The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll 5/22/08

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows John McCain earning 46% of the vote while Barack Obama attracts 42%. This is the first time in nearly three weeks that either candidate has enjoyed a four-point advantage (see recent daily results).

McCain’s edge can be traced directly to the fact that just 66% of Democrats say they will vote for Obama at this time. Twenty-three percent (23%) of all Democrats say that if the election were held today, they’d vote for McCain. Another 11% would opt for “some other candidate” or remain undecided. McCain, who wrapped up the GOP nomination more than two months ago, attracts 79% of Republican votes and holds a modest five point advantage among unaffiliated voters.

It is likely that Obama’s numbers will improve when he is formally recognized as the Democratic nominee. How much they will improve depends upon how the end game is handled. How will the Michigan and Florida delegates be included at the Democratic Convention in August? How will Hillary Clinton exit the race? One key date is a week from Saturday, May 31, when the Democrats’ Rules and Bylaws Committee meets to try and resolve the Michigan/Florida issue.

Beyond that, of course, is the question of whether Hillary Clinton wants to run for Vice-President. Rasmussen Reports noted some time ago that if Clinton wants the number two slot on the ticket, Obama will have no choice but to accept her. In the end, regardless of the specifics, the key for Obama will be to make Clinton supporters believe that their candidate was treated fairly and with respect. If he can accomplish that goal, his support among Democrats will dramatically improve.

Tracking Poll results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. New state polling will be released at noon Eastern today for Nevada and California (see summary of recent state-by-state results).

A column by Dick Morris today, drawing heavily upon Rasmussen Reports polling data, looks at the “GOP Senate Massacre of ’08.” He suggests the results could be worse for Republicans than “the worst of previous GOP years: 1958, 1964, 1974, 1986 and 2006.”

Froma Harrop suggests in her commentary today that the process of selecting the Democratic Presidential Nominee should be more democratic. Joe Conason takes a look at McCain and the lobbyists on his campaign team. Robert Novak says that John McCain’s “campaign has no intention of fighting this battle on Democratic turf. During the more than five months ahead, Republicans will explore the mindset of [Barack Obama], a young man who is a stranger to most Americans.”

Obama is viewed favorably by 50% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 48%( Obama news ). McCain’s numbers are 50% favorable and 46% unfavorable Opinions about Obama remain stronger. The likely Democratic nominee is viewed Very Favorably by 29% of voters and Very Unfavorably by 33%. For McCain, the numbers are 19% Very Favorable and 23% Very Unfavorable (see recent daily ratings).

The Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator shows Democrats leading in states with 200 Electoral Votes while the GOP has the advantage in states with 189. Rasmussen Markets data gives Democrats a 62.5% chance of winning in November (results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants).

In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, Obama holds a 50% to 42% advantage over Clinton nationally (see recent Democratic Nomination results). As noted over a week ago, Rasmussen Reports believes the race is over and that Barack Obama will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. We will stop tracking the Democratic race in the near future to focus exclusively on the Obama-McCain match-up. Data from Rasmussen Markets give Obama a 93.0% chance of winning the nomination. Among all voters, Clinton is viewed favorably by 45%.

If McCain is elected, 49% of voters believe victory in Iraq is likely. Fifty-nine percent (59%) say an Obama victory will lead to troops coming home during his first term in office.

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 and favorability ratings.

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