In what could ring alarm bells for Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, his Republican rival John McCain has virtually scrubbed the 15 point lead enjoyed by the African American till last month with the two now locked in statistic dead heat.
The latest poll by Newsweek which the magazine itself said surprised the analysts showed that Obama was just three points ahead of McCain (44 per cent to 41 per cent) which is within the margin of error.
Less than a month ago, Obama was leading by 15 points 51 per cent to 36 against the 72-year-old Vietnam veteran and analysts scrambled to pinpoint the cause for the sharp drop as to whether Obama's glow is fading or there is some sampling error.
The 47-year-old's rapid drop comes at a strategically challenging moment as he faces accusations of changing his position on major issues and is struggling to woo supporters of Hillary Clinton, whom he vanquished in the nomination contest, still not reconciled to her defeat.
Obama's reversal of position on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and his decision to opt out of campaign public finance system led to charges of flip flop.
In this context, a key finding of the poll was that 53 per cent of voters (and 50 per cent of former Hillary Clinton supporters) believe that Obama has changed his position on major issues in order to gain political advantage.
More seriously, Newsweek said, some Obama supporters worry that the spectacle of their candidate eagerly embracing his old rival Clinton and travelling the country courting big donors at lavish fund-raisers, may have done lasting damage to his image as an arbiter of a new kind of politics.