The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Barack Obama edging ahead of John McCain, 47% to 45%. While that lead is not statistically significant, it is only the second time in the past six weeks that Obama has held any advantage over McCain. Notably, 74% of Democrats say they will support Obama. That’s a five-point improvement for the Illinois Senator compared to last week’s polling. Obama has also gained ground among the unaffiliated. It remains to be seen whether this is a lasting change or merely statistical noise.
McCain continues to enjoy a two-point advantage over Hillary Clinton, 47% to 45%. Daily tracking results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time (see recent daily general election results). New state polling from Minnesota provides good news for Democrats while the latest Nevada results are encouraging for the GOP. Minnesota moves from “Leans Democratic” to “Likely Democratic” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. Democrats now lead in states with 200 Electoral Votes while the GOP has the advantage in states with 189. When “leaners” are added, the Democrats lead 260 to 240 (see summary of recent state-by-state results).
Rhodes Cook takes a look at Obama and Small Town America. Scott Rasmussen suggests that a careful look at the tracking poll data shows potentially hidden support for whichever Democrat wins the nomination. Data from Rasmussen Markets gives Democrats a 60.0% chance of winning the White House in November.
In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination little has changed–Obama earns support from 49% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters while Clinton attracts 42% (see recent daily Democratic Nomination results). Both candidates have stable and solid blocks of support from key constituencies in the Democratic Party. These results are based upon a four-day rolling average and include just one night of polling following the Pennsylvania’s Primary. Rasmussen Markets data gives Obama an 81.3% chance of winning the Democratic nomination..
Among all voters nationwide, McCain is viewed favorably by 51% and unfavorably by 45%. Obama’s ratings are 51% favorable and 47% unfavorable. Those ratings are the weakest for McCain since mid-February and the best for Obama in two weeks. For Clinton, the reviews are 44% favorable, 54% unfavorable (see recent daily favorable ratings). The only bad news for Obama in today’s results is that McCain outperforms the Republican brand on a number of key issues. In fact, he is trusted more than Obama when it comes to the economy, national security and Iraq.
A New York Times editorial provides a different sort of challenge for the Democratic hopefuls by saying that higher taxes are needed to “restore the health of the budget.” Friends like that won’t help either Obama or Clinton. Most Americans believe that higher taxes are bad for the economy and 65% oppose raising the capital gains tax. Both Democratic hopefuls have indicated support for raising the capital gains tax even though it would directly impact a majority of the nation’s voters.
Daily tracking results are collected via nightly telephone surveys and reported on a four-day rolling average basis. The general election sample is currently based upon interviews with 1,600 Likely Voters. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for the full-week results are available for Premium Members. See crosstabs for general election match-ups, favorable ratings and Democratic primary.