In the latest Rasmussen Reports 2008 Democratic poll update, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) continues to maintain her double digit lead over both Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and John Edwards. The Democratic race has settled into a steady pattern of Clinton having support in the high 30’s, Obama stuck at around 25%, and Edwards in the lower teens. This week marks the fourth straight poll where Edwards support has been stuck at 13%. Sen. Barack Obama faces a different problem. He has not been able to break 30% in the weekly poll since he was at 33% support on May 14.

Among the second tier candidates nothing has changed. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has 3% national support, while Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) each get 2%, Mike Gravel is at less than 1%, and 14% are undecided. Clinton has seen her overall approval rating rise 52%. Among Democrats, her approval rating is 84%. Obama’s overall approval rating has held steady at 54%, and among only Democrats 73%. It will be interesting to see if the negative media attention that came to Clinton and Edwards after their overheard conversation at the NAACP convention has any effect on their poll numbers.

While the Republican race has several questions and evolving dynamics, the Democratic contest could boil down to the question of will Barack Obama be able to translate his fundraising support into primary victories? If Obama does well, especially during the de facto national primary on February 5, 2008, he could give Clinton a fight the whole way to the nomination. However should Obama falter, the Democratic nomination will probably belong to Hillary Clinton.

The Edwards campaign, has about 1/3 the amount of cash as Clinton and Obama, and he is counting on a strong performance in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to establish national momentum that will propel him to the nomination. Bill Richardson has been able to “surge” to 3% in the polls, and the other campaigns are being ignored both by political donors and the mainstream media. Unless the Clinton campaign implodes, or the Obama campaign catches fire, I don’t see how these numbers are going to change very much in the next few months. It looks like it is Clinton’s race to lose.

Link to the Rasmussen Reports Democratic poll 

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 7:00 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at


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