Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Barack Obama Takes Lead For First Time In National Poll

For the first time, former First Lady and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is no longer the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency in a recently released national poll by Rasmussen Reports. U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) leads the pack with 32% of respondents followed by Clinton at 30% and former Senator and Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards trails at 17%. The poll was completed before the first debate between Democratic presidential candidates in South Carolina last Thursday.
Following a surprisingly strong fundraising report released at the end of March, Obama steadily gained ground during April. The last Rasmussen Reports poll released in March found Clinton enjoying a dozen-point lead. Since then, Clinton’s support has fallen seven percentage points while Obama’s total has increased the same amount. Obama now leads among voters under 40. Clinton is strongest among those 65 and older. Clinton has a two-point edge among Democrats. Obama has a nineteen-point lead among independents likely to vote in a Democratic primary.

Last week, the two top candidates were tied at 32%. Two weeks ago, Clinton had a two-point lead. Three weeks ago, it was Clinton by five. The week before that, the former First Lady was up by seven.

A separate survey found that Clinton is seen as politically liberal by 52% of American voters. Forty-four percent (44%) say the same about Obama while 39% see Edwards as politically liberal. Perceptions of Clinton’s ideology have shifted a bit closer to the political center in recent months. Obama has moved in the opposite direction—more to the left.

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