The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll 6/18/08

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Barack Obama attracting 45% of the vote while John McCain earns 41%. When “leaners” are included, Obama holds a three-point advantage, 48% to 45%. Both results reflect a single point gain for McCain and a continued fade for Obama’s bounce. Today’s results are the closest the race has been in polling conducted since Obama clinched the Democratic Presidential Nomination (see recent daily results). Tracking poll results are updated at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time each day.

With leaners, McCain is supported by 85% of Republicans while Obama gets the vote from 79% of Democrats. Among those not affiliated with either major party, it’s Obama 46% McCain 41%. (See recent demographic notes). On the question of who is a better leader and whose values are closest to your own, the two candidates are essentially even (crosstabs available for Premium Members). Twenty-nine percent (29%) of voters say the Obama-McCain election will be exciting.

Fifty-six percent (56%) say that the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to be renegotiated. McCain intends to give a ringing endorsement of free trade in a speech on Friday, but public attitudes on the topic are mixed.

New data released today show that Congressional ratings have fallen to an all-time low —most Americans now say the legislature is doing a poor job. Thirty percent (30%) believe that most members of Congress are corrupt.

At noon Eastern today, Rasmussen Reports will release new polling data on the Presidential race in Alaska and Maine. At 3:00 p.m. Eastern, data on the Maine Senate race will be released (yesterday’s data showed the Alaska Senate race is still too close to call. At 5:00 p.m. Eastern, data will be released from an Ohio poll conducted last night. In Virginia, Obama and McCain are tied. The Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator currently shows Obama leading in states with 185 Electoral College votes while McCain has the advantage in states with 174 votes.

Data released yesterday showed that 67% of voters believe drilling should be allowed off the coasts of California, Florida and other states. More polling on the topic is coming soon, including a poll in Florida where the issue has long been off-limits for state politicians.

Most voters believe that Supreme Court Justices have their own political agendas to advance. Americans overwhelmingly believe that free speech is good, but just 53% are opposed to bans on “hate speech” that would place limits on free speech.

Both Obama and McCain are viewed favorably by 55% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 43%. Opinions are held more strongly about Obama–31% have a Very Favorable opinion of the Democratic hopeful while 26% hold a Very Unfavorable opinion. For McCain, those numbers are 17% Very Favorable and 19% Very Unfavorable (see recent daily favorables).

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 1,000 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. The margin of sampling error—for the full sample of 3,000 Likely Voters–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.

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