This weekâ€™s Rasmussen Reports Democratic primary poll update shows Hillary Clinton slightly expanding her lead over Barack Obama, and still staying above 40% support in the poll. Clinton leads Obama 41%-23%. As has become the trend, Clinton continues to incrementally climb each month, while support for Obama remains flat. This is the fourth straight week that she has been at 40% or more. Although Clintonâ€™s support is still three points less than it was a few weeks ago, she still enjoys the highest level of core support of any candidate in either party.
The bad news continues for the Obama campaign as they lost two points off of last weekâ€™s numbers and are now at 23%. This is the second time in the last three weeks that Obama has gotten less than 25% support. It has now been seven weeks since Obama has enjoyed the support of more than 25% of those surveyed. He hasnâ€™t even had back to back weeks over 25% since the first two weeks of July. While Obama is still comfortably ahead of third place John Edwards, it would appear that he has not been able to convince enough voters that he belongs on the same level as Clinton.
John Edwards remains in third place with 13%. This is the third consecutive week that Edwards has been at exactly 13%. In 7 of the past 9 polls, Edwards has been at 13%. The two exceptions were back to back weeks where he was at 14%. Edwards hasnâ€™t been over 14% since June 18, and in the seven months plus of weekly polling has never reached 20%. While Democrats like Obama and Edwards, they are committing to Clinton. Among the other candidates, Joe Biden has moved into fourth with 4%. Bill Richardson is fifth with 3%. Dennis Kucinich was sixth with 2%, and Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel were each at 1%. Eleven percent of likely Democratic primary voters were undecided.
Clintonâ€™s strategy is simple. She wants to project the appearance of being presidential and a leader, while all the while portraying her main rival Obama as naÃ¯ve and inexperienced. So far, it appears as if the strategy is working. Many Democratic voters are looking at Clinton as a name they know and trust. They donâ€™t seem to be willing to take the chance on someone new. While this may make them feel good during the primaries, Democrats may pay a heavy price in November 2008 for nominating a candidate as divisive and polarizing as Clinton.
Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com. Â His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politicsÂ
Jason can also be heard every Sunday at 7:00 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse