CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Rasmussen Reports weekly tracking survey is out and shows Sen. Hillary Clinton picked up 4 points and now has the support of 38% of likely Democratic presidential primary voters. That 38% marks a new high for the New York senator, who has opened quite a lead over her rivals, much of it because she is a favorite of women and has remained popular among black voters.
Some pundits have taken shots at Sen. Clinton as staged and stiff. But she just keeps holding her pace and the lead.
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama remained No. 2 at 26%. No change. And former North Carolina Sen. John Edward was at 15%, holding third and also no change. Rasmussen surveyed 783 Americans March 5-8, which was after conservative polemicist Ann Coulter denounced Edwards as a "faggot." Coulter drew severe criticism for the anti-gay slur, and Edwards attacked the remark as offensive. However, he did not move up any in the polls.
Blacks are a major voting bloc in Democratic primaries, but neither Clinton nor Obama has locked up a majority of the African-American vote, Rasmussen said.
"Obama and Clinton are essentially even about African-American voters. Clinton leads Obama by 15 percentage points among women and by 7 among men."
Rasmussen called New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson " a very distant fourth" with just 3% of the vote.