Obama regains lead over ‘no change’ McCain: poll

September 18th, 2008 - 8:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaNew York, Sep 18 (IANS) Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has regained his lead over Republican John McCain, who is seen as less likely to bring changes in Washington, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Obama trailed McCain after the two parties’ conventions and a burst of interest in McCain’s new running mate, Governor Sarah Palin.Now, Obama has the support of 48 percent of registered voters, compared with 43 percent for McCain, unchanged from the tally in the last New York Times/CBS News poll in mid-August.

Voters view Senator McCain as a “typical Republican” who would continue or expand President George W. Bush’s policies and is less likely to bring change to Washington.

Though 37 percent respondents said that McCain would bring real change to Washington, up from 28 percent before the conventions, 65 percent saw Obama as the change agent.

After the conventions, McCain had enjoyed a surge of support, particularly among white women after his selection of Alaska Govenor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

But the latest poll indicates that “the Palin effect” was, at least so far, a limited burst of interest.

Palin’s selection has to date helped McCain only among Republican voters; the poll did not find evidence of it significantly increasing support for him among women in general.

White women were evenly divided between McCain and Obama compared to before the conventions when McCain led Obama among white women, 44 percent to 37 percent.

The poll showed that McCain had some enduring strengths, including a substantial advantage over Obama as a potential commander in chief. Fifty-two percent said it was “very likely” that he would be an effective commander in chief, twice as many as felt that way about Obama.

For the first time, 50 percent of those surveyed said they considered that the troop buildup in Iraq, a policy that McCain has championed all along, had made things better there.

Obama had a slight edge among independents, and a 16-percentage-point lead among voters aged 18 to 44.

McCain was leading by 17 points among white men and by the same margin among voters 65 and over. Before the convention, voters 65 and older were closely divided.

The latest Times/CBS News nationwide telephone poll was taken Friday through Tuesday with 1,133 adults, including 1,004 registered voters, and published Thursday in the Times.

The poll was taken during a period of extraordinary turmoil on Wall Street.

By overwhelming numbers, Americans said the economy was the top issue affecting their vote decision, and that they are pessimistic about the nation’s economic future.

Sixty percent expressed confidence in Obama’s ability to manage the economy, compared with 53 percent who felt that way about McCain. Sixty percent also said he understood the needs and problems “of people like yourself,” compared with 48 percent who said that of his McCain.

Asked who they thought would win in November, 45 percent named Obama and 38 percent said McCain.

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