Tags: gallup | poll | mccain

Gallup Shocker: McCain Leads Obama

Sunday, 07 Sep 2008 10:38 PM

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The Republican National Convention has propelled John McCain into the lead in the race for the White House, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll released on Sunday.

McCain now leads Democratic rival Barack Obama by 50 percent to 46 percent among registered voters -- the Arizona senator's biggest margin since January. The results are even more remarkable considering that before last week's convention, McCain actually trailed Obama by 7 percentage points.

More significantly, the poll shows McCain with a 10-point lead among voters who are most likely to vote, 54 percent to 44 percent over Obama.

"The Republicans had a very successful convention and, at least initially, the selection of Sarah Palin has made a big difference," political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia told USA Today. "He's in a far better position than his people imagined he would be in at this point."

Other findings of the poll:

  • McCain has statistically erased Obama's lead when it comes to the issue of which candidate would better handle the economy -- the top issue among voters. Before the convention, Obama had a 19-point lead on that issue. Now, it's just a 3-point margin, within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they were worried that McCain would pursue policies too similar to those of the President Bush.

  • McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is the reason 29 percent of voters are more likely to vote for McCain; 21 percent say that choice will make them less likely to choose McCain.

  • Obama's choice of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as the Democratic VP nominee is the reason 14 percent of voters are more likely to vote for Obama; 7 percent less likely.

  • 15 percent rated McCain's nomination acceptance speech "excellent;" 35 said the same of Obama's speech.

    The poll was taken Friday through Sunday. The survey of 1,022 adults, including 959 registered voters, has a margin of error of +/— 3 points.

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