Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama has surged to a 15-point lead over Republican John McCain in the latest Newsweek poll, by far the biggest margin of any recent survey.
The magazine's poll gave Obama 51 per cent to 36 per cent for McCain among registered voters nationwide -- three times the margin of four to five points that other polls this week have given the Illinois senator.
Obama is enjoying a post-primary bounce after seeing off the dogged challenge of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton earlier this month, and supporters of the former first lady are flocking to his side, Newsweek said yesterday.
"The latest numbers on voter dissatisfaction suggest that Obama may enjoy more than one bounce. The new poll finds that only 14 per cent of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the country," it reported.
The magazine cautioned that polls this far out from November's election can be unreliable, but noted that Obama was performing much better than either of the Democrats' last two nominees, John Kerry and Al Gore, at this stage.
Its poll, which was conducted by telephone over June 18-19 and had a four-point margin of error, backed other surveys that give Obama a commanding lead over McCain on the economy and jobs.
The Democrat also led by 48 per cent to 34 on energy policy, Newsweek said, "despite McCain's attempts this week to turn voters his way by supporting some new oil drilling and renewing his call for a gas (gasoline) tax holiday."
Obama had a narrower margin of six points on the Iraq war, an area where McCain has led in other polls.
The Democrat's hefty overall lead was built on a major slice of Clinton's support, women, who preferred him to McCain by 21 points -- 54 per cent versus 33.