Tuesday 18 December 2007

How far is Hillary faltering?

Today's Guardian highlights the December CNN poll to suggest that the national Democratic primary contest between Clinton and Obama is tighter than it actually is. It is not the first paper to chose the tightest poll rather than the more reliable RealClearPolitics average. In fact, two national polls have been conducted since the CNN survey - which gave Hillary a mere 10-point lead over Barack Obama - and both show Hillary with leads above 18-points. It is true that most recent polls show Obama ahead in Iowa, and that some have given him a lead in New Hampshire - though the latest for Fox News gives Hillary a nine point lead. It is also the case that Hillary has had a few problems over the last week. But she remains the clear favourite, and enjoys leads of 20%+ in all the big states which vote this time by February 5. In the age of the Internet, what is the point in supposedly serious papers exaggerating for effect?

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