A solid majority say the nomination of an African American for president is important to the country, but racial and partisan divisions exist on the significance of Obama’s historical achievement.
More of the public heard about controversies related to Obama than other campaign events. Even so, far more Americans believe press coverage has favored him than think it has favored Clinton.
While a majority of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters (53%) favor a so-called "Dream Ticket," fully 54% of Obama supporters do not want Clinton chosen as his running mate.
Soaring concern about the economy has displaced the Iraq War as the top priority issue among voters. Ambivalent and contradictory public opinions further complicate the role that the conflict will play in the November election.
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.
A new analysis of media coverage during the first ten weeks of the 2008 primary season finds the dominant personal narratives about Obama and Clinton were almost identical in tone, and were both twice as positive as negative. The coverage of McCain's character was less positive than that of either Democratic candidate.
On Sunday, Puerto Rico holds one of the final Democratic primary contests. A new Pew Hispanic Center fact sheet provides key demographic information on eligible voters in Puerto Rico and compares them with eligible Latino voters and all eligible voters in the U.S.
After largely being treated as a bystander to the Democrats' contest, the GOP nominee emerged as a featured player in campaign coverage. But that exposure is not always wanted or positive attention.
While much of the public focused on international events, cable news focused on the campaign almost to the exclusion of other top news stories. Also, though well covered, awareness of John Edwards' endorsement of Obama was relatively low.
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.