NEW YORK – Illinois Senator and possible 2008 Democratic contender Barack Obama holds his own in a hypothetical matchup against the current leading Republican contender Arizona Sen. John McCain. McCain continues to have a small edge over New York Sen. Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head matchup between the two frontrunners.
According to a new FOX News poll, Obama receives the backing of 38 percent of voters and McCain 41 percent, with the remaining 21 percent undecided.
Almost as many Democrats say they would vote for Obama (69 percent) as Republicans say they would vote for McCain (73 percent). Independents split their vote 34 percent Obama and 36 percent McCain.
Women give a 4-percentage point edge to Obama, while McCain has a 10-point lead among men. Whites are somewhat more likely to vote for McCain (+13 points) and nonwhites are more likely to back Obama by over 40 points.
"Obama is the ‘new’ product on the market and the real test is whether he can survive long scrutiny," says Opinion Dynamics Chairman John Gorman. "However, John McCain would also be getting his first ‘front-runner’ start. Furthermore, he has gotten a lot of favorable press as the alternative to George W. Bush. It is harder to predict how he would do standing alone."
McCain has a 6-percentage point edge when the matchup includes Sen. Clinton, 45 percent to 39 percent, with 15 percent undecided. These results are in line with polling conducted previously; McCain has consistently outperformed Clinton in hypothetical matchups over the past two years.
The vote is split evenly among women (42 percent each); among men, McCain is up by 13 points.
Finally, the poll asked voters to consider two possible 2008 presidential tickets. On the Democratic side, Clinton as the presidential candidate and Obama as the vice presidential candidate, and McCain as the presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as the vice presidential candidate on the Republican ticket.
The McCain-Giuliani ticket tops Clinton-Obama by 8-percentage points — 48 percent to 40 percent.
A majority of Democrats (76 percent) say they would vote for the Democratic ticket; 16 percent would vote for the McCain-Giuliani ticket.
Among Republicans, 83 percent would back their party’s candidates and 9 percent would vote for the Clinton-Obama ticket.
Opinion Dynamics Corporation conducted the national telephone poll of 900 likely voters for FOX News from October 24 to October 25. The poll has a 3-point error margin.