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Newsweek: Obama Has 15 Point National Lead

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Obama – 51%
McCain – 36%

He has literally gained 15 points since the two candidates were tied at 46% last month.

But the numbers seem to make sense overall…

The new poll finds that only 14 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the country.

Overall, voters see Obama as the preferred agent of “change” by a margin of 51 percent to 27 percent. Younger voters, in particular, are more likely to see Obama that way: those 18 to 39 favor the Illinois senator by 66 percent to 27 percent. The two candidates are statistically tied among older voters.

And perhaps what’s even more telling is that Independents are leaning heavily towards being ID’d as Dems than they are Repubs…

Obama’s current lead also reflects the large party-identification advantage the Democrats now enjoy—55 percent of all voters call themselves Democrats or say they lean toward the party while just 36 percent call themselves Republicans or lean that way.

So what’s the reason?

One word: women…

Women voters in the new poll prefer him over McCain by 21 points (54 percent versus 33 percent). Defections to McCain by Hillary Clinton supporters are also down significantly since she dropped out of the race and endorsed the Obama.

More as it develops…