Obama leads McCain by 11 points: Newsweek poll
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Democrat Barack Obama on Friday soared 11 points ahead of Republican rival John McCain taking a double digit lead for the first time in a Newsweek poll amid deep concerns about the economy.
Obama now leads McCain nationally by 52 percent to 41 percent among registered voters compared to a Newsweek survey carried out a month ago, before the economic crisis began to bite, and which had the two candidates tied at 46 percent.
The magazine said 86 percent of the 1,212 voters polled between Wednesday and Thursday said they are dissatisfied with how things were going in the United States, with only 10 percent saying they were satisfied.
Some 48 percent said their biggest concern was the economy, and asked about which candidate would better handle a number of issues, Obama topped every category over McCain except on national security and terrorism.
"For context on just how toxic these numbers could be for the Republican party, consider that in October 2006, weeks before the Democrats swept control of both houses of Congress, only 61 percent of voters expressed dissatisfaction," Newsweek wrote.
President George W. Bush also scored record lows with only 25 percent of those polled saying they approved of the job he was doing.
That figure was "close to the historic low-approval rating of 22 percent the Gallup poll recorded for President Truman in 1952," Newsweek said, of the poll which has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
Obama led McCain on the economy and jobs by 54 percent to 35 percent, on the Iraq war by 47 percent to 46 percent and on health care by 56 percent to 30 percent.
But voters still favored McCain on national security and terrorism by 50 percent to 40 percent. And he was narrrowly leading among independent voters by 45 to 43 percent.
A separate poll meanwhile by Fox News, said allegations of Obama's links to 1960s radical William Ayers which emerged this week had not changed their voting intentions.
Some 900 voters were asked: "Does Obama's connection with Ayers make you less likely to vote for him as president or does it not really make a difference to your vote?"
Some 61 percent of those asked said no, while 32 percent said they were less inclined to vote for Obama.
Overall the poll gave Obama a seven point lead nationally over McCain, with 46 percent to 39 percent. It has a margin of error of 3.0 points.