Democrat Barack Obama continues to maintain his lead over Republican John McCain in the race for U.S. President and is viewed as the candidate who could best manage the U.S. economy – even as nearly half of likely voters list the economy as their top election issue, the latest Reuters/Zogby telephone survey shows.
Obama leads McCain, 47% to 40%, with 13% saying they prefer someone else or are not yet sure about their selection in the race – just a slight shift from June’s survey, when Obama led McCain 47% to 42%. While Obama maintains a significant lead among women, among men the candidates are now deadlocked at 44%, erasing the six-point lead among men McCain held in June. Both candidates receive strong support among voters from their own party, but the 22-point lead among political independents Obama held in June has withered and now stands at 44% for Obama, compared with 41% for McCain. The live operator telephone survey was conducted July 9-13, 2008, and included 1,039 likely voters nationwide. It carries a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
Obama continues to win almost all of the support from African American voters, while McCain leads by a 49% to 36% margin over Obama among white voters. Among Hispanics, Obama has significantly boosted his lead over McCain to 71% to 19%. In June, Obama led among Hispanics with 54% support, compared to 44% support for McCain. Among likely voters under the age of 35, Obama continues to hold a wide lead, while McCain maintains his edge with older voters. Likely voters age 30 to 49 are essentially deadlocked, with 45% favoring Obama and 44% who plan to support McCain. Support from voters age 35 to 54 is tied between the candidates at 44%.
Four-way race with Barr and Nader hurts McCain
Adding minor presidential candidates, including Independent Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr to the equation, both minor candidates garner three percent support and Obama’s lead over McCain jumps to 10 points, 46% to 36%. Barr earns the most support from political independents (7%), those age 18 to 29 (8%), weekly Wal-Mart shoppers (7%), those who attend religious services on a weekly basis (7%) and men (6%). Nader finds the most support with women (5%), weekly Wal-Mart shoppers (6%), those age 18 to 24 (6%), and those living in Western states (6%).
Obama has edge over McCain as candidate to best manage the U.S. economy
With the U.S. economy on the rocks and increasing worries about record-high oil prices, the mortgage and credit crisis, and the slumping value of the dollar, nearly half of likely voters (47%) said the economy is the most important issue that will determine their vote in November. A majority among Democrats (54%), moderates (58%), Catholics (59%), Hispanics (61%), and African Americans (53%) place the economy as their number-one issue – as do 60% of those with $75,000 to $100,000 in household income, the highest of any household income bracket.
As America’s economic woes take center stage during the election season, this latest poll now gives Obama a slight edge over McCain as the best candidate to handle the economy, 44% to 40% – a reversal from last month’s survey where with 45% said McCain would best manage the economy, compared to 40% who said Obama would be the better economic manager.