Obama holds 12-point lead over McCain, poll finds – Los Angeles Times

Obama holds 12-point lead over McCain, poll finds – Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Buoyed by enthusiasm among Democrats and public concern over the economy, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has captured a sizable lead over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the opening of the general election campaign for president, the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll has found.

In a two-man race between the major party candidates, registered voters chose Obama over McCain by 49% to 37% in the national poll conducted last weekend.

On a four-man ballot including independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr, voters chose Obama over McCain by an even larger margin, 48% to 33%.

Obama’s advantage, bigger in this poll than in most other national surveys, appears to stem in large part from his positions on domestic issues. Both Democrats and independent voters say Obama would do a better job than McCain at handling the nation’s economic problems, the public’s top concern.

In contrast, many voters give McCain credit as the more experienced candidate and the one best equipped to protect the nation against terrorism — but they rank those concerns below their worries about the economy.

Moreover, McCain suffers from a pronounced “enthusiasm gap,” especially among the conservatives who usually give Republican candidates a reliable base of support. Among voters who describe themselves as conservative, only 58% say they will vote for McCain; 15% say they will vote for Obama, 14% say they will vote for someone else, and 13% say they are undecided.

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