Poll – Hillary is the Stronger McCain Opponent


There are two polls that are worth watching in the presidential race – Gallup and Rasmussen. They are reliable because they are tracking polls – they update daily, showing the results from the prior three days of research.

While these two polls may have their flaws, those flaws are less relevant because the polls repeat their efforts each day – even if they are constantly making the same mistakes in methodology, you still get to watch the movement of the numbers over time.

These polls don’t get much media attention.

But when “outliers” are released, polls which fall way outside the norm of the others (so are of questionable significance), they get big press. It happened last month, when Newsweek showed Barack with a 15 point lead – a poll that was clearly out of step with many others, but got huge play, nationally and overseas. And a new Quinnipiac poll, that has Barack leading by 9, is also getting headlines.

The old reliables, however, continue to go uncovered. Rasmussen and Gallup both show the race at a 3% lead for Barack.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows Barack Obama attracting 45% of the vote while John McCain earns 41%. When “leaners” are included, it’s Obama 48% and McCain 45%

Unreported, but intriguing, is a little side poll that Rasmussen did, which sheds some light on Barack’s problems as a candidate. First, they poll a hypothetical matchup between Barack and President Bush.

At a time when Obama and McCain are locked in a tight race, the poll shows that Obama would rout President Bush 54% to 34%. Looking at the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll, McCain is outperforming Bush by more than 15 percentage points.

Which means that McCain is viewed very differently than President Bush, despite the Obama campaign attempts to morph them into a single politician.

The poll results also show that Obama would have an easier go of it against two of McCain’s chief rivals for the Republican nomination. The presumptive Democratic nominee leads former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney by eight points 49% to 41% and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee 50% to 39%.

But here comes the kicker. How does McCain do in hypotheticals against other Democrats? Is it still a tight, 3 point race if Hillary is running against McCain?

McCain fares better against Obama than he does against two other prominent Democrats. New York Senator Hillary Clinton leads McCain by eight points, 50% to 42%. Former Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2000, leads McCain 50% to 43%.

Remember how Barack was going to be unstoppable because of his ability to draw independent voters? Not against McCain.

In all five hypothetical match-ups featured in this article, the Democrat leads the Republican among unaffiliated voters. In the match-up between the two presumptive nominees, McCain holds a slight edge over Obama among those voters.

The media doesn’t talk about the glass ceiling that Barack seems to have been stuck under since the emergence of Jeremiah Wright. But Barack is stuck.

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