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25 Jun, 2008 00:25

Obamamania spreads across America

Barack Obama’s popularity is on the rise. Polls suggest the charismatic Democratic nominee has every chance of becoming the first black president of the United States.

According to surveys in the U.S., a record number of Americans – 84 per cent – think their country is on the wrong track. So calling for change has become a successful slogan for Obama.

He even managed to draw the attention of the young people and make them interested in politics – quite a spectacular feat.

Obama leads McCain by more than a 2 to 1 margin among people under 30, the polls say. There’s a tie among middle-aged voters, and McCain is more popular among seniors.

But turnout of the younger generation is less stable than that of middle-aged and older people, and this could be crucial to results.

Barack Obama has opted out of public financing and will not receive the $US 84 million allocated for campaigning from the U.S. Treasury. He is the first candidate to do so since the option to get federal funding was introduced 30 years ago. Obama has been extremely successful in raising funds and counts on getting significantly more from his supporters than the state can offer.

The presidential race pits a charismatic Democrat against an experienced Republican with a temper.

Even though the battle between them will continue for the next five months, with Obama's appeal to the American people growing by the day, it looks like it may be hard for McCain to keep up with his rival’s popularity.