[See Update on new national polls from USA Today/Gallup and CBS/NY Times at bottom]
General Election polls continue to demonstrate that Clinton is the far stronger candidate against McCain than Obama.
Real Clear Politics has data from 6 recent national General Election polls. In a Clinton v. McCain match-up, Clinton beats McCain in FIVE of the 6 polls. In an Obama v. McCain match-up, McCain beats Obama in 3 of the polls and ties him in one.
More importantly, in key battleground states, Clinton beats McCain in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, while Obama loses to McCain in all 3 states. And RCP highlights a recent McClathy article about Obama's likely loss in Indiana to McCain. A new Rasmussen poll for New Hampshire claims "Clinton gains on McCain...Obama heads in opposite direction."
Obama's problems with working class voters have worsened, according to a story posted yesterday by the AP:
In an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll...53 percent of whites who have not completed college viewed Obama unfavorably, up a dozen percentage points from November. During that period, the numbers viewing Clinton and Republican candidate John McCain negatively have stayed about even.
In contrast, Hillary Clinton's strength among seniors, women, and key demographic groups such as Catholics improves with each election, as most recently seen in Pennsylvania.
*CLINTON, THE POPULIST*
Hillary Clinton is a candidate of the people, successfully delivering a populist message across American towns, cities, and suburbs. As the Washington Post said recently, "Clinton Is In Her Element:"
Clinton attacks the rope line with more gusto than her husband, who invented the genre in modern campaigns.
Clinton has found a home -- and a potentially receptive audience -- among rural Democrats...Small towns. Middle-class and working-class. Older voters. Women.
The rope line in Terre Haute late Thursday was dominated by women of all ages, who are as passionate in their support of Clinton as Obama supporters are for their candidate
UPDATE ON TWO NEW POLLS:
A USA Today/Gallup poll released on 5/5/08 gives Clinton a 7 point lead over Obama,"the first time in 3 months she has been ahead." USA Today writes:
Barack Obama's national standing has been significantly damaged by the controversy over his former pastor, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, raising questions for some voters about the Illinois senator's values, credibility and electability.
The USA Today/Gallup poll also demonstrates Clinton's strength on a number of variables:
Clinton Obama Advantage
Is a strong and decisive leader 53 37: Clinton +16
Has the best chance of beating John McCain in November 48 43: Clinton +5
Shares your values 47 42: Clinton +5
Cares about the needs of people like you 47 43: Clinton +4
A CBS/NYT poll released on 5/4/08 is being publicized by many news sources as showing a 12-pt. lead for Obama over Clinton, but this is among those who have voted or plan to vote in a Democratic primary.
However, Clinton actually leads Obama by 1 point when the question is asked of "registered voters who identify themselves as Democrats, regardless of whether they have voted or plan to vote in a Democratic primary".
This means that Obama has lost substantial support among people who have already voted for him.
In other good news for Clinton, the CBS/NYT pollster's report states:
For the first time since October 2007, more registered voters overall have a favorable impression of Clinton than an unfavorable one.
When asked who is "tough enough to make hard choices," Clinton gets 70%, McCain 71%, and Obama 58%.
See related post 2 New Polls: MORE HILLARY MOMENTUM.