A bevy of new national polls, plus surveys in Indiana and North Carolina -- which hold key primaries on Tuesday -- suggest that Hillary Clinton is closing the gap since her campaign-saving victory in Pennsylvania last week, and that the controversies dogging Barack Obama are having an impact.
UPDATE: In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released this afternoon, Obama leads 46 percent to 45 percent among Democrats nationally, down from 52 percent to 45 percent last month.
A national Pew Research Center survey also released today showed that Obama's lead among Democrats has narrowed to 47 percent to 45 percent from 49 percent to 39 percent last month.
In a national Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, Clinton leads Obama 44 percent to 41 percent. The Illinois senator is viewed unfavorably by 42 percent of all voters, up 9 percentage points since February. Clinton's unfavorable rating is still slightly higher than Obama's, but it has dropped slightly. And by 10 percentage points, Democrats now view Clinton as likelier than Obama to beat presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. Democrats gave Obama a 4-point edge last month.
In a national NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, Obama's lead has narrowed to 46 percent to 43 percent, and his unfavorable ratings have also risen. In March, 51 percent of voters viewed him positively and 28 percent saw him negatively, but in the new poll 46 percent view him favorably, but 37 percent negatively.
In a national New York Times/CBS poll, Obama leads 46 percent to 38 percent among Democrats, but 51 percent say they believe he will be the eventual nominee, down from 69 percent a month ago. And 48 percent of Democratic primary voters said they believe he would be the strongest candidate against McCain, down from 56 percent a month ago.
And in a Quinnipiac University poll, Clinton runs stronger than Obama in match-ups against McCain in the general election swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. Clinton would get 49 percent to McCain's 41 percent in Florida, leads 48 percent to 38 percent in Ohio, and 51 percent to 37 percent in Pennsylvania.
Obama is statistically tied with McCain in Florida and Ohio, while leading him in Pennsylvania by 47 percent to 38 percent, according to the poll.
The polls were being conducted as Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., was making a series of highly publicized speeches and as Obama repudiated him.
In North Carolina, a new WRAL-TV poll says that Obama's lead has narrowed to 49 percent to 42 percent, down from double digits in most prior polling.
In Indiana, where the race had been a toss-up in surveys last week, Clinton now leads in the three most recent polls. She is ahead 46 percent to 41 percent in a Rasmussen survey, 50 percent to 42 percent in Public Polling Policy survey, and 52 percent to 43 percent in a SurveyUSA poll.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.