Obama now leads by 10 points among independents, 51-41 percent, and runs a competitive 51-46 percent against McCain among married women. White Catholics, however, favor McCain by 54-41 percent – worth watching, as they've backed the winner in each of the last eight presidential elections.
Obama makes it back, perhaps surprisingly, among non-evangelical white Protestants; normally a Republican group, they now tilt toward the Democrat – for the first time in ABC/Post polls this cycle – by 53-44 percent.
Among all white voters, McCain leads Obama by 7 points, 52-45 percent; that, however, is a bit less than the average Republican advantage among whites in presidential elections. Obama makes it back with 95 percent of blacks, as well as clear majority support among Hispanics.
There's a big gender gap. McCain and Obama are even among men; among women, who are more apt to be Democrats, Obama holds an 18-point lead, tying his biggest of the campaign. And Obama holds his best support to date, 81 percent, among sought-after Clinton Democrats – Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who preferred Hillary Clinton for the nomination.
Again, though, there are the movables, disproportionately likely to include some of the swing groups – 20 percent of white Catholics and 22 percent of independents. Movables may be a hard sell; while they could change their minds, half say it's "pretty unlikely." But movable they are, and until they settle, McCain may be down – but not out.
METHODOLOGY:This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 8-11, 2008, among a random sample of 1,101 adults including oversamples of African Americans and 18- to 29-year-olds (weighted to their correct share of the population), for a total of 150 black respondents and 201 18- to 29-year olds. Results among all adults and the 945 registered voters have a 3-point error margin. Results among the 766 likely voters surveyed have a 3.5-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, PA.