Poll shows presidential race may be tightening - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Poll shows presidential race may be tightening

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With two weeks and one day until Election Day, a new national poll of likely voters suggests the race for the White House may be tightening up.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday, 51 percent of likely voters questioned Friday through Sunday back Barack Obama for president, with 46 percent supporting John McCain. That five-point advantage for Sen. Obama, D-Illinois, is down from an eight-point edge he held over Sen. McCain, R-Arizona, in the last CNN/ORC national poll, conducted October 3-5.

One reason behind the tightening of the race appears to be a drop in the number of people who think McCain, if elected, will mostly carry out President Bush's policies. Forty-nine percent of those questioned in the new survey say McCain would mostly carry out Bush's policies, down from 56 percent in the previous poll.

"It's clear from the final presidential debate that one of McCain's top priorities was to distance himself from Bush," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "It looks like McCain has convinced growing numbers of Americans that his policies would be different than Bush.

"The next task is to convince voters that his policies would be better than Bush's, and, on the economic front at least, that may be a more difficult task."

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday, 51 percent of likely voters questioned Friday through Sunday back Barack Obama for president, with 46 percent supporting John McCain. That five-point advantage for Sen. Obama, D-Illinois, is down from an eight-point edge he held over Sen. McCain, R-Arizona, in the last CNN/ORC national poll, conducted October 3-5.

One reason behind the tightening of the race appears to be a drop in the number of people who think McCain, if elected, will mostly carry out President Bush's policies. Forty-nine percent of those questioned in the new survey say McCain would mostly carry out Bush's policies, down from 56 percent in the previous poll.

"It's clear from the final presidential debate that one of McCain's top priorities was to distance himself from Bush," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "It looks like McCain has convinced growing numbers of Americans that his policies would be different than Bush.

"The next task is to convince voters that his policies would be better than Bush's, and, on the economic front at least, that may be a more difficult task."

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