some support among African Americans. Last week, blacks in NC favored Obama by a 72-19% margin. However, in the most recent poll, that margin increased to 80-14%.

UPDATE 3 (6:07pm): Avi Zenilman at Politico.com notes that PPP changed the way it is defining its sample in its newest survey. You can find PPP's comment on this here. They believe that some of the increase in Obama's numbers can be attributed to this change in the sampling frame.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

That result is a huge outlier relative to every other poll over the last month that.

Let's see if this link to RCP works.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/nc/north_carolina_democratic_primary-275.html#polls

Tom Maguire

Brian Schaffner said...

Interesting point. There has been a lot of variation in polling. If you take the RCP or Pollster.com average of an 11-12% lead for Obama, then both PPP polls were about equally big outliers on either side of the average. Perhaps the actual lead really does fall somewhere in between.