Polls find Obama still leading
Polls say Barack Obama still leads in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination but his ratings have fallen.Updated: May 01, 2008, 11:35 IST
Barack Obama still leads Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination but his ratings have fallen, polls found on Wednesday after a tough few weeks for the Illinois senator.
A new CBS News/New York Times poll found Obama leading Clinton 46 to 38 per cent among Democratic voters nationwide, an increase on the three-point lead he held in a similar poll April 3.
But it found voters saw the race as much tighter than before, with fewer saying they thought he could win the White House nomination or that he had the best chance of beating presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.
Primary voters however still reckon Obama is more likely than Clinton to secure the Democratic party's nomination and has a better chance of prevailing against McCain.
The poll was taken on April 25-29 and would have taken into account at least some of the reaction to the renewed furor over Obama's former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Obama publicly disowned the fiery reverend Tuesday.
The survey also follows Clinton's convincing victory in the Pennsylvania primary last week, after Obama was hammered for calling some working-class voters "bitter."
Among all registered voters, Obama's unfavorable rating has gone up -- 43 per cent viewed him favorably a month ago, but only 39 per cent now, while the percentage that view him unfavorably has risen from 24 to 34 per cent.
Clinton's ratings have also gone down, but by less, while she also wins in a general election match-up with McCain by 48 to 43 per cent, an unchanged lead.
Obama, who had held a five-point lead over McCain four weeks ago, is now tied with him at 45 per cent. He has lost support among women, with the poll showing a 16-point swing to McCain among female registered voters.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll also released on Wednesday finds McCain runs in a statistical tie with both Obama and Clinton when the survey's margin of error is taken into account.
Obama edges McCain 46 to 43 compared to Clinton's 45 to 44 lead.
But the poll, taken between April 25 and 28, showed Obama has taken a battering on perceptions of his "values." Forty-five percent of registered voters said they identified with his values, down from 50 percent in last month's poll.
The proportion of people who did not identify with his values increased from 39 to 46 per cent, while this figure dropped from 52 to 46 per cent for Clinton. Forty-six per cent of people now identify with her values, up from 43 per cent.
McCain's values ratings were largely unchanged, although the poll revealed that 43 per cent of voters said they have "major concerns" about his links to unpopular Republican President George W Bush.
Despite McCain's strong showing in a match-up with his Democratic rivals, only 27 percent of voters have positive views of his Republican party, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll said.
It was "the lowest level for either party in the survey's nearly two-decade history," the Wall Street Journal wrote.
Although the poll showed voters identified with McCain's values, they disagreed with McCain's stand on some key issues such as his hawkish stance on the war in Iraq.
Only just over a third said they agree with McCain's approach to the Iraq war, while 54 per cent agree with Obama who favors withdrawing all combat troops within 16 months.