CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Weekly presidental tracking poll numbers for former Sen. John Edwards reached their highest level this year after his wife Elizabeth disclosed that her breast cancer had returned. Although John Edwards remains in third place in the Democratic 2008 presidential field, 17% now say they support him, a six point increase from the week before.
Elizabeth Edwards' cancer is incurable. Rasmussen Reports conducted a telephone survey of 757 likely Democratic voters March 19-22. Edwards held a press conference in Chapel Hill, N.C. last week and said he would not suspend his presidential campaign despite her illness, which she said is treatable.
Meanwhile, Sen. Hillary Clinton leads with 37% support, and Sen. Barack Obama is second with 25% support. Obama fell five points. Rasmussen did not offer a reason for the change, but Obama's campaign had to distance itself from an attack ad on YouTUBE that satirized Clinton as a figure from 1984. Philip de Vellis, who worked for a firm doing consulting for Obama's campaign, claimed credit for the ad, which copied an Apple Computer ad used during the 1984 Super Bowl game. De Vellis said he acted alone and was not coordinating with the Illinois senator's campaign.
Rasmussen said Hillary's lead was holding.
"In fact, ever since Al Gore was dropped from the list of contenders, Clinton's support has remained remarkably steady, ranging from 34% to 38% over a five week period."