McCain, Obama in Dead Heat: Poll

Gains among white women give GOP momentum
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2008 4:24 AM CDT
John McCain picks out four bottles of salsa and waits to pay for them at El Pinto restaurant for himself and Sarah Palin at a recent campaign stop.    (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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(Newser) – The John McCain/Sarah Palin ticket has all but wiped out Barack Obama's lead, according to a Washington Post/ABCNews poll. White women voters now back McCain by a 12% margin, a sharp change from Obama's 8% edge among the same voters before the conventions. They view McCain as being better able to handle the economy.

Among the poll's other findings:

  • Party support has solidified behind both candidates, with 88% of Republicans backing McCain and 85% of Democrats now behind Obama.
  • McCain is leading among independents for the first time, 50% to 43%.
  • Sarah Palin enjoys a 58% popularity rating, ahead of Joe Biden at 51%.
  • A slim majority—51%—said they were following the race "very closely." That's higher than four years ago and more than double the number keenly following the race at this time in 2000.