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God-O-Meter

wright6.jpgLast week, God-o-Meter cited Gallup’s daily tracking poll as evidence that the Jeremiah Wright controversy was a drag on Barack Obama’s poll numbers. But a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that the damage is not lasting, with Obama improving slightly among white voters in recent weeks:

The racially charged debate over Barack Obama’s relationship with his longtime pastor hasn’t much changed his close contest against Hillary Clinton, or hurt him against Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducts the Journal/NBC polls with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, called the latest poll a “myth-buster” that showed the pastor controversy is “not the beginning of the end for the Obama campaign.”
The latest survey has the Democratic rivals in a dead heat, each with 45% support from registered Democratic voters. That is a slight improvement for Sen. Obama, though a statistically insignificant one, from the last Journal/NBC poll, two weeks ago, which had Sen. Clinton leading among Democratic voters, 47% to 43%.
While Sen. Clinton still leads among white Democrats, her edge shrank to eight points (49% to 41%) from 12 points in early March (51% to 39%). That seems to refute widespread speculation — and fears among Sen. Obama’s backers — that he would lose white support for his bid to be the nation’s first African-American president over the controversy surrounding his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. of Chicago.
Had that erosion happened, party leaders’ reassessment of Sen. Obama’s electability could have tipped the race to Sen. Clinton’s favor. Weathering the episode could strengthen his standing among the party leaders nationwide — the superdelegates — whose votes are likely to break the impasse.


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