Gallup: Obama has highest favorability rating of any presidential candidate in 16 years
John Byrne
Published: Sunday November 2, 2008

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If the final USA Today/Gallup poll is any indication, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has achieved his widest lead in the presidential race to date.

In addition, Obama's favorable rating is 62 percent -- the highest of any presidential candidate tracked in Gallup's final pre-election polls dating back to 1992.

Obama holds an 11 point lead in the final poll of likely voters taken by the polling organization, up one point from the previous day.

Just a day before the polls open, Obama leads Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), 53 to 42 percent in the Gallup poll. The numbers are based on interviews conducted by phone on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The group surveyed is based on Gallup's model of those most likely to show up at the polls.

No candidate behind in the Gallup poll at the end of October has ever won the presidency.

Obama is also ahead in the Washington Post ABC poll (11 points), the CBS/NY Times poll (13 points), and the CNN poll (7 points).

Obama leads in six states that went for Bush in 2004: Real Clear Politics' average shows Obama ahead in Colorado (5.5 percentage points), New Mexico (7.3), Nevada (5.8), Virginia (3.8), Pennsylvania (7), Florida (4.2), Ohio (4.2) and North Carolina (0.3). McCain leads in the swing states of Arizona (3.5 points), Georgia (3), Montana (3.8), Missouri (0.7) and Indiana (0.5).

Also, "Gallup says that when it allocates the 4% of likely voters who either had no opinion or would not choose between Obama and McCain, it estimates the candidates' current support levels would most likely be 55% for Obama, 44% for McCain."

Sarah Palin's popularity is hemorrhaging, the poll says -- 45 percent now rate McCain's choice as poor, a worse-than-total reversal from a poll directly following the Republican National Convention when 60 percent deemed her selection "excellent" or "good."

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), meanwhile, retains similar numbers to the period following his selection; 60 percent say his choice was excellent or pretty good, whereas the same figure was 63 percent in early September.