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McCain trailing by 10 points

In the last few weeks the senator from Arizona has seen his surge reversed by wave after wave of bad economic news, reports V Krishna.

world Updated: Oct 14, 2008 01:32 IST
V Krishna

The bad news just keeps piling up for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

In the last few weeks the senator from Arizona has seen his surge reversed by wave after wave of bad economic news. And the personal attacks and his performance in the first two debates don’t seem to have helped his cause.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll published on Monday says that Democrat Barack Obama has built up a 10-point lead over McCain, 53 per cent to 43, among likely voters nationally. More worryingly for the Republican campaign, McCain is losing ground on a number of issues and personal qualities.

A day earlier, a poll in the key state of Ohio, which has 20 electoral votes, showed Obama in a statistical dead heat with McCain at 46 per cent to 48.

In the previous Ohio Newspaper Poll, conducted September 12-16, McCain had a six-point advantage.

The Post-ABC survey found that while favourable views of Obama have risen to 64 per cent (from 58 per cent in September), McCain is down seven points at 52 per cent.

After the first two debates Obama's standing improved among one-third of voters, whereas McCain’s dropped with more than one-fourth, the Post said.

McCain is seen as mostly attacking his opponent rather than addressing issues voters care about. As expected, the economy is the top issue.

Obama has an edge even on tax policy and providing strong leadership.

With just over three weeks left for the election, some Republican leaders say time may be running out.

But as Harold Wilson said when he was the British Prime Minister, “A week is a long time in politics.” Thirteen per cent of voters are still undecided or may change their mind.

That is seen as cause for concern by Ramesh Kapur, an Indian-American who has been active in the Democratic Party for 20 years. The undecided have in the past gone against Obama, he says. “It looks good for the Obama-Biden team, but we haven’t closed the deal yet.”

Kishan Putta, co-founder of Indians for McCain, says the numbers are not encouraging but the polls are often wrong. Getting people out is the most important thing. It's going to be a ground game.”