The latest USA Today/Gallup Poll (story here, results here) has Barack Obama at 30 percent and Hillary Clinton at 29 percent among Democrats and independents who lean Democrat. Without Al Gore in the race, Clinton is ahead of Obama 37-36, within the margin of error. This would be shocking if accurate, because many people still consider Hillary the prohibitive frontrunner.
There are reasons to be skeptical of this poll, however. It contradicts all of the other polling data we’ve seen, including last week’s Washington Post/ABC News poll that had Hillary up 12 points. Also, in mid-May, Gallup had Hillary up by 14 points (without Gore), so it’s hard to see what could have happened in the past few weeks to cause that much of a swing.
On the Republican side, it shows Giuliani gaining a few points and McCain dropping, meaning that Rudy reestablished a double digit lead 32-19. Romney also gained, and is now at 12 percent, his first double-digit showing of the year in the Gallup poll, perhaps ever. Fred Thompson was at 11 percent. Although, again, this is only one poll, at least on the Republican side you can point to events (Giuliani’s performance in the second debate, the immigration bill) that would have accounted for the results.