With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, voters remain riveted to the presidential campaign. But liberal Democrats are engaging in far more activism than other partisan and ideological groups.
Obama is inspiring more confidence on several key issues, including Iraq and terrorism, than he did before the debates, and his margin over McCain as the candidate best able to improve economic conditions has grown.
The race remains close as enthusiasm for McCain increases among GOP base. Somewhat more swing voters (46%) say their greater concern is that McCain will govern too much like President Bush, rather than that Obama lacks experience (37%).
McCain and Obama will make their first joint appearance of the general election campaign at an event moderated by Pastor Rick Warren at his 22,000-member Saddleback Church. John Green discusses what the candidates stand to gain from speaking with Warren and the challenges that Warren will face as he attempts to broaden evangelicals’ political agenda.
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.
Already in this campaign season, more Americans -- 46% -- have gone online to get political news and campaign information than in all of 2004.
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.
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.
Barack Obama's 'bitter' comment registered widely but just 29% of Americans say they paid very close attention to news about the presidential campaign last week, the lowest percentage recorded since December 2007.
About two-in-five voters now say they have received a pre-recorded call about the campaign. Meanwhile, Democrats are far more engaged in campaign activities than are Republcians -- including donating money to a candidate.