Barack Obama’s barnstorming foreign trip did little to change the shape of his accelerating race for president with Republican John McCain, according to a new poll released on Wednesday.
Obama led McCain 51 per cent to 44 per cent in the CNN/Opinion Research survey, the first national poll conducted entirely after his international campaign foray last week. He edged McCain 50 per cent to 45 per cent a month ago.
The survey also suggested veteran Senator McCain still boasted an advantage when voters were asked which candidate they trusted most to deal with national security issues.
Some 56 per cent of voters said McCain was best placed to handle terrorism, compared to 41 per cent for Obama, who has improved his rating on the issue by just four percentage points since late April.
McCain was also favoured 52 per cent to 45 per cent over the Democrat on the war in Iraq, another key point of contention during Obama’s tour to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and Britain.
Despite the fierce campaign crossfire over Afghanistan in recent weeks, and Obama’s promise to pour more troops into the war, McCain still leads Obama 53 per cent to 43 per cent on who would best handle the situation.
Obama however maintained his edge on the prime issue in the election, the economy, leading McCain 54 per cent to 43 per cent. He led McCain 56 per cent to 39 per cent on who was best placed to handle healthcare.
In other favourable news in the survey only 27 per cent said Obama did not care about military veterans and US troops currently in Iraq, compared to 72 per cent who said he did.
The poll, sampled the views of 1,041 adult Americans, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.