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Columbia Missourian

Poll: Obama, McCain about even in Missouri

By The Associated Press
October 27, 2008 | 1:13 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain are running about even in Missouri's presidential contest. But Democrat Jay Nixon has widened his lead over Republican Kenny Hulshof in the gubernatorial race.

Obama had the support of 48 percent of those polled, compared to 47 percent of McCain.

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The poll of 800 likely Missouri voters was conducted Oct. 20-23 by Maryland-based Research 2000 for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and television station KMOV. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

A majority of poll respondents said they trusted Obama more than McCain on the economy (52 percent to 43 percent). But most people said they trusted McCain more than Obama to handle the battle against terrorism (53 percent to 35 percent).

The poll also asked questions related to Barack Obama's race. Two-thirds of respondents said the country is ready to elect an African-American as president while 17 percent said it is not and 17 percent said they were not sure.

The gubernatorial poll showed Nixon, Missouri's current attorney general, ahead of Hulshof, Missouri's 9th District congressman, 55 percent to 41 percent. Last month, the same pollsters showed Nixon ahead of Hulshof, 51 percent to 42 percent.

In other statewide races, the poll showed:

Of those polled, 79 percent said the country is headed in the wrong direction, compared to 19 percent who said it's headed in the right direction.