Barack Obama has bounced back in the opinion polls after he responded to controversial remarks by his pastor with a well-received speech on the issue of race.
In the middle of last week, a national Gallup poll gave Hillary Clinton, Mr Obama's rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, a seven-point advantage. However, by the end of the week Mr Obama was leading by two points - close to his level of support before the furore erupted.
A Rasmussen poll found 51 per cent of voters thought Mr Obama's speech, in which he spoke of black anger, white resentment and the need for racial healing, was excellent or good.
However, 56 per cent said they remained concerned about his links to the Rev Jeremiah White, who was seen in videos describing the Sept 11, 2001 attacks as "chickens coming home to roost" and suggesting that black people sing "God Damn America".
The Gallup poll was a serious blow for Mrs Clinton, whose aides had trumpeted her seven-point lead. She suffered a further setback when Florida and Michigan, whose primary results were not recognised by the Democratic party, ruled out re-votes.
With opinion solidifying behind the notion that Mr Obama can be damaged but not defeated by the former First Lady, the battle for the nomination has become increasingly acrimonious.
Tony McPeak, a retired general and Obama adviser, accused Bill Clinton of acting like Joe McCarthy, leader of a notorious anti-Communist witchhunt, for seemingly inoffensive comments he made in North Carolina.
News & Current Affairs
Mar 24, 2008, 20:47:30
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