Two Polls Show John McCain, Barack Obama in Dead Heat Nationally

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 14, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Two Polls Show John McCain, Barack Obama in Dead Heat Nationally

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 14
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Two national political polls show presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama in a dead heat nationally. A new Rasmussen survey has Obama leading by two percent, but within the margin of error while Newsweek shows the same momentum moving in McCain’s direction.

The Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll shows Obama ahead 44 to 42 percent after both candidates had been tied at 43 percent each for the two previous days.

When "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 47% and McCain 46% — a gain for McCain after the Rasmussen survey had Obama leading by about five percentage points for most of the last month-and-a-half.

Rasmussen said the gain for McCain comes at a time when its surveys are showing more Americans believe it is possible for the U.S. to win the war in Iraq.

Meanwhile, a new Newsweek survey says the glow for Obama may be fading just one month after his primary rival Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race and endorsed him.

In the latest Newsweek poll, the Illinois senator leads his Arizona counterpart John McCain by just 3 percentage points, 44 percent to 41 percent.

That dead head is a marked change from last month’s poll, where Obama led McCain by 15 points, 51 percent to 36 percent.

Newsweek’s poll indicates voters are upset with the new perception of Obama as a flip-flopper, given his change of position on FISA legislation, his decision to opt out of the campaign public-financing system, and his recent attempt to moderate his strong pro-abortion positions.

In the new poll, 53 percent of voters (and 50 percent of former Hillary Clinton supporters) believe that Obama has changed his position on key issues in order to gain political advantage.

Newsweek also says Obama is losing his ability to capture the support of moderate and independent voters.

In the new poll, McCain leads Obama among independents 41 percent to 34 percent, with 25 percent favoring neither candidate. In June’s poll, Obama bested McCain among independent voters, 48 percent to 36 percent.

The Rasmussen poll also assessed whether voters have a positive or negative view of each candidate. McCain is now viewed favorably by 56% of voters and unfavorably by 41%. For Obama, the numbers are 54% favorable and 43% unfavorable.

Newsweek has 55 percent of voters saying they have a favorable opinion of McCain compared to 32 percent who have an unfavorable opinion. Obama’s favorable/unfavorable gap is virtually identical at 56 to 32.

It also asked voters which candidate they trusted on various political issues and it found 38 percent trust Obama on abortion while 36 percent trust McCain.

That points to the need for pro-life groups to communicate to the majority of Americans who polls show are pro-life that McCain opposes abortion while Obama supports unlimited abortions funded with taxpayer dollars.

According to the Rasmussen survey, Obama leads McCain in the all-important electoral college. Its surveys show Obama leading in states with 210 Electoral College votes while McCain leads in states with 171 votes. When leaners are included, it’s Obama 293, McCain 227.

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