Update: PA by Race and Education

04/03/2008 04:54 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I am posting the data in the following table partly because Doug Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, was kind enough to share it, and partly because it tends to confirm a point I made two weeks ago about the state of play in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary race. I wrote that Barack Obama had dropped among college educated white voters there (in a survey conducted just before and after the Jeremiah Wright controversy emerged, but before Obama's speech) and had room to rebound:

How [Obama] ultimately fares among Pennsylvania's college-educated Democrats could well determine whether he loses Pennsylvania narrowly (as his campaign forecast in early February) or by a double-digit margin. If, hypothetically, Obama wins his usual overwhelming majority among Pennsylvania's black Democrats, and Clinton racks up the same 40-point margin among non-college whites that she did in Ohio, Obama can still run within10 points overall if he can best Clinton by at least 4 points among college-educated white voters.

As it turns out, that seems to be what has happened, at least on the latest Quinnipiac poll, which shows the biggest net shift occurring among college educated white voters. Although the change appears to be just shy of statistical significance, Obama now holds a 5-point advantage (49% to 44%) over Hillary Clinton among college educated white voters, an improvement since March but roughly the same margin on their two February surveys. That shift was just large enough to reduce Clinton's overall lead to nine points.


Meanwhile, the preferences of non-college white voters have shown little or no change since February in the Quinnipiac surveys, a finding that illustrates the strength of Clinton's position in Pennsylvania and the difficulty Obama will have in further narrowing her lead.

Of course, the Quinnipiac survey was fielded over eight days, mostly last week (March 24-31). As Pollster readers know, three new automated surveys have fielded this week (fielding for one or two days each) that show a closer race. A fourth poll, conducted by SurveyUSA this past weekend, showed Clinton leading by 12 points. None of these surveys provide crosstabulations by education, but all (that have polled previously in Pennsylvania) show some narrowing of the race.