The Democratic National Convention significantly boosted Americans' views of Barack Obama as a strong leader who "shares your values" and can manage the economy and Iraq, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Saturday and Sunday finds.
"This is a convention bounce," said Robert Eisinger, a political scientist at Lewis & Clark College and author of The Evolution of Presidential Polling. The results reflected the impact of themes the Democrats hammered at their convention in Denver last week.
Eisinger cautioned, "The Republicans haven't yet had their convention, and John McCain will be exposed to a large segment of the population as well" with their convention this week. The GOP has had to deal with competing events, however, including Hurricane Gustav and Monday's news that vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant.
In the head-to-head race, Obama leads 50%-43% among registered voters. In the USA TODAY Poll taken Aug. 21-23, the Illinois senator held a 4-percentage-point lead.