Sunday, February 3, 2008

Pew Survey Finds McCain Leading Nationwide

I'm seeing some interesting polling trends this morning.

In a new Pew Center survey, John McCain wins the support of Republicans across the board:

McCain holds a substantial lead among all segments of the Republican electorate, with the sole exception of white evangelical Protestants. Huckabee equals McCain's support among these voters (34% each). McCain now holds a 37% to 26% lead over Romney among conservative Republican voters, and wins the support of a majority (52%) of moderate and liberal Republican voters.

While McCain's earlier victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina were assisted by his strong backing from independent voters, McCain's ability to win in Florida's "closed" Republican primary is reflected in the current national figures. He continues to hold a commanding lead among independents who "lean" toward the Republican Party, but also has opened a 15-point lead over Romney (38% to 23%) among those who consider themselves Republicans.

Besides leading in the horserace, McCain is the candidate most likely to unite the Republican base. McCain is the only candidate of the three who is viewed favorably by both Huckabee's supporters (61%) and Romney's supporters (59%). In contrast, Huckabee's backers are divided in their view of Romney (41% unfavorable vs. 37% unfavorable). And Romney's supporters are equally ambivalent about Huckabee (44% favorable vs. 39% unfavorable).
Also, today's Washington Post poll has additional data on McCain's leading position as the most electable Republican in the race.

Fully two-thirds of Republican respondents in the Post's poll say McCain "has the best of getting elected president."

Also, in the general election, McCain leads Hillary Clinton by three percentage points, although Barack Obama tops McCain among likely voters. Both Hillary Clinton and Obama lead Romney by double-digits in likely general election matchups.