Study: Oprah-Generated Buzz Helping Obama

Pew Research Center Finds More Respondents Have Heard About Obama Recently than Clinton

Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) surge in the polls against front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) is likely due, at least in part, to the buzz he has been getting from his appearances with talk-show diva Oprah Winfrey.

That's according to a Pew Research Center study that found that 26% of respondents said they had heard more about Obama recently than any other candidate, up from 10% who said that last month.

At the same time, Clinton's percentage in that category fell from 61% to 41%.

Among African-American respondents, 51% said Obama was the candidate they had heard most about recently compared with 27% for Clinton. In November, the numbers were 50% for Clinton and only 15% for Obama.

The Pew researchers concluded it was linked to the Oprah endorsement and appearances, which have been getting big play in the press, citing a finding that 74% of all respondents could identify Obama as Oprah's choice.

Still, there is no guarantee that will translate to votes. An earlier Pew study found that celebrity endorsements like Oprah's are essentially a wash.