For the fourth straight week, Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D) has gained ground and he has finally caught New York Senator Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination. It’s now Obama 32% Clinton 32% and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards holding steady at 17%. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is a distant fourth at 3%. Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Biden each attract 1% support. So does General Wesley Clark.
Obama has been steadily gaining ground during April. Last week, Clinton had a two-point lead. Two weeks ago, it was Clinton by five. The week before that, the former First Lady was up by seven. Our last release in March found Clinton enjoying a double digit lead. Clinton now holds a narrow edge among white voters while Obama leads by 16% among African-Americans.
A separate survey showed that Obama has the highest level of core support among all Presidential candidates—33% of voters say they’d definitely vote for him if he’s on the ballot in November 2008.
Rasmussen Reports releases national polling data on the Democratic nomination process every Monday and on the Republican race each Tuesday. The current survey of 782 Likely Democratic Primary Voters was conducted April 16-19, 2007. The margin of sampling error is +/-4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Among all voters, Clinton is viewed favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 49%. Obama’s numbers are a bit stronger—59% favorable and 34% unfavorable. The two candidates are essentially even among Democrats—Clinton is viewed favorably by 74% in her party while Obama is viewed favorably by 72%. Among unaffiliated voters, Clinton is viewed favorably by 50%, Obama by 67%.
All Democratic candidates issued statements last week opposing the Supreme Court ruling on partial-birth abortion. That ruling was little noticed due to the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Just 40% of Americans knew how the Court ruled on the issue. Most who knew agreed with the ruling.
The Democrats were cautious in their statements about gun control following the Virginia Tech shootings. While there has been an increase in support for stricter gun control laws in the aftermath of that horrific event, less than half of Americans want stricter gun control laws.
Iraq remains the Democrats most potent issue—just 33% of voters now believe history will judge the U.S. mission in Iraq a success.
Yesterday was Earth Day and 45% of American voters see Global Warming as a Very Serious problem. Another 28% say it is Somewhat Serious. There is a significant divide over whether the human activity is the cause or if the Warming is simply part of a long-term planetary trend.