A new poll by Insider Advantage finds Hillary Clinton has climbed ahead of Barack Obama among likely voters in North Carolina. The survey, conducted April 29th of 571 likely voters, gives Clinton a statistically insignificant 44 to 42 percent lead.
Whether or not Clinton is actually ahead in North Carolina is unclear; what is clear is the upward trajectory of her campaign in the Tar Heel State (and the downward trajectory of Obama's). Two weeks prior, an Insider Advantage Poll found Obama up 51 to 36 percent over the junior Senator from New York. The last three public surveys of North Carolinians have found Clinton within single digits of Obama or, in Insider Advantage's poll, in the lead.
Clinton had not been atop the polls in North Carolina since December 2007, when John Edwards was still in the race splitting the "anti-Clinton vote" with Obama. Since then, Obama had led in 17 consecutive surveys by non-partisan organizations. Another poll released today of 400 likely voters, by Mason-Dixon, still shows Obama up by 7 points.
Insider Advantage's track record has been pretty good of late this primary season. In its final Texas poll, Insider Advantage had Clinton winning by 5 points; Clinton won by 4 points. Its final poll in Pennsylvania showed Clinton winning by 7 points; Clinton won by 9.3 points.
Despite her recent primary victories, Clinton's momentum is being dampened, however, as undecided superdelegates appear to be peeling off in equal or greater number to Obama in recent days.