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Tight race as candidates head down the stretch

John McCain and Barack Obama head into the fall campaign neck and neck, despite questions in many voters' minds about whether McCain's running mate is as qualified as Obama's, according to a new Ipsos/McClatchy poll.

The national poll finds Republican McCain with the support of 46 percent of registered voters and Democrat Obama with 45 percent. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 points.

Independent candidate Ralph Nader has 2 percent, and Libertarian candidate Bob Barr 1 percent. Another 6 percent were undecided or didn't support any of those choices.

Ipsos Public Affairs conducted the poll Sept. 5-9, its first since the two major-party conventions kicked off the fall campaign.

The poll finds that registered voters continue to wonder whether Palin is as qualified to step up to the job of president as her Democratic counterpart, Joe Biden.

On issues, McCain leads on foreign policy and national security. Obama leads on jobs and the economy, health care and representing change.

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