Obama widens lead over McCain in Minnesota after VP debate

Barack Obama âÄôs support among Minnesotans increased after ThursdayâÄôs Vice Presidential debate, according to the results of a poll released today by the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and Minnesota Public Radio . The two-part poll, which surveyed Minnesotans before and after that debate, gave Obama a 14 percent lead over McCain, double his lead from before the debate. The survey also found that the debate directly influenced which candidate some voters supported. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed said Sen. Joe BidenâÄôs debate performance made it more likely that they would support the Obama ticket. Nineteen percent said they were less likely to vote for McCain after Gov. Sarah PalinâÄôs debate performance. Biden also benefited from shifts in perceptions that heâÄôs honest, experienced enough to be president and that he cares about people, while Palin lost ground in each category. Perhaps due to the rapid growth of ObamaâÄôs support, Obama snagged an increased portion of those who said they may change their mind before the election. The pollâÄôs analysis said this made it possible that ObamaâÄôs support could erode before the Nov. 4 election. The poll also found that Obama enjoyed steady support among women, non-whites and people under 30. McCain maintained a small advantage in the support of men, as well as the majority of evangelicals. The poll was consistent with other recent polls conducted by the Star Tribune and SurveyUSA , which also show Obama widening his lead over McCain in Minnesota.