Libertarian Bob Barr appears to be splitting conservatives who are dissatisfied with McCain, luring them away from the GOP ticket, allowing Barack Obama to open a whopping ten point lead over McCain according to Zogby polling data released this morning.
Democrat Barack Obama has sprinted out to a 10-point lead over Republican John McCain in a four-way presidential contest including Libertarian Bob Barr and Liberal Ralph Nader, the latest Reuters/Zogby telephone poll of likely voters nationwide shows.
Obama does well among his Democratic base, winning 79% support - an indication that the party faithful may be coming together behind his campaign as a bruising nomination campaign nears the end. He also does well among non-aligned voters, as independents favor him over McCain by a 48% to 32% margin.
The live-operator telephone survey was conducted May 15-18, 2008, and included 1,076 likely voters nationwide. The poll carries a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points.
Obama leads in the East, the West, and in the South, while the two are essentially tied in the central part of the country, including the Midwest and the Great Lakes region, the poll shows. He leads among all voters under age 65 - including by huge percentages among those voters under age 30 - but trails McCain among those older voters by a 45% to 34% margin. Interestingly, Obama holds a 13-point edge among those voters age 50 to 64.
The survey hints that Libertarian Bob Barr could do some serious damage to McCain by stealing support among the very conservative and libertarian voters. Barr wins 10% support among those self-described "very conservative" voters, and wins 22% among philosophical (not necessarily "capital L") libertarians. As McCain continues to angle for moderate support on the campaign trail, Barr could create havoc for him among McCain's political base.
Ten percent said they were undecided or favored another candidate in a prospective contest featuring Obama and McCain.
The open season for Republican dirty tricks, lies and deceit is just now moving into full-swing operation, and there are many more lies to be told by the GOP as they head towards November's election, but this size lead is significant this far away. Obama needs to continue to coalesce the Clinton camp over the next several months to really open this up and put McCain away early.
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