Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's lead in Massachusetts has plummeted 14 percentage points since June, a new Suffolk University-7 news poll shows.
Mr. Obama leads Republican John McCain 47 percent to 38, down from a 23 point spread in June, and is bleeding support from male voters, independents and older voters.
Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos said questions of experience and race appear to be at play, with older voters showing doubts about whether Mr. Obama, a former state lawmaker with four years under his belt in the U.S. Senate, has enough experience to take over as the nation's chief executive officer and commander in chief of its military.
Among independents, Mr. Obama's lead is down 15 percentage points to 1, and his 25 point lead with voters between the ages of 46 and 55 is down to two points.
Male voters also have swung heavily since June with Mr. Obama's 22 percentage point lead down to six.
"People don't think Obama is arrogant, we learned from our poll, but there were four groups that moved away from him to McCain," said Mr. Paleologos.
Nationally, Mr. Obama's lead also has fallen as Republicans and Mr. McCain have intensified attacks against Mr. Obama.
Gallup's daily tracking poll show Mr. Obama dropping nine percentage points to a statistical tie with Mr. McCain. Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll on Monday for the first time had the candidates tied, with Mr. McCain ahead 1 point when "leaners" are included.
The July 31-Aug. 3 Suffolk poll of 400 registered voters has an error margin of 4.9 percentage points.
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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