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New Pew poll finds Democrats more tuned in to the '08 campaign

July 10, 2008 | 11:32 am

A couple of weeks back, we spotlighted what we termed the "passion gap" in the presidential race -- the dramatic difference in the enthusiasm levels among Barack Obama supporters and John McCain backers, as delineated in a L.A. Times/Bloomberg poll.

Now comes a new survey, conducted by the estimable Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, that focuses on much the same -- what it terms "a substantial engagement advantage" that Democrats currently enjoy over Republicans.

And that, the poll says, "may significantly alter the composition of the November electorate."

Our friend Frank James at the Swamp has more of this and other aspects of the new poll.

It's not all good news for Obama.

His lead over McCain among voters is eight percentage points (48% to 40%) -- better than other recent surveys have found but certainly not substantial. And the Pew poll cautions that Obama "has a unity problem. [Hillary] Clinton’s former supporters have moved in Obama’s direction since the primaries ended, but significant numbers remain undecided or say they might vote for McCain in the fall.

To solve that problem, Obama probably needs to avoid the type of memory lapse he suffered Wednesday night at a fundraiser.

-- Don Frederick

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