Polls show Obama pulling away from McCain
Agence France-Presse
Published: Wednesday October 22, 2008

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WASHINGTON (AFP) The popularity gap between Barack Obama and John McCain has doubled from seven percent earlier this month to 14 percent, according to the Pew Research Center's latest voters poll published Tuesday.

Conducted October 16-19 among 2,599 people and with a 2.5 point margin of error, the Pew poll found Democrat Obama's support had grown to 52 percent of voters against 38 percent for his Republican White House rival.

A Pew poll at the beginning of October showed a seven-point gap between the two.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of 1,159 people showed Illinois Senator Obama ahead of Arizona Senator McCain by 10 points, 52-42 percent, up from six points two weeks ago. The survey was taken October 17-20 and had a 2.9-point margin of error.

Obama's surging popularity, according to Pew, was mostly due to voters' dwindling confidence in McCain, as witnessed after each of the candidates' three TV debates.

The Pew poll found voters trusted Obama over McCain on all issues including Iraq and the war on terror.

On who is best suited to fix the economic crisis, Obama was picked by an overwhelming 53 percent of respondents, against 32 percent for MCain.

Forty-one percent of voters thought McCain showed bad judgement in the choices he made, compared to only 29 percent for Obama.

The age factor was also a concern for voters, with 34 percent of respondents saying McCain was too old to be president -- at 72, he would become the oldest president elected to a first term in office.

As far as McCain's choice of running mate, Pew found voters were more divided: 49 percent of voters disapproved of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, while 44 percent approved her.

Among women under 50 years of age, however, Palin's disapproval reached 60 percent.

Regarding the campaigns both sides have been waging, 56 percent thought McCain's was too negative, against only 26 percent for Obama.

There was one silver lining in the Pew poll for Arizona Senator McCain: 23 percent of voters said they were still undecided.

According to the RealClearPolitics website that publishes the average of all opinion surveys on the candidates, including Pew's, Obama on Tuesday was ahead of McCain by seven points, 50.1 to 43.2 percent.