Democracy Corps: Obama Emerging in Close Race


Stan Greenberg and Ana Iparraguirre
Democracy Corps

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Executive Summary

In their latest memo, Stan Greenberg and Ana Iparraguirre highlight developments that are giving the presidential race definition at this pivotal point. Recent Greenberg Quinlan Rosner/Democracy Corps surveys show Obama and Clinton emerging ahead of McCain in a close race for the White House. Though the general election race is still very close at this point, Obama’s work is made easier by the emerging partisan trends, issues, desire for leadership and choice before voters. The Republican Party’s faltering popularity, an electorate focused on change and Democrats’ advantage on the economy, Iraq and government reform are framing the choice in 2008.

 

Key Findings

Obama holds a 2-point lead over McCain, yet this remains a real race: Obama’s vote has not risen above 48 percent and the intensity of support and opposition for both Obama and McCain are very similar.

McCain’s overall favorability reached its lowest point this month. In terms of attributes that drive personal standing, in just one month McCain has lost significant ground in being “honest and trustworthy” (from 68 to 63 percent), being “on your side” (from 48 to 44 percent) and even on “will keep America strong”.

The partisan environment is remarkably favorable for Democrats, as the Republican brand is extremely damaged. The Democratic Party’s overall image is actually stable, about where it stood in 2006 and 2004. But the Republican Party’s image has fallen well below to its lowest level in the history of polling this question: 32 percent have a warm reaction to the party with a near majority of 48 percent viewing it negatively.

 

Methodology

This memo is based on a series of recent surveys: A Democracy Corps poll national survey of 1,014 likely voters conducted May 13-15, 2008; A survey of 800 likely voters conducted May 7-10, 2008 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Public Opinion Strategies for NPR; and I Democracy Corps poll conducted May 19-26, 2008 of 1,600 likely voters in the 45 most competitive Republican-held Congressional districts.