Tags: Obama | McCain | Times | poll

Obama Builds 12-point Lead Over McCain in LA Times Poll

Tuesday, 24 Jun 2008 09:40 PM

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Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama has built a yawning 12-point national lead over Republican John McCain, according to a new poll published by the Los Angeles Times Tuesday.

The LA Times/Bloomberg survey conducted over the weekend said that in a head-to-head contest, Obama had 49 percent support against 37 percent for McCain.

On a four-man ballot including two minor candidates -- consumer champion Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr -- Obama had an even bigger lead over McCain of 48 percent to 33.

It was the second major poll to give the Illinois senator a double-digit margin, after Newsweek on Friday had Obama ahead of McCain by 51 percent to 36 among registered voters nationwide.

Previous polls last week had Obama winning by four to five points, but the Democrat now appears to be enjoying a post-primary bounce after seeing off the dogged challenge of his party rival Hillary Clinton three weeks ago.

The great majority of Clinton voters have transferred their allegiance to Obama, the poll suggested, with only 11 percent of the New York senator's backers planning to defect to McCain.

The LA Times backed up other polls that find McCain is favored as the more experienced candidate to combat terrorism. But Obama led on what is now voters' top concern -- the economy.

And even among voters who do plan to vote for McCain in November, the new survey said more than half were "not enthusiastic" about the Arizona senator.

"McCain is not capturing the full extent of the conservative base the way President (George W.) Bush did in 2000 and 2004," said Susan Pinkus, director of the LA Times poll.

"Among conservatives, evangelicals and voters who identify themselves as part of the religious right, he is polling less than 60 percent," she said.

"Meanwhile, Obama is doing well among a broad range of voters. He's running ahead among women, black voters and other minorities. He's running roughly even among white voters and independents."

The poll meanwhile found public approval of Bush's job performance at a new low of 23 percent. A slim majority of 51 percent had a "positive feeling" about the Democratic Party, but only 29 percent said the same about the Republicans.

"It's a Democratic year," Pinkus said. "This election is the Democrats' to lose."

The poll among 1,115 registered voters has a three-point margin of error.

© 2008 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

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