May. 29, 2008

Section 3: The Democratic Primary

On the eve of the final Democratic primaries, Barack Obama has opened a 13-point lead over Hillary Clinton among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters nationwide. This represents a substantial shift from a month ago, when Clinton had pulled within two points of Obama in the wake of her victory in the Pennsylvania primary. Obama now leads […]

May. 29, 2008

McCain’s Negatives Mostly Political, Obama’s More Personal

As the end of the primary season draws near, Barack Obama is the clear favorite of Democratic voters for their party’s presidential nomination. He currently holds a wide 54% to 41% lead over Hillary Clinton. But when the Illinois Democrat is tested against John McCain in a general election matchup, he now runs about […]

May. 29, 2008

Section 4: Race and Gender in the Democratic Primary

While race and gender have been the focus of a good deal of discussion through the course of the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, most voters believe that neither was a significant factor in the success or failure of the Obama and Clinton candidacies. And among those who believe race and gender were factors, somewhat more […]

May. 8, 2008

The Widening Gap

The phrase “generation gap” came into vogue in the 1960s as a way of describing the wide gulf in values, beliefs and lifestyles that emerged between baby boomers and their parents and grandparents. Indeed, this difference between younger and older people played out sometimes turbulently in the ’60s in virtually all aspects of life, including […]

May. 1, 2008

Obama’s Image Slips, His Lead Over Clinton Disappears

Summary of Findings Democratic voters are not as positive about Barack Obama as they were a month ago. Somewhat smaller percentages of Democrats describe Obama in favorable terms, and he has lost his lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. Nationally, Democratic voters are about evenly divided between Obama and Clinton; […]

May. 1, 2008

Section 1: Impressions and Images of the Candidates

The continuing and increasingly bitter primary battle in the Democratic Party is taking a small but noticeable toll on the personal images of both Clinton and Obama. Though both remain popular among Democratic voters, favorable ratings for Clinton and Obama are lower now than they were two months ago. And on a range of personal […]

May. 1, 2008

Section 2: Primary Contest Tightens

Clinton has whittled away Obama’s advantage in the race for the Democratic nomination in part because of her growing strength among white voters, especially white men. Clinton now leads Obama among white male Democratic voters by 11 points (53% to 42%). In March, she trailed Obama among white Democratic men, 36% to 52%. Clinton also […]

May. 1, 2008

Section 3: The General Election

While the dynamics of the Democratic primary contest continue to fluctuate, voter preferences in general election matchups between either Obama or Clinton and McCain remain stable. Among registered voters nationwide, Barack Obama holds a six-point edge over McCain (50% to 44%) while Clinton leads McCain by a comparable margin (49% to 45%). Neither race has […]

Apr. 17, 2008

No Clear Advantage

One of the more surprising twists in a surprising year is that despite the obvious Republican disadvantages in this election cycle, John McCain is matching up pretty well against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in tests being conducted by national polls. Electability is an issue for Democrats, and one that both Senators Obama and Clinton […]

Apr. 4, 2008

That’s What I Like About Me

At the start of his run for the presidency, Barack Obama would explain the positive reaction he was getting from admirers by saying “this is more about you than about me.” Now that Mr. Obama is the front-running Democratic candidate, an in-depth look at how voters are reacting to him – and the reasons for […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Section 4: The General Election

Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton hold roughly comparable leads in head-to-head matchups with John McCain. Obama edges McCain by a 49% to 43% margin among registered voters nationwide; Clinton holds an almost identical 49% to 44% edge. Obama and Clinton held similar leads over McCain in late February. Yet there are positive signs for […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Section 5: Political Values, Traits and Emotions

For the most part, the Democratic electorate is politically and socially liberal, but there are divisions within the party, especially along racial, class, and generational lines. Looking at divisions just among white Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, the older and less educated are significantly more conservative on key political values. A quarter of white Democrats believe […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Obama Weathers the Wright Storm, Clinton Faces Credibility Problem.

Summary of Findings The videos of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversial sermons and Barack Obama’s subsequent speech on race and politics have attracted more public attention than any events thus far in the 2008 presidential campaign. A majority of the public (51%) said they heard “a lot” about the videos, and an even larger percentage (54%) […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Section 2: The Democratic Primary

Barack Obama maintains a 49%-39% lead over Hillary Clinton among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, despite heavy media coverage in the past week of Obama’s controversial former pastor. Obama’s advantage over Clinton is now about the same as it was before his losses in the March 4 primaries in Ohio and Texas (49%-40%). Age, race and […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Section 3: Voters Targeted by Robo-Calls

Pre-recorded campaign calls, or “robo-calls,” have become the leading form of campaign communication in the 2008 primary season, topping even mass mailings as the most frequent type of campaign communication received by voters. Nationwide, 39% of voters say they have received a pre-recorded call about the campaign, up from 25% in November. This is slightly […]

Mar. 20, 2008

Most Aware of Ferraro’s Comments, Wright Videos

Summary of Findings On the eve of Barack Obama’s major speech on race and politics, most Americans said they had heard at least a little about the videos showing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright making racially-charged statements to his Chicago congregation. At the time of the survey, however, there was greater public awareness of other recent […]

Mar. 3, 2008

Getting to Know Them

If they turn out to be their party’s nominees, both Barack Obama and John McCain need to educate voters about themselves in some pretty basic, and challenging, ways. The Democratic candidate has to give voters a better sense of what he stands for, and the Republican candidate has to assure members of his own party […]

Feb. 28, 2008

Obama Has The Lead, But Potential Problems Too

Summary of Findings Barack Obama is riding high as the March 4 primaries approach. Obama has moved out to a broad-based advantage over Hillary Clinton in the national Democratic primary contest and holds a 50%-43% lead over John McCain in a general election matchup. However, the survey results point to several potential hazards for Obama. […]

Feb. 28, 2008

Section 1: General Election Patterns of Support

Obama and Clinton both hold modest leads over McCain in a general election matchup; Obama has a 50% to 43% lead and Clinton holds a 50% to 45% edge. But Clinton draws more universal support among Democrats (89%) than does Obama (81%). Conversely, Obama leads McCain slightly among independents (49% to 43%), while McCain edges […]

Feb. 28, 2008

Section 2: Candidate Images

While McCain’s image has improved among Republicans, it has slipped decidedly among both Democrats and independents in recent weeks. As a result, the share of registered voters who say they have an unfavorable view of the likely Republican nominee is at a new high of 38%, up from 31% on the eve of Super Tuesday. […]