(CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton's exit from the presidential race seems to have given Sen. Barack Obama, now the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, a bump in support against Sen. John McCain? The Gallup Daily Tracking Poll released Monday suggests the answer is yes, showing Obama holds a 6-point edge of the presumptive Republican nominee - the largest margin to date.
Obama holds a six percentage point lead – 48 percent versus 42 percent - against McCain, according to Gallup tracking poll results released Monday. Gallup reports that the Illinois senator's lead has held steady at five to seven percentage points since effectively claiming his party's nomination.
Obama's recent lead over McCain represents the Illinois senator's best showing against his new rival. Obama and McCain have mostly been polling at a statistical dead heat against one another in the Gallup tracking poll's general election match-ups.
The Gallup results released Monday are based on telephone interviews of 2,389 registered voters. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus two percentage points.
(CNN) - With Sen. Hillary Clinton's formal exit from the presidential race and endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama, Monday marks the beginning of the general election race between Obama and Sen. John McCain.
In the latest episode of CNN=Politics Daily, Jessica Yellin reports on the economic tour Sen. Obama launched in North Carolina Monday. On the Republican side of the race, Dana Bash reports on Sen. McCain's general election strategy.
With average gas prices hitting record highs, energy policy is becoming a central issue as McCain and Obama begin to really square off against one another. Brian Todd reports on which each man would do to soothe the country's energy woes.
The end of Sen. Clinton's campaign for the White House has marked the beginning of thinking about the impact of that campaign. Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley takes a look at how Clinton's historic candidacy has affected politics hereafter – particularly for women on the national political stage.
Finally, now that Sen. Obama is the Democratic party's new standard-bearer, how will Obama use former President Bill Clinton in the general election campaign? Brian Todd reports on whether and how Bill Clinton may play a role in the Obama campaign.
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CNN will be projecting Electoral College results through Election Day. Battleground states are yellow, safe McCain states are dark red, leaning McCain states are light red, safe Obama states are dark blue, and leaning Obama states are light blue. Photo credit: CNN.
WATCH John King lay out the state of the Electoral College map.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Today, CNN unveils the first of many CNN Electoral Maps of the 2008 general election. It is based on analysis from the CNN Political Unit and takes into account a number of factors, including polling, state voting trends, ad spending, candidate visits, and guidance from the campaigns and political strategists. The list will be updated regularly as the campaign develops over time.
(CNN) – First Lady Laura Bush said Monday that as a veteran of the rigors of the campaign trail herself, she "admired Hillary's grit and strength."
"I know what it’s like to run those campaigns, to be the candidate and how very difficult it is both emotionally and physically,” Bush told ABC News. “It's a huge endurance, process of endurance, and so I'll have to say I have a lot of admiration for her endurance and strength."
"I know it's hard," Mrs. Bush said, "It's hard to do that and I think she did great."
Bush also defended Michelle Obama over a controversial comment that drew criticism from many conservative pundits – but offered caution for the wife of presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
Earlier this year, Michelle Obama told the crowd at a primary season campaign event that "for the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country." (WATCH what Michelle Obama said)
Later, she said her remarks had been misinterpreted, and that she had been referring to how proud she was that Americans were engaging in the political process as never before. (WATCH: Michelle Obama responds to her misinterpreted remarks.)
"I think she probably meant 'I'm more proud,'" said Laura Bush Monday, adding that "you have to be very careful in what you say" when you’re campaigning.
"That's one of the things you learn and that's one of the really difficult parts both of running for president, and for being the spouse of the president, and that is everything you say is looked and in many cases misconstrued."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A conservative Christian activist is planning to sue Barack Obama’s campaign over the name of its ambitious new program aimed at evangelical and Catholic young people.
Michael Farris, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, told CNN his lawyers were sending the Obama campaign a cease-and-desist letter Monday afternoon asking them to stop calling the new effort, which debuts in two weeks, the "Joshua Generation Project."
Farris directs “Generation Joshua,” which provided heavy grassroots assistance in key swing states for President Bush’s re-election effort in 2004. He also authored a 2005 book that included the words in its title.
“We endorsed Mike Huckabee for president, so we’re not politically aligned with Obama,” said Farris. “But even if we were politically aligned with Obama, we wouldn’t want him using our name.”
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. John McCain incorrectly denied this weekend that he had made a remark criticizing media coverage of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid during his election night speech near New Orleans, telling an interviewer that he was “not in the business of commenting on the press.”
But the presumptive Republican nominee had delivered the comment in question.
A Newsweek interviewer asked McCain about whether reporters had been fair to Clinton during her presidential run, pointing out that the presumptive Republican nominee had said during his Tuesday night speech that “the media hadn't recognized, or had overlooked some of the attributes that Hillary Clinton had brought to the race.”
McCain denied making the remark. “I did not [say that] - that was in prepared remarks, and I did not [say it] - I'm not in the business of commenting on the press and their coverage or not coverage,” he responded.
The Arizona senator added, “I can't change any of the coverage that I know of, except to just campaign as hard as I can and try to seek the approval of the majority of my fellow citizens. It is something that the American people will judge, and I won't complain about it and I won't praise it. I will just run my campaign and hope that the American people will make a judgment.”
But in his election night address, McCain had taken a swipe at the press. “Senator Clinton has earned great respect for her tenacity and courage,” he said. “The media often overlooked how compassionately she spoke to the concerns and dreams of millions of Americans and she deserves a lot more appreciation than she sometimes receives.” WATCH McCain's comment here.
Some of Clinton's strongest supporters have complained that she received unfair treatment from journalists during her presidential run. McCain's campaign has made a special effort to appeal to disappointed Clinton backers in the days since she ended her White House run.
CNN has asked the McCain campaign for comment.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – There is no doubt that many of Hillary Clinton’s most passionate supporters remain very angry right now. They are especially angry over the way they believe their candidate was treated by some of Barack Obama’s supporters and the news media.
I have received numerous e-mails suggesting that Clinton was the victim of a mean-spirited sexism that elements of the news media spread around, and that the Obama campaign never did enough to dispel - even though Senator Obama now goes out of his way to effusively praise her.
“I’m a better candidate because of the work she did and she deserves our honor and our respect and our gratitude,” he said the other day. “And my two daughters see themselves differently because she ran for President of the United States of America.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, was a strong Clinton supporter. “I think if you look at the pundits, if you read the columns and go back and read them, some of them were really in my view malicious, very personal and venal sometimes,” she told me. “And I have a hard time understanding why that was necessary.”
Feinstein, like so many other Clinton supporters, is now totally on board the Obama bandwagon. Still, there are very hard feelings. Obama will need many of those ardent Clinton supporters if he hopes to win the presidency against John McCain. His campaign knows that.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - While Sen. Hillary Clinton was endorsing Sen. Barack Obama, some of those weighing in on her campaign Web site were less willing to concede.
As Clinton wrapped up her remarks Saturday in Washington with a plea for supporters to work "as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me," many were posting messages saying they would never vote for the presumptive Democratic nominee. A few even called on her backers to visit Sen. John McCain's campaign Web site.
"I love her and will vote for her in 2012, but it's McCain all the way now," wrote one within moments of the former first lady's address.
Whether that sort of statement signals a defection to the presumptive Republican nominee, a voter less likely to make it to the polls on Election Day or just a bit of low-grade, post-primary grumbling - it's the sort of sentiment that makes for a nagging, low-grade anxiety among nervous Democrats and brings a gleam to the eye of McCain.
As Democratic leaders met last month and decided to seat Florida and Michigan at half strength at the convention, angry Clinton supporters who had backed her plea for the seating of full delegations from both states began to chant, "Let's go, McCain!"
And as Clinton's presidential bid wound down, some of her loudest supporters began insisting they would consider voting for McCain if she were not the Democratic nominee.
Hillary Clinton may be out of the race, but that doesn't mean her supporters are automatically going to flock to Barack Obama. Not by a long shot.
As she officially endorsed Obama on Saturday - Clinton urged the crowd to back Obama. When she said it, many cheered. But some supporters booed, loudly.
A CNN poll out Friday shows 60% of Clinton supporters say they'll vote for Obama, but 17% say they'll vote for Mccain and 22% say they won't vote at all.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) – With gas prices reaching a national average of four dollars a gallon - a record high - John McCain is planning to resurrect his call for a national gas tax holiday, which became a staple of his stump speech in late April and early May.
A McCain aide told CNN's Dana Bash on Monday that the Arizona senator planned to plug the gas tax holiday in public statements throughout the day as a message to voters that he understands the plight of working families in a tough economy.
Before a fundraiser in Richmond, Virginia on Monday, McCain mentioned the gas tax holiday in remarks to a smaller event for about 40 high-dollar donors. "That was derided by Sen. Obama and others as a gimmick," McCain said, but added that working people and truckers would appreciate it.
"I don't pretend that it's an answer to our energy problems," he said.
Gas prices have risen more than 10 percent from $3.671 a month ago and are nearly 29 percent higher than the $3.105 average a year ago, according to AAA figures.
McCain's original gas tax holiday proposal called for suspending the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Hillary Clinton supported a similar proposal during her Democratic primary bid.
Along with Barack Obama, many economists largely dismissed the notion of a gas tax holiday as a political ruse that would do little to lower prices, but McCain has repeatedly said he does not believe the proposal would be a panacea for America’s energy woes.
Instead, McCain argued, low-income families could save some extra cash to pay for their children’s school supplies this fall, or perhaps treat themselves to a nice dinner.
UPDATE: Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan blasted McCain for continuing to push the plan.
"By touting a gas tax holiday as part of his proposal for economic recovery in Virginia today, Senator McCain proved he was right when he said he doesn't understand the economy as well as he needs to," he said in a statement emailed to reporters.