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'Obama surges ahead over McCain'

With few weeks to go for the US presidential elections, Democrat Barack Obama has surged ahead by spectacular 11 per cent over his Republican rival John Mccain in an opinion poll.

world Updated: Oct 12, 2008 00:50 IST

With few weeks to go for the US presidential elections, Democrat Barack Obama has surged ahead by spectacular 11 per cent over his Republican rival John Mccain in an opinion poll on Saturday.

The Newsweek magazine poll has blamed the global financial meltdown behind this dramatic shift of electorates in the 2008 presidential race. Obama now leads McCain by double digits, 52 per cent to 41 per cent among registered voters. Its a marked shift from the last poll, conducted one month ago, when the two candidates were tied at 46 per cent.

Asked which pair they thought was most likely to bring about change if elected, voters chose Obama-Biden over McCain-Palin by 52 per cent to 37 per cent. A month ago, the Democrats led by only five points, 47 per cent to 42 per cent.

Voters are out for change and, for now, believe that the Democratic presidential candidate has a greater likelihood of delivering it.

Obama appears to have broadened his coalition of support and made inroads among the groups that have not embraced him over during the long presidential campaign. He now leads McCain among both men (54 per cent to 40 per cent) and women (50 per cent to 41 per cent).

He is now favourite among every age group of votersincluding those over 65 years of age. Supporters of Hillary Clinton, as many as a fifth of whom had at one point proclaimed support for McCain over Obama, now back the Democratic nominee 88 per cent to 7 per cent.

The economy, is clearly driving Obama's spectacular surge. Asked which issue was most important in determining their vote, 48 per cent of those surveyed said the economy. The next highest was taxes and government and spending, which 10 per cent of voters identified as their number one issue. Only 8 per cent named the Iraq war as their most important issue.