By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a sharp turnaround, Republican John McCain has opened a 5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race and is seen as a stronger manager of the economy, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.
McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41 percent, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July and taking his first lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll.
The reversal follows a month of attacks by McCain, who has questioned Obama's experience, criticized his opposition to most new offshore oil drilling and mocked his overseas trip.
The poll was taken Thursday through Saturday as Obama wrapped up a weeklong vacation in Hawaii that ceded the political spotlight to McCain, who seized on Russia's invasion of Georgia to emphasize his foreign policy views.
"There is no doubt the campaign to discredit Obama is paying off for McCain right now," pollster John Zogby said. "This is a significant ebb for Obama."
McCain now has a 9-point edge, 49 percent to 40 percent, over Obama on the critical question of who would be the best manager of the economy -- an issue nearly half of voters said was their top concern in the November 4 presidential election.
That margin reversed Obama's 4-point edge last month on the economy over McCain, an Arizona senator and former Vietnam prisoner of war who has admitted a lack of economic expertise and shows far greater interest in foreign and military policy. (More)
The Obamawuss is sounding more and more like Hillary in the last days of the liberal Democratic primary: desperate, paranoid and shrill.