The big story inÂ today’s Rasmussen Reports weekly Democratic primary poll update is the continued growing momentum and support for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Clinton has extended her lead over Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) to 23 points. She has now doubled Obama 46%-23%. Clinton level of support is the highest that any candidate in either party has gotten since this poll began in January. Her trend of building incremental support continues. She has gone from being in the upper 30s to low 40s in the past month, to now going past the mid 40â€™s.
This is really bad news for her top two rivals for the nomination Obama and John Edwards. After gaining three points last week, Obama dropped three points, and returned to his baseline level of support. Obamaâ€™s support has ranged 21%-23% in nine of the past eleven weeks. Despite his best efforts at closing the gap on Clinton, her lead continues to grow. Edwards has seen a bigger drop off in his support. He has gone from a baseline level of support in the mid teens to now polling 11% this week. Edwardsâ€™s support has either been flat or declining in each of the past five weeks. His campaign has the look of one on life support. He must win in Iowa, or his campaign is probably finished.
Among the other Democratic candidates, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson remains in fourth at 4%. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is fifth at 3%. In sixth at 2%, is Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE). Tied for seventh is Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Mike Gravel, who both poll 1%. The number of Democrats who say they are undecided continues to drop. This week only 8% of those polled were undecided. It seems that the undecided voters, who make up their minds, are supporting Clinton.
What I have seen for weeks in this poll is evidence that Democratic voters are unifying around Hillary Clinton. She is the only Democratic candidate who has consistently expanded her base of support. It doesnâ€™t matter what she says, or doesnâ€™t say, she continues to gain support. Much like the John Kerry phenomenon in 2004, many Democrats have decided to rally around the candidate that they view as most electable early in the process. I donâ€™t think enough Democrats have really thought about, if Hillary Clinton is their best choice. Barring some sort of self induced implosion, it looks like Clinton has a solid grip on this nomination.
Jason Easley is the politics editor at www.411mania.com/politics His column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Jason is also the host of TPU Radio, which can be heard at www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse every Sunday morning at 11 AM ET.