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Newsweek Poll: Obama's Lead Drops by Half

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Newsweek Poll: Obama's Lead Drops by Half

After an important primary win in Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton has reduced Democratic rival Barack Obama's double-digit lead among registered Democrats and voters leaning Democratic by more than half, according to the latest NEWSWEEK Poll. Plagued by controversies over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's comments and the candidate's own "bitter" remarks, Obama has seen his favorability rating slip significantly in the last week, the poll found.

The survey found that Clinton now trails Obama by 7 points, down from 19 just one week ago. The previous NEWSWEEK Poll, conducted on the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, found that more than half (55 percent) of registered voters believed Obama was more electable, while 33 percent gave the edge to Clinton. The current poll finds that 46 percent judge Obama more electable, compared to 38 percent who say that of Clinton. (For complete poll data, click here.)

One of the more problematic results for Obama was that four in 10 of registered voters (including Republicans and independents) now have an unfavorable opinion of him—and the same number said there is "no chance" they will vote for Obama if he becomes the nominee. Four in 10 registered voters (41 percent) say they have a less favorable opinion of Obama based on his association with his former pastor, Wright, whose racially and politically inflammatory sermons have been circulated on the Internet and covered in the media. A similar number (42 percent) say they will not vote for Obama because of comments he made about "bitter" small-town residents clinging to guns and religion.

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Even so, the NEWSWEEK Poll indicates that despite the political damage inflicted over recent weeks, Obama still edges out McCain in a trial head-to-head heat for the White House, 47 to 44 percent. That margin was only 1 point wider a week ago. Clinton—whose own favorability rating has not improved even as Obama's has slipped—also holds a 3 point lead with 48 percent of the vote to the Arizona senator's 45. Among all registered voters, more than half (53 percent) still hold a favorable opinion of Obama, compared to the 47 percent who view Clinton favorably and 51 percent who have favorable views of McCain.

;)

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Even so, the NEWSWEEK Poll indicates that despite the political damage inflicted over recent weeks, Obama still edges out McCain in a trial head-to-head heat for the White House, 47 to 44 percent. That margin was only 1 point wider a week ago. Clinton—whose own favorability rating has not improved even as Obama's has slipped—also holds a 3 point lead with 48 percent of the vote to the Arizona senator's 45. Among all registered voters, more than half (53 percent) still hold a favorable opinion of Obama, compared to the 47 percent who view Clinton favorably and 51 percent who have favorable views of McCain.

;)

SAMPLE SIZE/MARGIN OF ERROR FOR REGISTERED VOTERS SUBGROUPS:

1,203 Registered voters (plus or minus 3.5)

341 Republicans (plus or minus 7)

432 Democrats (plus or minus 6)

388 Independents (plus or minus 6)

1,021 Whites (plus or minus 4)

160 Non-Whites (plus or minus 9)

705 Upper/middle class whites (plus or minus 5)

291 Working class/poor whites (plus or minus 7)

SAMPLE SIZE/MARGIN OF ERROR FOR REGISTERED DEMOCRATS AND DEMOCRATIC LEANERS:

592 Democrats/Democratic Leaners (plus or minus 5)

432 Democrats (plus or minus 6)

160 Independents/Other (plus or minus 10)

260 Men (plus or minus 8)

352 Women (plus or minus 7)

470 Whites (plus or minus 6)

113 Non-Whites (plus or minus 11)

96 Age 18-39 (plus or minus 11)

231 Age 40-59 (plus or minus 8)

246 Age 60+ (plus or minus 7)

318 Upper/middle class whites (plus or minus 7)

141 Working class/poor whites (plus or minus 10)

:yes:;)

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If the presidential election were being held TODAY and you HAD TO CHOOSE between... Barack Obama, the Democrat, and John McCain, the Republican (choices rotated) who would you be more likely to vote for? [iF OTHER/UNDECIDED, RESPONDENTS WERE ASKED] As of TODAY, do you LEAN more toward Obama, the Democrat; or McCain, the Republican?

BASED ON REGISTERED VOTERS

CURRENT TOTAL:

Obama - 47

McCain - 44

Undecided - 9

----

If the presidential election were being held TODAY and you HAD TO CHOOSE between... Hillary Clinton, the Democrat; and John McCain, the Republican who would you be more likely to vote for? As of TODAY, do you LEAN more toward Clinton, the Democrat; or McCain, the Republican?

BASED ON REGISTERED VOTERS

CURRENT TOTAL:

Clinton - 48 :)

McCain - 45

Undecided - 7

----

Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Barack Obama? (note the ever increasing unfavorable trend)

CURRENT TOTAL - Favorable: 53 Unfavorable: 40

TRENDS

4/16-17/08 Favorable:57 Unfavorable: 36

3/5-6/08 Favorable:61 Unfavorable: 28

7/2-3/07 Favorable:56 Unfavorable: 19

5/11-12/06 Favorable:34 Unfavorable: 10

yet...

HC maintains roughly the same:

CURRENT TOTAL Favorable: 47 Unfavorable: 49

TRENDS

4/16-17/08 Favorable: 49 Unfavorable: 47

3/5-6/08 Favorable: 56 Unfavorable: 40

7/2-3/07 Favorable: 55 Unfavorable: 38

5/11-12/06 Favorable: 51 Unfavorable: 45

Edited by illumine

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Even if Sen. Clinton pulls it off and becomes the democratic nominee, I just don't see her winning despite what the current polls show (which carry a margin of error plus a significant amount of undecided voters given how close the polls are between the canidates). In fact, the democrats are in a free fall no matter how you slice it. The republicans are now in the driver's seat, at least until Sen. McCain trips himself up. I am betting that the race for the White House will continue to be interesting. Keep your eyes open...


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