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Obama Jumps Ahead In Missouri, North Dakota

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Two new polls show the breadth of Barack Obama's recent surge of support in traditionally red states.

SurveyUSA finds Obama approaching a double-digit lead in Missouri, where McCain has held a solid advantage for much of the campaign. According to today's poll, Obama leads 51 percent to 43 percent, with a 4.3 percent margin of error. McCain led 48-46 in the previous SUSA poll from late September.

Meanwhile, in North Dakota, the Public Affairs Institute finds Obama slightly edging out McCain 45 percent to 43 percent.

Among voters who rank the economy as their top concern, 49 percent favor Obama, while 38 percent back McCain. The economy was far and away the most important national issue among voters, according to the poll, even though a majority regarded their own economic situation as "better off" or the "same" compared to a year ago.

Another troubling sign in the poll for McCain, who has styled himself as a maverick who is not a clone of President Bush: McCain has failed to solidify his hold on the GOP base in North Dakota, where he has the support of just 73 percent of voters identifying themselves as strong Republicans.

Kos has some additional North Dakota analysis here.

In other battleground news, the latest Marist polls show Obama leading in Pennsylvania (53-41) and Ohio (49-44) -- both of those leads are about double the size of the Marist polls taken last month.

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