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Reuters-C-SPAN-Zogby Poll: Obama 52.2 percent, McCain 40.3 percent

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Democrat Barack Obama has slowly built a 12-point lead over Republican John McCain, consolidating support among young voters, Hispanics, and independent voters while McCain's support, even among his Republican base, is fading heading down the stretch, the latest Reuters-C-SPAN-Zogby daily tracking poll shows.

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Pollster John Zogby: "Obama now has a huge lead among young voters, independents, and Hispanic voters. It's obviously not over. Frankly, this could tighten up and then loosen up again before Election Day.

"We saw movement on Election Day in New Hampshire, but at least for now, Obama has a very big lead. In the absence of news, McCain is not connecting. He seemed to be connecting during and immediately after the last debate, but got lost in issues that are not on people's minds.

"At some point, there are some issues that just overwhelm, and McCain has been particularly weak on the economy. He misstated the problem, confused his position, acted in a frantic way, and then looked like he wanted to run away from it. Meanwhile, Obama has been cool and confident, which worked for FDR in 1932 and worked for Ronald Reagan in 1980.

"I am very comfortable with our sample, especially given our track record in the last three presidential elections. Look at other polls and ask -- Do they have enough college educated respondents? Enough Hispanics? Enough young voters? We do. And we have more Republicans in our sample than anyone else."

While Obama wins 86 percent support from his own Democratic Party voters, McCain wins just 81 percent support among Republicans.

At its height during the Republican National Convention last month, McCain's support from his own party voters was in the low 90s.

And among conservatives, Obama, cited by the non-partisan National Journal as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, wins 21 percent support. By contrast, McCain wins just 7 percent support from liberals.

Obama is leading by 29 points among independents, 22 points among those who have already voted, and also holds leads among every age demographic group. He holds a 50-point lead among voters under age 25.

Among men, Obama leads, 48 percent to 42 percent, and he holds a substantial lead of 18 points among women, 56 percent to 38 percent.

McCain leads among white voters, but only by two points. Obama leads among all income groups, except among voters in households with an annual income of $100,000 or more.

Since the beginning of the Reuters-C-SPAN-Zogby daily tracking two-and-a-half weeks ago, Obama has gained 4.5 points, while McCain has lost 5 points.

The three-day rolling average poll includes 1,206 likely voters nationwide, surveyed at the rate of 400 interviews per day and was conducted Oct. 20-22.

It carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. Interviews were conducted using live telephone interviewers in Zogby's in-house call center in Upstate New York.

This daily tracking telephone poll will continue each day until the Nov. 4 election. With each new day of responses that are folded into the poll, the oldest third of the survey is removed, so the poll "tracks' changes in voter attitudes following events and developments in the race. Keep up-to-date every day by visiting www.zogby.com.

For a complete methodological statement on this survey, please visit:

http://www.zogby.com/methodology/readmeth.dbm?ID=1360

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