Obama Rising, And Rising ...

[Ross] Via The Plank, the latest Rasmussen poll has Obama tied with Hillary nationwide. And this related survey, I think, is telling:

Thirty-three percent (33%) of Likely Voters say they’d definitely vote for Illinois Senator Barack Obama (D). That’s the highest total received by any of ten leading Presidential hopefuls included in the poll. Thirty-three percent (33%) also say they’d definitely vote against Obama giving him a net differential of zero (33% definitely for minus 33% definitely against equals net differential of 0). All other candidates have a net differential in negative territory meaning more people are set to definitely vote against them rather than for them. Other polling during the past month found Obama’s favorability ratings have increased to the highest level of any 2008 candidate.

In a way, it's the opposite of Dean-versus-Kerry in 2004 - this time around, it's the outsider candidate, Obama, who looks like a better bet for the general election, and the insider, Hillary, who looks like more of a gamble. That landscape may shift as Obama becomes better known and his rivals start going after into him, but if it lasts till primary season, it's a dynamic that could play a powerful role in tipping undecided, victory-hungry Dems into the Illinois Senator's column.