x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Poll gives Obama double-digit lead

Democrat presses his assault on McCain's economic proposals while also introducing national security differences.

Sen.Barack Obama and his wife Michelle during a rally Tuesday.
Sen.Barack Obama and his wife Michelle during a rally Tuesday.

WASHINGTON // With some polls showing him opening a double-digit lead, Barack Obama pressed his assault on John McCain's economic proposals while also introducing national security differences into the mix in the campaign's final stretch. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed Mr Obama opening up his biggest advantage over Mr McCain with voters expressing growing confidence in the Democrat's ability to serve as commander in chief. Mr Obama led McCain by 52 to 42 per cent in the nationwide poll of registered voters. The Democrat had a six-point lead in the same poll two weeks ago. More importantly, state polls show Mr Obama with a solid lead in the state-by-state electoral college tallies that will ultimately determine the winner of the Nov 4 election. The endorsement over the weekend of Mr Obama by the longtime Republican Colin Powell, the former secretary of state under George W Bush, gives the Democrat an opening to go on the offensive on foreign affairs. The topic is generally considered his weakest against Mr McCain, but Mr Powell's backing undercut Mr McCain's perceived dominance. So, while in the Virginia capital of Richmond today, Mr Obama and running mate Joe Biden planned to meet with a group of national security advisers to the campaign. Mr Obama planned to talk publicly after the discussion about his approach to world affairs, and how it differs from Mr McCain's. The meeting comes a day after Mr McCain questioned Mr Obama's readiness to respond to a major crisis that the Democrats' own running mate, Joe Biden predicted he was bound to face early in his presidency. Mr McCain recalled his own experience as a Navy pilot preparing to launch a bombing run during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which Mr Biden said tested a new president John F Kennedy. Mr Biden said it was the kind of "generated crisis" the 47-year-old Obama would face within six months of taking office. America will not have a president who needs to be tested, Mr McCain said. "I've been tested, my friends." Mr McCain spoke yesterday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a Democratic-leaning state that he hopes to win to offset gains Mr Obama has been making on Republican territory. Polls show Mr Obama's lead widening nationwide. Polls show Mr Obama with a good chance of becoming the first Democratic candidate since 1964 to carry Virginia. Mr Obama's surge in the polls has coincided with Americans' growing anxiety over the economic crisis which has emerged as the predominant issue with less than two weeks to Election Day. Mr Obama's other events today in Virginia, rallies in Richmond and Leesburg, were to focus heavily on the financial meltdown. The economy is also likely to be a key theme at a rally tomorrow in Indiana, yet another state that voted for George W Bush in 2004.