A new Rasmussen Reports poll has found that Sen. Barack Obama is now in a statistical tie with Sen. Hillary Clinton for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Obama and Clinton each have 32% of the vote in the new poll. John Edwards is third with 17%, and Gov. Bill Richardson is a distant fourth with only 3%. This continues a four week trend where Obama has been steadily gaining ground on Clinton. A separate poll last week revealed that Obama had the most core support of any candidate in either party. Thirty three percent of all likely voters said that they would definitely vote for Obama. While 33% said that they would definitely vote against Obama. This net rating of zero was the best of any of the ten presidential candidates in both parties.

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has seen his numbers slip from a plus three net rating last month to a minus five this month.  While 30% of voters would definitely vote for Hillary Clinton, 48% would definitely vote against her. This leaves her with a net minus 18 rating. This is a two point drop from a month ago when 30% said they that they would definitely vote for her, and 46% said that they would definitely vote against her.  John Edwards also showed improvement with 26% of voters saying that they would definitely vote for him and 37% saying that they would definitely vote against him. Last month Edwards was at a net minus 19, but this month he has gained eight points to a minus 11.

It really is no big surprise that Obama has pulled even with Hillary Clinton. He has been gaining momentum as the Hillary alternative for a couple of months now. The Democratic field really is just a three person race, but it really seems like the Clinton campaign has stalled out a bit. I have said it before and I will keep writing this until November of 2008, Barack Obama could defeat any of the Republicans running for president in a head to head match up.

He actually can make a stronger appeal to the moral values crowd than Rudy Giuliani could ever hope to do, and compared to John McCain he has a youth and freshness about him that the Arizona senator’s campaign is sorely lacking. It isn’t even worth talking about any of the other GOP field fillers because they each stand little chance of winning their own party’s nomination, much less a general election. I don’t think Obama will run away with this, but he is definitely here to stay.

Rasmussen Reports “net poll”

Rasmussen Reports Democratic primary poll

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse
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