In the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, Barack Obama trails fellow U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton in a national survey of likely Democratic Primary voters, but that same survey shows he would fare better against Republican opponents in General Election match–ups, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.
Obama would defeat all Republican opponents, including John McCain of Arizona, Rudy Giuliani of New York City, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, and Fred Thompson of Tennessee in prospective presidential contests, the poll shows.
Meanwhile, Clinton would be defeated by both McCain and Giuliani, but would win against Romney and Thompson, the survey shows. Democrat John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina, would also lose to McCain and Giuliani but defeats Romney and Thompson.
The telephone survey, conducted May 17–20, 2007, included 993 respondents and carries a margin of error of +/– 3.2 percentage points.
Overall, Obama would defeat McCain by a 47% to 43% margin, with the remaining 10% not sure. Against McCain, Obama does much better than Clinton among independents and Republicans, the survey shows. He wins 14% of the Republican vote, while just 8% of GOPers would cross the aisle for Clinton. Among independents, Obama wins 42% support against McCain, while Clinton wins 39% support. In both contests, McCain leads the two Democratic rivals among independents.
There is a big swing between the McCain–Obama contest and the McCain–Clinton contest among moderate voters, which in this survey included a partisan make–up of 38% Democrats, 25% Republicans, and 38% independents. In the McCain–Clinton contest, moderates favor McCain by a 49% to 45% edge, but in the McCain–Obama contest, moderates swing to favor Obama by a 49% to 41% margin. In contests against Giuliani, Obama enjoys a similar advantage compared to Clinton among these key swing voters.
Among independents, Giuliani narrowly tops Clinton, 44% to 43%, but Obama holds a huge 56% to 30% edge over Giuliani among those same voters.
Overall, Obama would also defeat Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, by a 52% to 35% margin, and would beat former Tennessee Senator Thompson, 52% to 35% edge.
Pollster John Zogby: “What we are seeing here is a continued resurgence of the moderates and the independents, building on the momentum and the key role they played in last year’s congressional midterm elections. For instance, they play a key role in the races where the Democratic candidates are Obama or Clinton, in that they favor Obama by greater percentages in the match–ups against Republicans. Our polling shows Obama is seen as the most charismatic candidate and is also one of the top choices to reach across the political divide in our country to bring Americans back together. This is a John Kennedy–like combination of characteristics, and moderates and independents appear to be recognizing that.”