Continued from page 1

“Voter interest in the campaign remains extraordinary: Fully 81 percent continue to say that they have given a lot of thought to the presidential election, the highest ever measured at this stage in a campaign,” said a Pew Research survey of 3,016 adults conducted Oct. 16-19.

More respondents called Mr. Obama more “inspiring” and “down-to-earth” than his Republican rival — though Mr. McCain won when it came to voter perceptions about his patriotism and qualifications.

Race is still a factor, and an evolving one. Overall, 21 percent of voters said they know someone who will not vote for Mr. Obama “because he is black,” the survey said.

“Far more Obama supporters than McCain supporters say they personally know someone who will not vote for Obama because he is black (27 percent vs. 10 percent).”

More Democrats (29 percent) than Republicans (10 percent) also say they know someone who will not vote for Mr. Obama because he is black. There is no difference by race in these findings, however, with roughly equal numbers of white (21 percent) and black (22 percent) respondents saying they know a voter affected by racial issues.