Austin (Texas), Feb 23: Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama face very tight nomination-related contests in both Texas and Ohio on March 4, media reports in the United States have said.
According to one report in the Washington Post, Clinton has a small edge over Obama in Ohio, but both are deadlocked in Texas. According to two new Washington Post-ABC News polls, the closeness of the races in Texas and Ohio underscores the challenges facing Clinton over the next 12 days of campaigning as she seeks to end Obama's double-digit winning streak (10) in their battle for the Democratic nomination in November this year. In Ohio, Clinton leads Obama in the new poll by 50 percent to 43 percent, while in Texas, Clinton has 48 percent to Obama's 47 percent. The Post-ABC News polls show Clinton with solid support from white women, seniors, voters with less education and those with lower incomes in both Ohio and Texas.
She holds a big lead among Hispanics in Texas. Obama has large advantages among independents, African Americans and better-educated voters in both states.
Clinton advisers have expressed optimism about her prospects in the two contests, but the new polls suggest that the momentum Obama achieved in his string of victories has turned both into true battlegrounds.
Clinton's husband, former president Bill Clinton, said this week that she must win Texas and Ohio to keep her candidacy viable.
Obama and Clinton supporters in both states are highly enthusiastic about the candidates, and more than seven in 10 said they definitely will stick with the candidate they have embraced.
The Democratic electorates in the two states hold both candidates in high regard, with more than seven in 10 saying they would be satisfied with Obama or Clinton as their party's nominee in November.
More than six in 10 said they believe either candidate could defeat Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, in the general election, although when they were asked who has the better chance, Obama came out ahead by 11 percentage points in both Ohio and Texas.
Most in both states view Clinton as the stronger leader, but majorities in Ohio and Texas said Obama has the experience to serve effectively as president.
On the issues, Clinton has big head-to-head leads on handling the economy and health care, while the two are more closely matched on dealing with the war in Iraq and immigration.
The polls were conducted by telephone between February 16 and 20, among random samples of 611 Ohio adults and 603 Texas adults likely to participate in the Democratic primaries in those states.
Sampling-error margins are plus or minus four percentage points for the full samples; error margins are larger for subgroups.