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Obama heads into the final debate as the front runner

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Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama has a sizable lead in two major polls over his Republican challenger Senator John McCain. The Obama camp is probably cheering that good news, but it would be unwise for them to throttle back on their efforts. Clearly Senator McCain is the underdog, but I’ve seen too many come from behind victories to count him out.

Nevertheless, the poll numbers are impressive. In the latest Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, Obama has increased his lead over McCain, 50 percent to 41 percent, among voters likely to cast ballots in the November 4 general election. Last month, those numbers gave Obama a slimmer lead with 49 percent to 45 percent.

Obama’s lead has grown to double digits in the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.  In that nationwide survey of more than a thousand adults, 53 percent said they favored Obama, while only 39 percent said they would vote for McCain. That’s a 14 point lead for the Illinois senator with only three weeks to the election. Another interesting finding in this poll is that the majority of those questioned said they were turned off by McCain’s negative attacks on his Democratic opponent. Hopefully, McCain gets the message, avoids character attacks, and spends his time during the third debate presenting his own agenda for dealing with the long list of problems facing the nation.

The final presidential debate is tonight, 6 p.m. Pacific Time, at Hofstra University in Hempstead New York. The moderator will be Bob Schieffer of CBS News.

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