WASHINGTON (AFP) — Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama has surged to a 15-point lead over Republican John McCain in the latest Newsweek poll out Friday, by far the biggest margin of any recent survey.
The magazine's poll gave Obama 51 percent to 36 percent for McCain among registered voters nationwide -- three times the margin of four to five points that other polls this week have given the Illinois senator.
Obama is enjoying a post-primary bounce after seeing off the dogged challenge of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton earlier this month, and supporters of the former first lady are flocking to his side, Newsweek said.
"The latest numbers on voter dissatisfaction suggest that Obama may enjoy more than one bounce. The new poll finds that only 14 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the country," it reported.
The magazine cautioned that polls this far out from November's election can be unreliable, but noted that Obama was performing much better than either of the Democrats' last two nominees, John Kerry and Al Gore, at this stage.
Its poll, which was conducted by telephone over June 18-19 and had a four-point margin of error, backed other surveys that give Obama a commanding lead over McCain on the economy and jobs.
The Democrat also led by 48 percent to 34 on energy policy, Newsweek said, "despite McCain's attempts this week to turn voters his way by supporting some new oil drilling and renewing his call for a gas (gasoline) tax holiday."
Obama had a narrower margin of six points on the Iraq war, an area where McCain has led in other polls.
The Democrat's hefty overall lead was built on a major slice of Clinton's support, women, who preferred him to McCain by 21 points -- 54 percent versus 33.
In its previous survey last month, Newsweek found that 34 percent of Clinton supporters would rather vote for McCain than Obama in November. But now, that figure was down to 18 percent, with 69 percent backing Obama.
Registered independents, a pivotal voting bloc, were evenly split in last month's poll but now support Obama by 48 percent to 36 percent for McCain.
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