New polls in the United States give Barack Obama a slight lead over John McCain in the contest for the White House. The financial crisis may have hurt the McCain campaign, which had climbed ahead in popularity in August.
Democratic White House contender Barack Obama has reversed a Republican surge in national polls for the presidential election swayed by the financial crisis and signs that Sarah Palin's star may be dimming.
Obama, who has focused attacks on McCain's capacity to rescue the US economy, led 49 to 45 percent in a new poll of likely voters nationwide by Quinnipiac University released late Thursday.
A CBS/New York Times survey put Obama up by 48 percent to 43 percent.
The trend was confirmed in Gallup's daily tracking poll, which had Obama ahead 48 to 44 percent, the first time in two weeks that the Illinois senator had a lead beyond the statistical margin of error.
A Pew Research poll out had Obama on 46 percent and McCain on 44 percent, while Rasmussen's daily poll had the contest at a 48 percent tie nationwide ahead of the November 4 election, but again the trend was towards Obama, who had trailed by three points just three days ago.
Obama's momentum set the stage for the first of three presidential debates with McCain next week and may represent the last chance to cement a lead in the tight race.
McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Palin as his vice presidential running mate electrified the conservative base and pushed the Republican into a poll lead which panicked some Democrats.
But Palin's momentum seems to be diminishing.
"Senator Obama is right back where he was before the so-called convention bounces with a four-point lead," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University polling institute.
"The Democratic discombobulation after the selection of Governor Palin as GOP running mate seems to be steadying."
With economic turmoil ricocheting around the world, the Quinnipiac survey suggested economic arguments may be swaying support towards Obama.
In the poll, 51 percent said that McCain's proposed tax cut will help the rich while only nine percent say it will aid the middle class.
Thirty-three percent say Obama's tax plans will help the middle class and only nine percent say it will benefit the rich.
The Quinnipiac poll showed that Obama led 54-40 percent among women voters, the key demographic which Palin is targeting for Republicans.
He had a 91 percent lead among African-Americans and was the favorite of young voters and those over 55, while independents were split 46 to 45 percent.
McCain did best among men, 50-43 percent, and led 71 percent to 21 percent among white evangelical Christians -- a figure reflecting Palin's impact on core Republican voters.
The survey was conducted between September 11 and Tuesday, so is likely to have been influenced by the latest US financial crisis which erupted at the weekend.
The CBS survey found that independents who favored Obama in late August moved to McCain in days following the Republican convention, then returned to Obama in the last week.
Independents favored Obama over McCain by 46 percent to 41 percent in the survey conducted between September 12 and 16 with a margin of error of three percent.
The poll found women have returned to Obama after favoring McCain by five points two weeks ago. Obama now leads McCain by 54 percent to 38 percent among all women.
Some prominent women's groups have endorsed Obama as well, and in an interview on Fox News aired Thursday Palin said "that's their prerogative."
But she stressed she was not prepared to alter her message to win over women voters.
"Certainly I would love to have their support, but I'm not going to change my positions in order to get some of these groups and some of the media to try to woo them over," Palin said.
Though Obama has the edge on the national stage, another fresh survey by CNN/Time magazine/Opinion Research Corp. had McCain and Obama virtually tied in five pivotal states: Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.
The two candidates on Thursday renewed their battle over the global credit crisis. McCain branded Obama's tax policies "just plain dumb," while his rival accused him of "rants," a failure to offer solutions, and policy reversals amid the crisis.
Date created : 2008-09-19