CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton still leads the Democratic pack, but a new Rasmussen poll shows that Barack Obama and John Edwards have gained ground while her numbers have dropped. She fell 6 percentage points between Feb. 5 and Feb. 12, a slide that came as Obama prepared to enter the race and Clinton struggled to explain her vote on the war. Edwards had yet to endure the tiff about his bloggers -- whom he stuck with despite attacks they were profane.
[UPDATE 1 : This LINK describes the whole Edwards blogger flap and details the voluntary departure of Pandragon's Amanda Marcotte, who quit Monday.]
[UPDATE 2: Another blogger leaves Edwards. She writes of her decision to quit HERE. And Ohio's PsychoBillyDemocrat weighs in on the events.]
Rasmussen polled 435 likely Democratic primary voters Feb. 5-8. The latest GOP numbers will be out very shortly.
The Rasmussen data is HERE. It shows that Clinton has led every 2008 survey. Rasmussen noted that Obama probably enjoyed a modest bump in the poll because of runup to his Saturday speech entering the race, but there was no explanation offered about the Edwards move.
It seemed to me that the polling -- which is way, way early -- does hint that Clinton has electability issues. "While Clinton is the frontrunner within the party, Obama and Edwards do a bit better in general election match-ups against leading Republicans. Obama and Edwards both lead John McCain, R, while Clinton is essentially tied witht he Arizona senator. John Edwards is within two points of Rudy Giuliani, R, closer than any other Democrat."
Right now, Obama is getting the headlines, Clinton is getting the questions and Edwards is holding his pace for the marathon ahead. The North Carolina lawyer probably had the best polling of the bunch.