2.27.2008

Wednesday polls: General election toss-ups

Four general election surveys were released today, with very little consistency in the issue of the electability gap between the Democrats, but all showing John McCain in a strong position -- much stronger than his former GOP rivals appeared to be a few weeks ago:
Wednesday
  • First, Quinnipiac released a general election survey which shows both Democrats barely edging out the Arizona Senator -- 44-42 for Clinton and 42-40 for Obama -- in a state either will have to win come November.
  • This poll is very interesting because it underscored just how different the two candidates' core constituencies are. Among Democrats, Clinton gets 80% and Obama only 69%! Among independents, Clinton trails by 2% and Obama leads by 5%. Both Obama and Clinton are weak in one of those groups and they will have to be strong if they want to build a solid majority.

  • In Ohio, a University of Cincinnati survey shows Obama edging out McCain 48% to 47% and McCain leading Clinton 51% to 47%. SUSA's recent poll from Ohio has shown Democrats in a slightly stronger position.

  • Next, a poll from Tennessee gives a clear edge to John McCain who crushes Obama 53% to 37%. Clinton runs much better than Obama here and makes the race competitive: 45% to 41%. Until recently, Clinton used to systematically run ahead of her Democratic rival in Southern states.
  • In North Carolina, finally, a new poll shows McCain in a strong position, crushing both Democrats by double-digits, 48% to 36% against Hillary and 46% to 36% against Obama. PPP released a poll from NC a week ago that showed the Republican ahead by 5% against both Democrats.
No earth-shattering numbers here. The question this early in the campaign is in what states will the general election campaign really engage in, what states look competitive with a McCain candidacy? These numbers from NC and TN -- the kind of states in which some of the Republican candidates looked particularly weak -- should offer the GOP some comfort that they won't have to put just as much defense here, though there is little doubt that the map will be significantly more expanded than it was in 2004 and that we should get used to the fact that many states that were on no one's radar screen then will host some very competitive races this year.

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