Barack Obama has opened his biggest lead over John McCain of the fall campaign, according to a new Ipsos/McClatchy poll that puts him ahead nationwide by 7 percentage points.
Voters are ever more anxious about the faltering economy and trust Obama by a 15-point margin over McCain to steer it.
Obama had the support of 47 percent of registered voters in the poll. McCain had 40 percent.
Democrats say Sanford, Ayers linked through USC
Barack Obama's campaign is citing the University of South Carolina's speaking invitations to William Ayers and Republican Gov. Mark Sanford's role as school trustee to counter GOP efforts to link Obama to the 1960s radical.
The governor dismissed the effort as “totally bogus” and said he never heard of Ayers.
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has said Obama was “palling around with terrorists” and referred to Ayers, an education professor. Ayers helped found the violent Weather Underground group, whose members were blamed for several bombings when Obama was 8. Obama has denounced Ayers' radical views and activities.
In an e-mail to reporters, the Obama campaign said Ayers is a “distinguished scholar” at the University of South Carolina, where Sanford serves as the ex-officio trustee while governor.
“By Governor Palin's standards, that means Governor Sanford shares Ayers' views,” the e-mail read.
Sanford rejected the argument.
“This is a totally bogus story. I've never even heard of the guy” until this weekend, Sanford said Tuesday.
Ayers has spoken six times over the last 13 years at the University of South Carolina's Museum of Education, but he has “no ongoing connection or relationship with the university,” said school spokesman Russ McKinney Jr.
N.C., 5 states asked to probe registration checks
Federal officials have asked election officials in North Carolina and five other states to investigate whether Social Security number checks are being improperly run on newly registered voters.
Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue sent a letter Friday to the secretaries of state of Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio. Astrue said those states had submitted “extraordinarily high levels” of social security number verification requests.
Under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, many states have an agreement with the Social Security Administration that requires them to submit the last four digits of a new voter's Social Security number for verification if the person does not have a valid form of state-issued identification, such as a driver's license.
Obama outspending McCain 3-to-1 on TV ads
Barack Obama is outspending John McCain at nearly a three-to-one clip on television time in the final weeks of the presidential election, according to ad buy information obtained by washingtonpost.com.
From Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, Obama spent more than $20 million on television ads in 17 states including more than $3 million in Pennsylvania and more than $2 million each in Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania. McCain in that same time frame spent just $7.2 million in 14 states.