Impressions of Sarah Palin have changed little since her debate with Joe Biden according to a special re-interview of voters this weekend, but opinions of Joe Biden rose substantially.
The Illinois senator, helped by the debate, has been able to erase concerns about his ability to lead, to widen his advantage on economic issues and to move to a significant lead in swing states. There has been a broad-based decline in the number of voters who view Palin as qualified to become president.
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%).
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.
Don't be surprised if third or fourth party presidential candidates garner enough votes in November to make a difference
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.
Obama is doing better among young and independent women than either of the last two Democratic nominees, but many older Democratic women remain undecided.
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.
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.
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.