Barack Obama gains after denouncing pastor: poll
Tuesday, 06 May 2008

REUTERS, Washington - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama appears to be rebounding from sliding poll numbers in the wake the controversy over his former pastor, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll released on Sunday.

Among Democratic primary voters, the Illinois senator now leads opponent Hillary Clinton by 12 points -- 50 percent to 38 percent -- the poll found.

Obama led the New York senator by 8 points in a CBS/New York Times poll released just a few days ago. The latest poll was taken after Obama's comments last week repudiating Rev.

Jeremiah Wright, who repeated statements that the September 11 attacks were retribution for U.S. foreign policy and that the U.S. government had a hand in spreading AIDS to harm blacks.

According to the poll, 60 percent of voters approve of how Obama handled the furor over the Chicago minister, compared with 23 percent who disapprove.

Clinton and Obama face voting contests on Tuesday in North Carolina and Indiana, the next steps in their battle for the Democratic presidential nomination to take on Republican John McCain in the November election.

Despite concern among Democrats about the potential damage to the party by the protracted Clinton-Obama fight, both are in a strong position against McCain, CBS said.

The poll found that in a general election Obama would defeat McCain by 51 percent to 40 percent and Clinton would defeat the Arizona senator by a 53 percent to 41 percent.

The poll also found that Americans were divided over one of the hottest issue in the campaign, a gasoline tax suspension. Forty-nine percent think lifting the tax is a bad idea, while 45 percent approve of the plBarack

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