Obama 7 points ahead of John McCain

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Washington, Oct 11: In the latest FOX News poll, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama leads his Republican rival John McCain by 46 percent to 39 percent as on October 10. Two weeks ago Obama led by 45 pc to 39 pc.

Obama's advantage comes mainly from doing better among women, blacks, young voters, those with a college degree, and unmarried voters. He has increased his edge over McCain among women to 16 pc points, up from a 4-point edge last month (Sept. 8-9). Obama has also improved his standing with his party faithful. A month ago, 79 pc of Democrats were backing Obama. Today it is 86 pc. McCain has consistently received the backing of over 80 pc of Republicans and is backed by 83 pc on Saturday, Oct 11.

Independents split their vote 34 pc Obama and 32 pc McCain, with 24 pc unsure. That's little changed from two weeks ago when Obama was up by 36 pc to 31 pc and 29 pc undecided.

A 61 pc majority of voters believes Obama is going to win the election - more than three times as many as believe McCain will (18 pc). A month ago it was evenly divided: 41 pr Obama and 40 pc McCain (Sept. 8-9). This summer, voters were more likely to say Obama would win: 51 pc Obama and 27 pc McCain (July 22-23).

All of the interviews for the poll were conducted after the town-hall style presidential debate held on Tuesday, October 7. Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News from Oct 8 to Oct 9. The poll has a three-point error margin.

There is no doubt the economy remains the single most important issue to voters this election. It is picked by 49 pc, which is more than all the other issues combined. 50 pc to 35 pc, Obama tops McCain as the candidate voters trust to handle the economy. Obama has the edge on all other issues tested save two - on handling the war on terrorism McCain is preferred by 14 points and on Iraq by 5 points.

The Obama-Biden ticket has a clear advantage on "having better judgment" (+ 7 points), "bringing the right change to Washington" (+ 15 points), "better understands American families and their problems" (+ 24 points). By a slim margin the Democratic ticket is also seen as better understanding "America's importance in the world" (+ 3 points).

The McCain-Palin ticket has a significant edge on "having more experience" (+ 28 points). hat about the gut check question? If you had to make the toughest decision of your life, which candidate would you go to for advice? 42 pc say Obama and 41 pc McCain. That's a significant shift from a month ago when 50 pc said they would go to McCain and 34 pc Obama (Sept. 8-9).

Among independent voters: 37 pc say they would go to McCain for advice and 32 percent Obama and 22 pc say neither.

Fifty eight percent of Democrats and Republicans say they are 'extremely' interested in the presidential election. And roughly equal numbers of Obama supporters (86 percent) and McCain supporters (83 percent) say the outcome of the election matters "a great deal" to them.

Majorities of Obama supporters and McCain supporters say their vote is more a vote for their candidate than against the other candidate. Although many voters say race will not play a factor in their presidential vote decision, 45 pc say it will. Some five percent say the race of the candidates will be the "single most important factor" in deciding their vote, while 19 pc say it will be "one of several important factors" and another 21 pc say "a minor factor."

A 52 pc majority says the race of the candidates will not be a factor "at all."

Forty-seven percent of Obama supporters and 45 pc of McCain supporters say race will be a factor in their vote.

About 4 in 10 blacks (42 pc) and 4 in 10 whites (46 pc) say race will be a factor in deciding their vote. Among white voters who consider race a factor, 45 pc back McCain and 41 percent Obama. Almost all of the blacks who consider race a factor back Obama.

Six of 10 voters say the age of the candidates will play a factor in their vote. Here's how it breaks down: 5 pc say age will be the "single most important factor," 23 pc say "one of several important factors" and 32 pc say "a minor factor."


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