The Primary and Caucus Season is now officially over and a potentially fascinating General Election campaign is finally underway.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday, day one of the General Election, shows Barack Obama attracting 43% of the vote while John McCain earns 41%. When “leaners” are included, Obama retains a two-point edge, 47% to 45%. Leaners are survey respondents who initially do not favor either candidate but indicate their support on a follow-up question (see daily results). ( Obama News )
Both candidates have a lot of work to do if they are to win a majority of the popular vote. Just 32% of voters say they are “certain” to vote for Obama and an identical number are “certain” to vote for McCain. That means 36% of the nation’s voters are open to possibly changing their vote.
Tracking Poll results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. Rasmussen Reports has made a number of changes in our tracking poll as we shift to fully focus on the fall campaign. Starting on Monday, we increased our tracking poll calls to interview 1,000 Likely Voters per night. We will now be reporting results on a three-day rolling average basis. Previously, we had reported on a four-day rolling average basis. The increased number of calls will enable us to provide even more detailed and timely coverage of Election 2008. Over the coming two weeks, many new features will be rolled out, some for the public site and some for Premium Members.
As the General Election season begins, Obama attracts 96% of the African-American vote while McCain holds a thirteen-point lead among White voters. Obama leads by nine among voters of other racial and ethnic backgrounds, primarily Latino voters (these figures are based upon the results including leaners).
Obama leads by a two-to-one margin among voters under 30 and holds a significant lead among 30-somethings. McCain has the edge among those 40 and older, attracting the votes from 50% of these voters.McCain leads by ten percentage points among White Women. However, Obama has the edge among White Women Under 40 while McCain enjoys a substantial advantage among older White Women.( McCain news )
Government employees are essentially evenly divided between the two candidates. McCain has a 53% to 39% advantage among Entrepreneurs while Obama leads 50% to 41% among those who work for someone else in the Private Sector.
From a partisan perspective, McCain attracts 83% of Republicans while Obama is supported by 76% of Democrats. McCain has an eight-point advantage over Obama among unaffiliated voters. Keep in mind that many of this year’s unaffiliated voters were Republicans four-years ago. The number identifying with the GOP has declined from just under 37% in 2004 to 31% today. At the same time, many unaffiliated voters from four years ago, now consider themselves to be Democrats.
Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters have a favorable opinion of Obama while 43% offer a negative assessment. Thirty-two percent (32%) have a Very Favorable opinion, 27% Very Unfavorable (see daily results).
McCain is viewed favorably by 53% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 44%. Those figures include 18% with a Very Favorable opinion of the Republican hopeful and 18% with a Very Unfavorable opinion (see daily results).
Forty-three percent (43%) of voters say McCain is a better leader than Obama while 38% hold the opposite view. When asked which candidate has personal values closer to their won, 43% name McCain and 42% say Obama (crosstabs available for Premium Members).
Forty-four percent (44%) trust McCain most when it comes to economic issues and managing the economy while 40% prefer Obama. On national security issues such as the War in Iraq and the War on Terrorism, 51% have more trust in McCain while 37% prefer Obama (crosstabs available for Premium Members).
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. When “leaners” are included, the Democrats enjoy a 260-240 Electoral College lead (see summary of recent state-by-state results). Data from Rasmussen Markets gives Democrats a 63.1 % chance of winning the White House in November (results are updated on a 24/7 basis by market participants).
Daily tracking results are collected via nightly telephone surveys and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. Today’s sample is based upon interviews with 2,500 Likely Voters (500 from Sunday night, 1,000 from Monday, and 1,000 from Tuesday). The margin of sampling error is +/- 2 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.