A large majority of respondents said they could see the Republican senator handling the situation with Russia more effectively than his Democratic counterpart.
While a July 15 Quinnipiac poll had Obama 9 points ahead of McCain, today's poll has McCain trailing by 5, with 47 percent of likely voters preferring Obama, and 42 percent favoring McCain. At the same time, independent voters who had been split 44-44 in July are now tilting slightly more Democratic, with 45 percent saying they will vote for Obama versus 39 percent for McCain.
In dealing with Russia, 55 percent of likely voters said they could see McCain handling the situation better, compared with 27 percent for Obama. When the question was posed to Republicans, they supported McCain overwhelmingly, 86 percent to 5 percent. For Democrats, the response was more tepid, with 48 percent of Democrats saying Obama would do better. Thirty-one percent of Democrats, including Obama supporters, said that McCain would be better qualified to deal with Russia.
While McCain has improved his standing in this poll since July, 52 percent of those surveyed said the economy was the issue that mattered to them most in this election. And on that issue, it is Obama who leads McCain, 49 percent to 41 percent.