In the latest Rasmussen Reports national survey of likely Democratic primary voters, Hillary Clinton saw her lead grow slightly, Barack Obama stay mired in second, and John Edwards lost a few points of support since last week’s poll.  Sen. Clinton is now supported by 37% of those surveyed, while Sen. Obama has not been able to make up any ground on Clinton. This week marked the fifth out of the last six weeks that Obama has had support at either 25% or 26%. John Edwards has slipped to his lowest level of support in the poll since February. He is now supported by only 11% of those surveyed. In contrast to the volatility in the Republican primary contest, the Democratic field has been very consistent and stable.

The looming problem for the Democrats is that the candidate that is supported most in their party is the one that is weakest nationally. A separate poll found that Hillary Clinton trails both John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in hypothetical 2008 general election match ups. The Democrat who runs strongest against all the Republicans is John Edwards. While Clinton trails Giuliani 47%-44%, and McCain 48%-42%, Edwards beats all the GOP contenders. Edwards, unlike Obama who trails by 11%, leads Giuliani by 2%. Although an earlier poll revealed that voters favored Democrats on all ten issues surveyed, Clinton’s high unfavorable rating (53%) could negate any advantage that the Democrats have on the issues.

Rudy Giuliani has been campaigning on the fact that he is the candidate compete best with the Democrats in 2008, and the numbers would suggest that he is correct. The big story on the Democratic side is that Obama can’t seem to gain any ground on Clinton. It would appear that the luster has worn off of his campaign, and as of yet, he has not been able to recapture his early momentum. As Hillary Clinton continues to flex her muscle within the Democratic Party by piling up big name endorsements, it is starting to look like her hold on frontrunner status continues to solidify. It also seems as if both parties are in the process of nominating lackluster frontrunners which will lead to an apathetic general election.

Democratic poll results

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at

Jason can also be heard every Sunday at 6:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at
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