May 29, 2008 -- A new polling analysis spells potential trouble in the fall for Democratic front-runner Barack Obama: He struggles against Republican candidate John McCain even in states where he defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In the 28 states won by Obama, he has an average 45 percent of voters compared to McCain's 46 percent, according to the Gallup survey.
These states include Obama's home turf of Illinois, along with Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and the battleground states of Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri.
By comparison, Clinton clobbers McCain, 50 percent to 43 percent, in the 20 states where the New York senator carried primaries and caucuses against Obama.
Clinton strongholds included solidly Democratic New York and California, as well as battleground states Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico and West Virginia.
McCain averages 46 percent to Obama's 43 percent in the Clinton states.
The Gallup analysis bolsters Clinton's contention she'd have a better chance than Obama in defeating McCain.
"Clinton appears to have the stronger chance of capitalizing on her primary strengths in the general election," said Gallup pollster Lydia Saad.
"At this stage in the race, there is some support for her argument that . . . she would be stronger than Obama in the general election."
Obama also has strength in some "purple" states that often determine presidential elections.
Obama leads McCain, 49 to 41, in a handful of swing states he carried against Clinton - Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri. McCain leads Clinton by one point in these states.
But Clinton leads McCain, 49 to 43, in swing states she carried against Obama: Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Arkansas and disputed Florida and Michigan.
Even when excluding Michigan and Florida, Clinton leads McCain, 51 to 41, in her favored battlegrounds.
"Clinton's main advantage is that her states - including Florida and Michigan - represent nearly twice as many Electoral College votes in November," the Gallup analysis said.
The analysis came as the high-flying Obama played constructive critic to a class of eighth-graders in Colorado.
Speaking to kids after they made classroom presentations on what they'd learned over the last year at the Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts in Thornton, Obama both praised and critiqued them.
Theodore Rodriguez, 13, got high marks for his warm personality but was advised to look at his audience more and finish his thought before moving on.
"You got a little nervous. It's understandable. It's not every day you have to speak in front of the national press," said Obama, who was accompanied at the school by a large number of reporters and camera crews.
"This is really hard to do, by the way," Obama added. "Not only could I not have done it in eighth grade, I probably couldn't have done it just before I ran for president."