These are only trends and will undoubtedly continue to fluctuate throughout the year up until the November elections. While the Democratic candidates are fighting the battle for who will be chosen as their eventual nominee, either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, John McCain has been seeing a rise in favorable ratings and in election matchups.
Today we see some further Rasmussen polling which shows John McCain will be competitive in certain states that generally are considered Democratically favored states, like New Jersey and Michigan, as well as holding a small lead in Wisconsin.
Michigan: McCain/Obama figures show McCain at 43 percent and Obama at 42 percent- it is a statistical tie but for a state that usually leans heavily in favor of Democrats, the numbers for Mccain here are significant.
Michigan: McCain/Clinton figures show McCain at 45 percent and Clitnon at 42 percent, again only a slight lead but with Michigan demographics, a worrisome one for Democratic leaders.
Michigan has cast its Electoral College votes for the Democrats in four straight Presidential elections and it would be difficult for Obama or Clinton to reach the White House without carrying the state. However, the economically devastated state has been trending Republican in recent elections—Bill Clinton won Michigan by thirteen points in 1996, Al Gore won by five in 2000, and John Kerry won by just three points in 2004.
Yet another heavily favored Democratic state, New Jersey, shows the same trend, a small McCain lead over either Democratic candidate.
New Jersey: McCain/Obama figures show McCain at 46 percent and Obama at 45 percent and with a question of McCain/Clinton, figures show McCain at 45 percent and Clinton at 42 percent.
The report goes on to state that New Jersey has not voted for a Republican Presidential candidate in twenty years but if McCain can keep the state competitive in the fall it will be a good sign for his campaign.
That is a big if, but favorable ratings in New Jersey show McCain is viewed favorably by 61% of New Jersey voters, Obama is viewed favorably by 58 percent, Clinton by 50 percent.
New Jersey and Michigan are still assumed to go to the Democrats in November, although if these trends continue, that may not come to pass.
In Wisconsin, McCain holds the same small lead over Obama with 48 percent for McCain and 46 percent for Obama, although McCain's lead jumps there when matched against Hillary Clinton which has McCain at 50 percent with Clinton at 39 percent.
Overall, McCain is viewed favorably by 61% and unfavorably by 37%. Obama’s ratings are 54% favorable, 45% unfavorable. Clinton earns positive reviews from 39% and negative feedback from 55% in Wisconsin.
The Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll for March 31, 2008 shows that McCain still holds the lead on Obama with 47 percent to 42 percent and that lead widens to a nine percentage point lead when up against Clinton with McCain at 49 percent and Clinton at 40 percent.
Among all voters nationwide, McCain is now viewed favorably by 53% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 44%. Obama’s reviews are 49% favorable and 49% unfavorable. For Clinton, those numbers are 43% favorable, 55% unfavorable
You can see individual state by state numbers at Rasmussen 2008 state by state snapshot page.
Bear in mind that there are many months to go before the November elections and a lot can happen by then, this is simply a trend occurring right now and for the last weeks and anything could potentially change that trend.
The longer the Democratic candidates continue to battle it out for their party's nomination, the better McCain's numbers are trending and the statistical data will have better value once they have chosen their candidate and it is a one on one race between John McCain and whichever candidate is the eventual nominee for the Democrats.