Washington: Democrat Barack Obama, propelled forward by mounting economic concerns among Americans, now leads his Republican rival John McCain 53% to 43%, a new opinion poll showed on Monday.
Authors of the ABC News/Washington Post survey said historically, no presidential candidate has been able to come back from an October deficit this large in pre-election polls dating back to 1936.
Nearly nine in 10 registered voters said they were worried about the direction of the national economy while about seven in 10 said they were worried about their own family finances.
Fifty-five per cent call the economy the single most important issue in this vote, according to the poll.
In the wake of the banking crisis, just 44% of Americans were still confident they will have enough money to carry them through retirement, down from a high of 69% three years ago, the survey showed.
It also indicated that voters trust Obama to guide them through these troubled times. Registered voters preferred him over McCain to handle the economy by a 53% to 37% margin.
A record 90% of registered voters now say the country is seriously off on the wrong track, the most since this question first was asked in 1973, the survey indicated.
Meanwhile, President George W Bush’s job approval rating has dropped to a record low of just 23%, which is below the lowest of Richard Nixon, forced to resign in 1974 over the Watergate scandal.
Bush’s disapproval rating, meanwhile, has reached 73%, according to the poll.
The poll of 1,101 adults, conducted by telephone 8-11October, 2008, had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percent.