The latest Gallup poll shows Hillary Clinton leading the Democratic field at 31% with Obama trailing close behind at 26%. Most likely, Obama’s 7% jump over the last month can be attributed to his stunning showing in the money primary after handily beating expectations.
Over on the Republican side, McCain has trimmed Giuliani’s still-sizable lead, coming in at 22% to Giuliani’s 35%. Mitt Romney remained in single digits at 9%, although this number may be somewhat misleading. Romney has spent money on media buys in early primary states to boost his visibility which is reflected in those state polls. Romney was the other big surprise in the first quarter fundraising numbers, leading the Republican pack with over $20 million. Interestingly, Romney failed to ride that publicity into a spike in the national polls, unlike Obama.
And a recently released CNN poll shows similar shifts in the field, with Giuliani leading McCain 31%-25% down from a sixteen-point margin and Clinton leading Obama 36%-28%, her lead trimmed by seven.
To mess things all up, the new Washington Post-ABC News poll has Clinton defeating Obama by a wide margin, 37% to 20%. However, McCain cut the gap between him and Giuliani to a 33%-21% margin. Why is Giuliani falling? The Washington Post points out over the last two months Giuliani has dipped among white evangelical Protestants. Perhaps Giuliani’s less-than-conservative social views are finally starting to sway voters over to other candidates.