Obama Widens Lead Over McCain: Newsweek Poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has opened up a double-digit lead over Republican John McCain two weeks after he clinched the nomination, a new poll published on Friday showed.


Presumptive Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) greets actor Robert De Niro (L) at a campaign rally in East Rutherford, New Jersey  in this February 4, 2008 file photo. Ahead of a big fundraising event next week, many Hollywood power players are rallying behind Barack Obama in his bid for U.S. president, pledging money and starpower after lending early support to his one-time rival Hillary Clinton as of June 20, 2008.

REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files

The nationwide poll conducted by Newsweek showed Obama leading McCain by a margin of 51-36 percent, indicating that he might have got a bounce from his recent primary victory over Hillary Clinton.

Newsweek said the survey of 1,010 adults nationwide on June 18 and 19, 2008 has a margin of error of 4 points.

Obama’s edge in the latest poll is larger than in other recent surveys. A Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday found Obama had a only a 5-point lead.
Obama was tied at 46 percent with McCain in a previous Newsweek poll completed in late May, when he was still battling Clinton for the nomination, Newsweek said.

Obama triumphed in early June in a grueling five-month Democratic nomination fight with Clinton. McCain clinched the Republican race in March.

McCain and Obama have clashed sharply on economic and security issues in the campaign’s early stages. Obama has tried to link McCain to the policies of unpopular President George W. Bush and McCain has questioned Obama’s judgment and experience.

The Newsweek survey indicated that only 14 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the country, and that they see Obama as the preferred agent of “change” by a margin of 51 percent to 27 percent, Newsweek said.

Newsweek said Obama is doing better at this point in the race than Democratic predecessors Sen. John Kerry and Vice President Al Gore, who both ended up losing their bid for the White House.

(Reporting by Peter Kaplan, Editing by Anthony Boadle)

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