Poll: Obama Maintains Double-Digit Lead

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With just twelve days left until Election Day, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama holds a 13-point lead over Republican rival John McCain, a new CBS News/New York Times poll shows.

Obama now leads McCain 52 percent to 39 percent among likely voters nationwide, roughly the same lead he held last week. Just five percent are undecided, and more than 9 in 10 of each candidate's supporters say their mind is made up.

Obama's lead among independent voters, who have swung back and forth between the candidates, has fallen 12 points since last week - though the Democratic nominee still holds a 45 percent to 39 percent edge among the group.

Obama has been more successful in evoking a positive response from voters: Sixty-two percent say they feel personally comfortable with the Illinois senator. Far fewer - 47 percent - feel comfortable with McCain. In fact, a slightly higher percentage - 49 percent - report feeling "uneasy" about the Republican nominee. Thirty-four percent feel uneasy about Obama.

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An increasing number of voters see McCain as running a negative campaign. Sixty-four percent say the Republican is spending more time attacking the other candidate than explaining what he would do as president, up 11 points from last month. Just 22 percent say the same of Obama.

The Democratic nominee is much more likely to be seen as having the temperament and personality to be president, and he holds a big advantage on handling the economy.

He is widely expected to win the presidency, with likely voters predicting an Obama victory by more than three to one.

Views Of The Candidates

Seventy-five percent of registered voters say Obama has the temperament and personality to be president, up 6 points from last week. Nineteen percent say he does not. Only 50 percent say McCain has the proper temperament and personality, while nearly as many - 45 percent - say that he does not.

When it comes to confidence in handling a crisis, Obama has a slight edge. Forty-nine percent say they are confident that Obama can deal with a crisis, while 47 percent are uneasy about the prospect. Forty-six percent are confident in McCain to handle a crisis, while 51 percent are uneasy.

In early September, McCain held a large lead on preparedness to be president, with 71 percent saying he is prepared versus 48 percent for Obama. While McCain still holds an advantage on this question, his lead has shrunk. Now 64 percent say McCain is prepared for the job, while 56 percent say the same of Obama.



Sixty-five percent of voters are either very or somewhat confident in Obama to make the right decisions on the economy. A majority - 52 percent - are not confident in McCain on the economy. While 60 percent say Obama's policies will favor the middle class or poor, nearly the same percentage say McCain's policies would favor the rich.

When it comes to handling the war in Iraq, the candidates are now about even. Though voters are more likely to be "very confident" in McCain (32 percent) than Obama (28 percent) to make the right decisions on Iraq, they are also more likely to be at least somewhat confident in Obama (56 percent) than McCain (53 percent).

Obama holds a dramatic lead on confidence in handling health care, with 69 percent expressing confidence in him and 41 percent expressing confidence in McCain.

Obama continues to hold the lead on understanding the needs and problems of Americans, with 68 percent saying he understands their needs and 42 percent saying McCain understands. The Democratic nominee holds a wide edge on inspiring voters, with 53 percent saying Obama inspires them about their future and 27 percent saying the same of McCain.

Both candidates are seen as relatively honest, though Obama holds a slight edge. Fifty-three percent say Obama is more honest than most public officials, while 46 percent say McCain is more honest. Twelve percent say Obama is less honest, and 13 percent say McCain is less honest.

Obama is also seen as more clear about what he would do: 81 percent say he is clear about his plans. Sixty-five percent say McCain is clear about what he would do as president.

Obama holds a wide edge on favorability. More than half of registered voters - 52 percent - have a favorable opinion of Obama, while 31 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him. For McCain, the percentage that views him unfavorably - 46 percent - exceeds the percentage that views him favorably - 39 percent.

The Vice Presidential Candidates, The Candidates' Spouses And The Powell Endorsement

Voters continue to hold a net negative view of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, with 31 percent viewing her favorably and 40 percent viewing her unfavorably. They hold a far more positive view of Democratic counterpart Joe Biden, with 43 percent viewing him favorably and 20 percent unfavorably.
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