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Obama Streaks Ahead, But Wait: Hillary is "Sweeping the Table" : The Insanity of Polls

Don Hazen: Now how is this possible? Which is it?
 
 
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Late last week two poll stories surfaced in news cycle, leading one to think the reporters where talking about two different elections, and reminding us that polls can confound the voters, as pollsters and reporters seemingly operate in separate realities.

On August 1st., news broke with the headline: " Hillary Clinton Has Lost Her Commanding Lead in Two Key States to Barack Obama, "

"In the past month, Obama has erased a 9-point deficit in New Hampshire to tie Clinton, and jumped 12 points in South Carolina to overtake her, according to the Democratic presidential polls by American Research Group."

These poll results were reported by by Charles Hurt of Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, not a paper that has been favorable to Obama, Pollster Dick Bennett, blamed Clinton's woes on her recent skirmish with Obama ...... when Clinton had blasted Obama for agreeing to meet - without any preconditions - some of the world's most dangerous dictators during his first year in the White House. It showed Obama is "naive" and "inexperienced," Clinton said. "Obama fired back that her foreign policy is little different than President Bush's and Vice President Dick Cheney's. He called it "Bush-Cheney light" and that's what Democratic voters remembered, " Bennett said.

Clinton support in South Carolina sank 8 points in the last month to 29 percent, falling below 34% for the first time this year. Obama, meanwhile, jumped 12 points in South Carolina, to 33 percent. And in New Hampshire, Clinton's numbers are at the lowest of the year, and Clinton and Obama are deadlocked at 31%. Meanwhile, the Democratic contest in Iowa has become a three-way dead heat, with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and rivals Sen. Barack Obama and John Edwards locked in a statistical tie, a surprising new poll shows. The numbers show Obama in the lead with 27 percent, while Clinton and Edwards each get 26 percent in the first-caucus state, according to the Washington Post-ABC News survey.

But wait, on the next day, NBC news came rushing in with a headline Clinton, Giuliani widen leads in new poll. "

With the first primary contests still more than five months away, front-runners Sen. Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani have widened their leads... according to the latest national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll." Clinton, D-N.Y., leads Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., 43-22 percent, with former vice presidential nominee John Edwards coming in third at 13 percent. No other Democrat gets more than 6 percent in the poll.

Don Hazen is executive director of the Independent Media Institute and executive editor of AlterNet.

 
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