Barack Obama has gained more support among whites than any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, Politico reports. Some 44% of non-Hispanic whites back the Illinois senator, Gallup and Pew polls over the last 2 weeks suggest; 47% supported Carter in 1976. In the same period John McCain has pulled between 48% and 50% of the white vote, the lowest for a Republican in a two-candidate election since Barry Goldwater.
Obama struggled to break 40% with white voters before the financial crisis. In September, he saw a surge, and last week jumped 5 points. Some 49% of white women say Obama would be better for the economy, compared to 35% for McCain; among white men, 43% choose McCain on the economy to 41% for Obama. Polling also shows that Obama's recent gains in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida reflect increasing support of white voters.