Two new public opinion polls give Democrat Barack Obama a sizable lead
over Republican John McCain in the U.S. presidential race. VOA
National Correspondent Jim Malone has the latest on the election
campaign from Washington.
One survey by the Los Angeles Times
and Bloomberg News found Obama leading McCain by a margin of 49 to 37
percent. Another poll earlier this week by Newsweek magazine put
Obama's lead at 15 points.
Other recent surveys show McCain trailing by anywhere from three to six points.
experts say Obama's lead is likely due to increasing voter concerns
about the weakening U.S. economy, especially the rising cost of fuel.
gas prices and job losses, the economic recession, but more generally,
the economic insecurity associated with globalization, the stagnant
wages of most ordinary American households," said Thomas Mann, a political scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington. "I think all of
that bodes well for Democrats in the campaign."
Democrat's advantage on the economy, political strategists predict
Senator McCain will focus on his experience in foreign policy and
McCain sharply disagrees with Obama's plan to begin pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq shortly after taking office.
believe that we will withdraw over time," McCain said. "I believe
that it will be set by facts on the ground, not by an artificial
timetable. And I believe we will come home with victory and honor, and
not with defeat."
Public opinion polls have long showed most
Americans do not believe the Iraq war was worth the cost. But the
polls also indicate they are divided over whether to withdraw U.S.
troops before Iraq is stabilized.
Obama says he favors a measured approach to pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq.
have to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in," he said. "I have proposed getting one to two brigades, combat
brigades, out per month. At that rate, we are talking about maybe 16
months to get our combat troops out."
On Friday, Senator Obama
will make his first joint campaign appearance with former Democratic
Party rival Hillary Clinton. They will appear in the small town of
Unity, New Hampshire, where the two candidates each received 107 votes
in January's primary, in which Senator Clinton won the total state vote.
returned to work in the Senate this week for the first time since she
suspended her presidential campaign and endorsed Obama earlier this