The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Barack Obama attracting 50% of the vote nationwide while John McCain earns 47%. This is the first time McCain has been within three points of Obama in more than a month and the first time his support has topped 46% since September 24. One percent (1%) of voters prefer a third-party option and 2% are undecided.
Among those who “always” vote in general elections, Obama leads by just a single point. Obama does better among more casual voters. However, among those with a high degree of interest in this year’s campaign, Obama leads by four. Among those who say they are following the race closely on a daily basis, Obama leads by five.
Among those who have already voted, it’s Obama 54% McCain 45% with other candidates picking up a single percentage point.
As for those who have not yet voted but are “certain” they will do so, the race is tied at 48%. Two percent (2%) of these “certain” voters plan to vote for a third party option while 2% say they are undecided.
Obama has a five-point advantage among those who plan to vote but say that something might come up. Hispanic voters are more likely than others to say that something might come up to prevent them from voting.
Prior to today’s update, Obama had been ahead by four-to-eight points every single day for 33 straight days. During that 33-day stretch, Obama’s voter support had stayed between 50% and 52% every day while McCain was in the 44% to 46% range. It will take another day or so to determine whether today’s numbers reflect a lasting change or statistical noise. Two of the last three nights of polling show a closer race than was found in the previous month.
Obama is now viewed favorably by 55% of voters nationwide, McCain by 54%.
State polling released yesterday showed Obama leading in Nevada and Pennsylvania while McCain had the advantage in Arkansas and Mississippi. Earlier this week, state polls were released for Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, North Carolina, and Arizona. Rasmussen Reports Electoral College projections now show Obama leading 260-163. When “leaners” are included, Obama leads 313-174.