Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama has 4-point lead on McCain Oct 13

POLL-Obama has 4-point lead on McCain
Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:03pm EDT Email | Print | Share| Reprints | Single Page | Recommend (1) [-] Text [+] By Andrew Quinn

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Barack Obama has a 4-point lead over his Republican rival John McCain in the U.S. presidential race, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby tracking poll released on Monday.

Obama leads McCain by 48 percent to 44 percent among likely voters, down 2 percentage points from the lead he enjoyed on Sunday. The poll has a margin of error of 2.9 points.

Pollster John Zogby said Monday's results, which saw Obama drop 1 point and McCain gain 1 point from Sunday's figures, was an indication the race remained competitive in the final weeks before the Nov. 4 election.

"One day does not make a trend, but perhaps McCain may have stopped some bleeding -- and there was bleeding," he said.

Obama had seen his lead firm in recent weeks as the financial crisis grabbed the headlines, unnerving many voters and putting the campaign spotlight on economic issues.

Obama's 6-point lead in Sunday's results from the rolling, 4-day tracking poll had been his strongest since the survey began on Oct. 7.

Zogby said that while Obama still had a 17-point lead among independent voters, this was down from 21 points on Sunday and showed that some independents remain to be persuaded.

"If we see that lead going down again tomorrow, maybe we are talking a horserace," he said.

But Obama still claimed a 9-point lead among women, who will also play a crucial role in the election, while McCain's numbers were lagging among some traditionally Republican groups including older and richer voters, Zogby said.

McCain, a former Navy pilot and Vietnam war prisoner, lost an early advantage among the oldest U.S. voters, who now back Obama by 47 percent to 44 percent.

And poll responents identified as members of the "investor class" -- who backed President George W. Bush by double digits in the 2004 elections -- now support McCain by just 49 percent to 44 percent for Obama.

"McCain obviously has to regain his lead with people over 65 and with the investor class," Zogby said. "He is certainly not out of the woods here."

The two candidates will make their pitches directly to the American people again on Wednesday when they meet for their third and final presidential debate.

The rolling tracking poll surveyed 1,207 likely voters in the presidential election. In a tracking poll, the most recent day's results are added while the oldest day's results are dropped in an effort to track changing momentum.

(Editing by Philip Barbara)

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