CBS Poll: Presidential Race Tightens

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

CBS NEWS- In a sign that the race for president has returned to about where it was before the first presidential debate, the Obama-Biden ticket leads the McCain-Palin ticket 47 percent to 43 percent among registered voters in a new CBS News poll.

The Obama-Biden ticket led by a wider margin, nine percentage points, in a CBS News poll released last Wednesday, before Joe Biden and Sarah Palin faced off in the vice presidential debate. Obama-Biden led by five percentage points on Sept. 25.

In the new poll, the Democratic ticket leads by 3 percentage points, 48 percent to 45 percent, among likely voters.

Barack Obama holds a 20 point lead in terms of enthusiasm. Fifty-eight percent of Obama voters say they are very enthusiastic about their candidate, while only 38 percent of John McCain voters say the same about the Arizona senator.

Roughly one in five registered voters have yet to commit to a candidate, though they may lean towards one or the other.

Interest in tomorrow's presidential debate is high. Roughly two in three registered voters say they are "very likely" to watch the debate, about the same percentage who said they were very likely to watch the first presidential debate and the vice presidential debate.

A CBS News poll conducted last week showed that more uncommitted voters thought Obama won the first debate, and nearly half of all voters expect he will win this debate too. Just one in four expect McCain to win.

Both Biden and Palin appear to have benefited from their performance in the vice presidential debate. Both now have 40 percent approval ratings - an increase of six points for Biden and eight points for Palin from their pre-debate approval ratings.

Palin's unfavorable rating of 32 percent is significantly higher, however, than Biden's 19 percent unfavorable rating. And on the key questions of whether each candidate is ready to be vice president, or, if necessary, president, majorities see only Biden as passing the test.


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