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Obama Leads McCain in New US Opinion Polls


New opinion surveys show U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has regained the lead over Republican challenger John McCain.

A new poll conducted jointly by the New York Times and CBS News shows Obama with a five point lead over McCain (48 percent to 43 percent) among registered voters.

The Illinois senator is leading among independents and young adults, while the 72-year-old McCain leads among white men and voters over the age of 65.

Support for both men are split between middle-aged (45 to 64 years old) and white women voters. But the poll found 71 percent believe McCain is prepared to serve as president, compared to 48 percent for Obama.

Meanwhile, the latest Gallup poll - September 14-16 - shows Obama with a two percent lead over McCain.

Obama and McCain are focusing their campaigns on voters' concerns about the worsening U.S. financial crisis.

McCain issued a statement Wednesday saying poor regulation and reckless management crippled AIG. He called for an investigation into whether executives in the company misled investors.

McCain originally spoke out against an AIG bailout, but on Wednesday, he said such action should be used to protect millions of Americans who hold insurance policies.

In a campaign appearance in Nevada Wednesday, Obama said this week's economic developments represent the final verdict on McCain's policies.

McCain will hold rallies Thursday in Iowa and Wisconsin with his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Obama will hold a rally of his own in New Mexico.

In a separate development, Senator Hillary Clinton, Obama's former rival for the Democratic nomination, canceled an appearance at a rally next week protesting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after learning Palin had also been invited. A spokeswoman for Palin responded by saying the governor believes the threat of a nuclear Iran is more important than party or politics.

Also Wednesday, a top Hillary Clinton fundraiser and member of the Democratic National Committee, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, threw her support behind Republican John McCain.

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