Rasmussen Reports' latest national poll update as of noon today, Friday, has given encouragement to a central idea of Obama's campaign-- of changing Americans' traditional political perceptions of defining and identifying themselves within the boundaries of their own interest and racial groups.
The last two nights of tracking were the first without John Edwards in the race. For those two nights, it's Clinton 44% and Obama 42% meaning that Clinton's support is essentially unchanged, from two days ago (when it was Clinton 41% and Obama 32%). This suggests that many former Edwards supporters now support Obama, many others have yet to make a decision, and few currently support Clinton.
Rasmussen Reports is in line with the Gallup poll based in Princeton, N.J. which today showed Clinton had dropped to a three percentage point lead, 44 to 41 over Obama.
Many pundits such as Gallup's Dr. Frank Newport (see short video) when they looked at demographics, thought the Edwards vote would split but it seems on first blush, that the desire for real change and transcendence of Obama's campaign overrode racial demographics. That a southern Senator's votes are largely going to Obama is another sign that America may be ready to turn the page, and that Obama is a catalyst for change.
One state that leaps off the 'Rasmussen Reports' page is Illinois with the release of a new poll today, it shows..
Senator Barack Obama dominating his opponent with 60% of votes. Senator Hillary Clinton comes in a very distant second with 24%.
The survey was conducted prior to former Senator John Edwards' official exit from the presidential race. Edwards' picked up 11% of the Illinois vote in the survey
There isn't a new Rasmussen poll of New York State, another Super Tuesday primary, but the last poll was published on January 21, when Hillary Clinton had a twenty-one point lead over Barack Obama. Clinton at 51%, Obama at 30%.and John Edwards was at 10% of the vote. (then)
However another polling firm, Public Policy Polling (D) has a more recent poll showing Obama gaining on Hillary in New York to within 12 points just before Edwards pulled out.
Of course all these polls were conducted before the debate last night, but most commentators seemed to agree that Hillary may have shaded Obama in the first half with her domestic policy expertise, whereas Obama shaded Clinton in the second half with his stronger position on Iraq. Overall it seems close to a draw, as both debaters seemed reluctant to try to score points off the other. It was more like a nil--nil soccer game than a super bowl. Los Angeles Times which hasn't endorsed either candidate, reports it this way, Clinton, Obama gently debate Iraq in Hollywood.
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