The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll 5/08/08

May 8, 2008

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Barack Obama attracting 46% of the vote while John McCain earns 44%. At the same time, Hillary Clinton has a five-point lead over McCain, 48% to 43%. This is the ninth consecutive day that Clinton has outperformed Obama in the general election match-ups (see recent daily results). Tracking results are updated daily by 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Data from Rasmussen Markets gives Democrats a 60.2% chance of winning in November.

Yesterday, Rasmussen Reports released data showing McCain with a four-point edge over both Democrats in Wisconsin. Later today, new results will be released for Missouri and Georgia.

Other data released yesterday shows that voters are evenly divided on the federal gas tax holiday. On the broader topic of taxes, most voters are worried that the next President will raise taxes so much that it harms the economy.

In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, Obama holds a 47% to 43% advantage over Clinton nationally (see recent Democratic Nomination results). Tracking poll results are based upon nightly telephone interviews and reported on a four-day rolling average basis. Only one night of interviews for today’s update were completed after the Indiana and North Carolina Primaries. Expectations that Obama will be the Democratic nominee have risen sharply in the past couple of days. Just before Tuesday’s Primaries, Rasmussen Markets data gave Obama a 73% chance of winning the Democratic nomination. The most recent results give Obama a 90.3 % chance of emerging victorious (these results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants).

As Obama appears to be wrapping up the Democratic Nomination, Rasmussen Reports notes that the VP slot belongs to Hillary Clinton if she wants it. A separate commentary by Rutgers University Professor Gerald Pomper makes the case for Virginia Senator James Webb as Obama’s running mate.

On the Republican side, Kathryn Jean Lopez from the National Review makes her case that Mitt Romney should be named as John McCain’s Vice Presidential running mate. An earlier Rasmussen Reports commentary said that Romney is one of three candidates McCain should never consider. The other two are Mike Huckabee, and Condoleeza Rice.

Other commentaries today include one by Robert Novak who notes that Obama may turn out to be either a flawed or a fantastic candidate. In a “Perfect Calm for John McCain,” Froma Harrop asserts that “The core problem for Democrats is that Obama’s backers are reliable Democrats, whereas Hillary Clinton’s are unreliable Democrats.” Joe Conason writes “Hillary Plays the Crazy Card.”

There are, of course, still a few remaining Primaries to play out in the long-running process for the Democratic Nomination. Next week’s contest is in West Virginia where Clinton has a huge lead. The week after, Obama leads in Oregon while Clinton has a huge advantage in Kentucky.

Among all voters nationwide, McCain is viewed favorably by 49% and unfavorably by 48%. (see recent daily favorable ratings). Obama’s numbers are now a bit better than McCain’s—51% favorable and 47% unfavorable. That’s the second straight day that Obama’s favorable ratings have been higher than McCain’s by even a single point. Prior to these past two days, that hadn’t happened since March 10. For Clinton, the reviews are a bit less flattering–46% favorable and 52% unfavorable.

The Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator shows Democrats leading in states with 200 Electoral Votes. 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). The ongoing competition between Obama and Clinton may be causing angst for party leaders, but the competition has been good for the Party label. In fact, the Democrats now have the largest partisan advantage over the Republicans since Rasmussen Reports began tracking this data on a monthly basis nearly six years ago.

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.