As Democrats gather in Denver, many may be wondering why the presidential race has tightened. An analysis of polling data shows that that while voters are unhappy with the state of the nation and give low ratings to President Bush, the GOP base has started to solidify around McCain. Polling also finds that Obama’s extensive media coverage may be a mixed blessing.
Public Support Falls for Religion’s Role in Politics
A new Pew Research survey finds a decline in the share of Americans who want churches and other houses of worship to be involved in political matters. Most of the drop in the past four years has come among political conservatives.
Presidential Race Draws Even
With fewer than two weeks to go before the start of the presidential nominating conventions, McCain has solidified his support among Republicans and white evangelicals, especially in the South, while Obama lags in attracting Clinton supporters.
Latinos Overwhelmingly Support Obama and Democrats in 2008
A new Pew Hispanic Center survey finds the presumptive Democratic nominee now has a strong lead among Hispanics, a sharp reversal from the primaries when Obama lost the Latino vote to Hillary Clinton by a nearly two-to-one ratio.
Should Women Worry Obama?
Obama is doing better among young and independent women than either of the last two Democratic nominees, but many older Democratic women remain undecided.
Obamamania Abroad: The Candidate Can Expect a Warm Welcome in Europe, Not So in the Middle East
By all accounts, Barack Obama will be enthusiastically greeted when he travels to Europe. But his trip will take him into less friendly territory in the Middle East where Muslims remain skeptical about the future of U.S. foreign policy, regardless of who is elected in November.
Likely Rise In Voter Turnout Bodes Well For Democrats
Even with a partisan enthusiasm gap, voter interest is already as high as in November of recent elections, two trends that may significantly alter the composition of the eventual electorate in the Democrats’ favor. The proportion of swing voters is also up compared with four years ago. Nearly half of independents (47%) are undecided or may change their minds, up from 28% in June 2004.
In Tight General Election, McCain’s Negatives Mostly Political, Obama’s More Personal
While Obama has opened up a wide lead in the Democratic primary, he now runs about even against McCain. The tightening general election shows some sullying of Obama’s personal image over the past three months, which is in some measure a negative reaction from frustrated Clinton supporters. McCain’s image has also become more negative since February, however, unlike Obama, those who disapprove cite his political beliefs.
In the Public Eye: Who’s Up (Al Gore) And Who’s Down (Oprah Winfrey)
Since endorsing Obama, the talk show host’s popularity has fallen among Republicans while the former vice president now rivals Obama and tops Clinton in favorability.
The Widening Gap
While Barack Obama’s appeal to the young coincides with their increasing Democratic alignment, older voters do not show the greater allegiance to the GOP that might explain their relative reluctance to support him.