While Democrat Barack Obama continues to lead Republican rival John McCain in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, the survey also reveals that voters have some serious misgivings about an Obama presidency.
In the poll, 47 percent of respondents said they prefer Obama to win, compared to 41 percent for McCain. That’s the same lead Obama enjoyed a month ago.
But when asked which candidate would be better when it comes to being knowledgeable and experienced, 53 percent said McCain and only 19 percent chose Obama.
Asked who would be the better commander in chief, again 53 percent said McCain, while 25 percent said Obama.
Respondents favored McCain by a 38 percent to 30 percent margin as being consistent and standing up for beliefs, and 42 percent to 31 percent as having strong leadership qualities.
Also, 55 percent said Obama would be the “riskier choice” as president, compared to 35 percent for McCain.
“The campaign's unusual dynamic appears to be the result of an anxious nation now sizing up an unconventional candidate who presents himself as the agent for change, which voters say they want,” The Journal observed.
“The focus has turned to the Democratic candidate himself: Can Americans get comfortable with the background and experience level of Sen. Obama?”
When respondents were asked about criticisms of Obama, the largest share — a third of voters — said they were most concerned that he might be “too inexperienced and not ready to be president.”
Patti Carr of Collierville, Tenn., voted for Democrats in the last four elections. She is uneasy about this year’s presumptive Democratic candidate, however.
"I see Obama as a very nice person but I don't believe he has the experience at this time to be president," she told The Journal.
“He's new, he's young and he still has a lot to learn, I believe."
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