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January 14, 2008

Rasmussen: McCain Beats Hillary Like A Drum

Rasmussen has a somewhat more realistic picture of the Republican primary race than the New York Times/CBS poll that used a whopping 282 likely voters for its sample. McCain leads nationally by five points over Mike Huckabee, 24%-19%, while the rest of the field comes in a statistical tie for third place. However, the real news appears in the head-to-head matchup with Hillary Clinton, where the Democrat can't even muster 40% support:

A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds John McCain leading Hillary Clinton nationally by double digits. The survey, conducted on the two nights following New Hampshire’s Primary, shows McCain attracting 49% of the vote nationwide while Clinton earns 38%.

Among Republican voters, McCain leads 86% to 6%. However, among Democrats, Clinton’s lead is a slightly less dominant 74% to 18%. McCain leads by twenty-one points among unaffiliated voters.

This is the third straight poll showing McCain ahead of Clinton. In December, the Arizona Senator led by six points. In November, he held a narrow two-point edge.

The crosstabs have some eye-raising data for the Clinton campaign. Clinton loses women to McCain by four points and men by 19. Clinton loses the youth vote by 23 points, a rather amazing number, and only wins the 50-64 vote by a single point while losing all other age demographics.

Hillary scores strongly among blacks, but McCain holds 19%, which would almost double the support given to the Republican ticket in the 2004 election. McCain garners two-thirds of the Other ethnic demographic, presumably competitive among the Hispanic voters.

It's easy to consider this an anomaly based on enthusiasm after the New Hampshire win, but as Rasmussen points out, this trend started two months ago. As McCain strengthened among Republicans, he has strengthened against Hillary. Huckabee also has come out ahead of Hillary in this polling, 45%-42%, the first time that has happened all year. That appears to indicate that Huckabee and McCain have gained credibility from their early wins, while Hillary has gained none from her New Hampshire victory.

The Republicans may see some hope for the general election after all, and Hillary and the Democrats have some turbulence ahead of them. If they keep offering the message of non-specific change, they may lose another presidential cycle they should have won.


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