Another National Poll Shows Obama Gaining; Also McCain Way Ahead

Posted February 1, 2008 at 4:26pm

Read the full Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll

A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll conducted Jan. 30-31 shows a bigger lead for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama than a Gallup tracking poll released earlier today, but one that has narrowed nevertheless. Clinton has the support of 47 percent of Democrats to 37 percent for Obama, but that’s down from the 29 point lead she enjoyed in December. Democratic voters believe Clinton has the best chance of beating a Republican in the general election by 49 percent to 37 percent. However, voters who describe themselves as Independents – who could be a key voting bloc in the general election – believe Obama is more electable than Clinton by a 48 percent to 28 percent margin.

The poll also underlined the dramatic turnaround for John McCain, who leads Mitt Romney 48 percent to 20 percent, with Mike Huckabee almost tied for second at 19 percent. Last month, Rudy Giuliani was sitting narrowly atop the field at 20 percent, with McCain and Huckabee tied for second at 19 percent and Romney at 11 percent. McCain had polled as low as 7 percent last August when his campaign seemed to be imploding. Republican voters overwhelmingly say McCain is the most electable Republican in November, by a whopping 66 percent to 16 percent margin over Romney. Only 5 percent of Republicans think Huckabee would be the most electable.

In hypothetical general election matchups, Clinton and Obama run even with McCain among all voters (Democrats, Republicans and Independents) but both easily best Romney.

On the now famous “who do you think is best prepared to be President on Day One?” question, Clinton can claim some vindication. Democrats choose her over Obama 59 percent to 24 percent, although among all voters in a general election, she leads McCain by only 34 percent to 31 percent.

As for important issues, the economy and jobs rank first among 30 percent of all voters, followed by Iraq at 23 percent. However, among Democrats alone, Iraq tops the economy 36 percent to 32 percent.

One interesting twist: when all voters were asked which of the four top contenders Clinton, Obama, McCain and Romney – was more likely to do something unethical in the campaign in order to win, 44 percent named Clinton, more than 30 points higher than any of the others.