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Economy down, Obama up, Palin’s star dimming?

world Updated: Sep 20, 2008 00:43 IST

AFP
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White House hopeful Barack Obama reversed a Republican surge and bounded into the lead Thursday in national polls swayed by the financial crisis and signs that Sarah Palin’s star may be dimming.

The Democratic candidate, who has been lacerating McCain over his capacity to rescue the US economy, led 49 to 45 per cent in a new poll of likely voters nationwide by Quinnipiac University.

In a CBS/New York Times survey, Obama was up by 48 per cent to 43 per cent, with the race apparently reverting to the narrow Democratic ascendency seen before two presidential nominating conventions.

The trend was confirmed in Gallup’s daily tracking poll, which had Obama ahead 48 to 44 per cent, the first time in two weeks that the Illinois senator had a lead beyond the statistical margin of error.

A Pew Research poll out Thursday had Obama on 46 per cent and McCain on 44 per cent, while Rasmussen’s daily poll had the contest at a 48 per cent tie nationwide ahead of the November 4 election, but again the trend was towards Obama, who had trailed by three points three days ago.

With economic turmoil ricocheting around the world, the Quinnipiac survey suggested that economic arguments may be swaying support towards Obama.

In the poll, 51 per cent 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 per cent say it will benefit the rich.

The Quinnipiac poll showed that Obama led 54-40 per cent among women voters, the key demographic which Palin is targeting for Republicans.

Obama had a 91 per cent lead among African-Americans and was the favourite of young voters and those over 55, while independents were split 46 to 45 per cent.

McCain did best among men, 50-43 per cent, and led 71 per cent to 21 per cent among white evangelical Christians — a figure reflecting Palin’s impact on core Republican voters.

The CBS survey found that independents favoured Obama over McCain by 46 per cent to 41 per cent in the survey conducted between September 12 and 16 with a margin of error of three per cent.