WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama is leading his Republican rival John McCain 53 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, according to a Washington Post-ABC News opinion poll released on Monday.
Sixty-four percent of voters now view Obama favorably, up six percentage points from early September, according to the poll taken after Tuesday night’s presidential debate.
Nearly a third of voters have a better opinion of the Illinois senator because of his debate performance while eight percent have a lower opinion of him, the poll found.
Twelve percent of voters have a higher opinion of Arizona Sen. McCain after the debate, while 26 percent said they had a worse opinion of him.
The final debate on Wednesday at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, will be the last of three face-offs between the two candidates before the Nov. 4 election.
According to the poll, 52 percent of voters now strongly favor McCain, down seven percentage points from early September.
More than half of respondents, 59 percent said the Arizona senator has been mainly attacking his opponent rather than addressing the issues, up from 48 percent who said the same thing in August, the Post reported.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents said Obama has been mainly addressing the issues.
On taxes, an issue McCain has been aggressively highlighting, Obama has gained a significant lead over his opponent.
According to the poll, Obama now leads McCain 52 percent to 41 percent on the question of who is trusted to handle taxes. In late September, the candidates were near even on that question with Obama ahead of McCain by two percentage points, 48 percent to 46 percent.
The poll of 1,101 adults, including 945 registered votes, was taking Wednesday though Saturday. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points for the full sample and three-point-five percentage points for the sample of 766 likely voters.