The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows Barack Obama attracting 47% of the vote while John McCain earns 40%. When “leaners” are included, Obama leads 49% to 45%. Three percent (3%) say they will vote for a third-party option while 4% remain undecided. Tracking poll results are updated at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time each day (see recent daily results).
Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters are certain they will vote for Obama and not change their mind. Thirty-three percent (33%) are just as certain they will vote for McCain. Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans are certain they will vote for McCain and 68% of Democrats say they same about Obama. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 30% are certain to vote for McCain, 25% for Obama and 45% say they could change their mind before Election Day (see notes on recent demographic data). Part of the reason for this extraordinary fluidity is that the candidates are relatively unknown. Another factor is that the issue array is not as settled as in recent elections.
The Supreme Court will be an issue for uncommitted voters to consider and two-thirds of them followed news stories about yesterday’s Court decision on gun control. Those who knew what the Court ruled overwhelmingly agree with the decision. Voters tend to believe that McCain agrees with the decision and Obama does not. Prior to yesterday’s ruling, ratings for the Supreme Court had fallen sharply over the past month–just 26% gave the Justices good or an excellent marks, down from 31% two weeks ago and 41% a month ago. An earlier survey found that Republicans consider potential Supreme Court appointments a more important voting issue than Iraq.
The price of gas at the pump has emerged as possibly the biggest issue of this election season. New survey data shows that 35% of voters say gas prices could reach $6 a gallon this summer and most say $5 gas is at least somewhat likely. Thirty-one percent (31%) are optimistic enough to think that gas prices will fall below $4 a gallon by summer’s end. By a two-to-one margin, voters reject the notion that reducing energy consumption is enough to solve the nation’s energy problem.
Polling released yesterday afternoon shows that Obama is more competitive than expected in Mississippi. The state’s appointed U.S. Senator, Roger Wicker, finds himself in a toss-up race as he seeks to win his job for a full term. At noon Eastern today, Rasmussen Reports will release new polling data on the Kentucky Senate race where Mitch McConnell finds himself facing a much stiffer challenge than in prior years. At 3:00 p.m. Eastern, Rasmussen Reports will release data on the Presidential race in Kentucky. Additional state polling data will be released over the weekend.
While most public polling continues to suggest a close race between Obama and McCain, a couple of recent polls have shown the Democrat with a double-digit lead. Scott Rasmussen takes a look at why these polls are different and at the polling-industry disagreement about how to treat partisan identification in a poll.
Both Obama and McCain are viewed favorably by 54% of the nation’s voters. Obama is viewed unfavorably by 43%, McCain by 44%. However, opinions are much more strongly held about Obama than McCain. Thirty-two percent (32%) have a Very Favorable opinion of Obama while 27% have a Very Unfavorable view. For McCain, those numbers are 17% Very Favorable and 18% Very Unfavorable (see recent daily favorables).
The Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator shows Obama leading in states with 200 Electoral College votes while McCain leads in states with 174 votes. When leaners are included, it’s Obama 284, McCain 240.
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.
A review of last week’s key polls is posted each Saturday morning.