Poll shows Obama’s lead over McCain growing
With fear about the economy driving voters his way, Barack Obama has broadened his lead over John McCain and strengthened his hold on key groups both candidates are courting, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.
Three weeks before Election Day, Obama leads McCain, 50 percent to 41 percent, among likely voters. In September, the Illinois Democrat had a 49 percent to 45 percent lead.
In the weeks between the two polls, the nation’s economy teetered toward collapse, and the poll demonstrated the shattering effect of that upheaval on the nation’s voters. Only 10 percent now say they feel the country is heading in the right direction – the lowest figure since the poll began asking the question in 1991. Eighty-four percent said the country is on the wrong track.
Nearly 7 in 10 cited the economy as the most important issue for the presidential candidates to solve – the figure was 4 in 10 in September – and Obama was the clear beneficiary. Voters saw him as more trustworthy than McCain on the economy and better able to handle a financial crisis.
Obama improved sharply over the past month among independent voters. McCain carried them by a 15-percentage-point margin in September; in this poll, Obama led among that group by 5 percentage points.
For McCain, there were slight upticks among older voters and white working-class voters, and he has maintained an edge over Obama on Iraq and foreign affairs. But his overall level of support declined, in part because of his dramatic decision to vault a little-known Alaska governor onto the ticket.
More than one-quarter of voters said they were less likely to vote for McCain because Sarah Palin was his running mate, somewhat more than the 22 percent who said she made them more likely to vote for McCain. In September, Palin drew more voters in than she put off.