CBS Poll: Obama Leads, But...

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Barack Obama leads Hillary Clinton by eight points among Democratic primary voters nationwide, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll. But fewer expect Obama to be the Democratic nominee than did one month ago, and fewer see him as the Democrat with the best chance of beating presumptive GOP nominee John McCain in November.

Obama leads Clinton 46 percent to 38 percent among Democrats who have either already voted in a primary contest or still plan to, with 14 percent saying they are undecided or don't know whom they support. The eight-point margin marks an increase from April 3rd, when Obama led Clinton by three points.

But a smaller percentage of Democratic primary voters now see Obama, who has been on the defensive following revelations of his controversial former pastor's statements and his leaked comments that some voters had become "bitter," as their party's likely nominee. Fifty-one percent now say they expect Obama to win the nomination, down from 69 percent on April 3rd, while thirty-four percent now expect Clinton to be the nominee, up from 21 percent a month ago.

And while Obama continues to have an advantage over Clinton when it comes to which candidate is seen as more electable, the gap has narrowed there as well. Today, 48 percent of Democratic primary voters think Obama has the best chance of defeating McCain in November, down 8 points from a month ago. Thirty-seven percent say Clinton is more likely to beat McCain.

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In a head-to-head match-up with McCain, Clinton fared better than her rival: The New York senator led McCain 48 percent to 43 percent among all registered voters, while Obama and McCain were tied at 45 percent.

Four weeks ago, Obama held a five point lead over McCain. Since then, Obama has lost support among women, particularly white women, while Clinton has maintained her five-point edge.

McCain leads Obama 47 percent to 44 percent among all female registered voters. That marks a 16 point swing from a month ago, when Obama led McCain 51 percent to 38 percent among the group. Among white women, McCain has extended his edge over Obama from four points to seventeen. He leads Obama 55 percent to 38 percent among the group.

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Women favor Clinton over McCain 53 percent to 40 percent.

Obama's unfavorable rating has risen over the past month. On April 3rd, he was viewed favorably by 43 percent of registered voters and unfavorably by 24 percent. Now he is viewed favorably by 39 percent and unfavorably by 34 percent - a ten point increase in unfavorable rating.