McCain has tried to distance himself from Bush and portray himself as an agent of change. But the poll indicates he has had only limited success. Among crucial independent voters, 47% in Ohio and 52% in Florida said they believed McCain would continue Bush's policies.
Both Obama and McCain are proving to have appeal among independent voters -- but in different places. In Florida, Obama leads among independent respondents by 51% to 35%. In Ohio, McCain leads among them, 49% to 38%.
Obama is leading solidly among women in both states, as he has elsewhere. But he also is competitive among men: Florida men polled slightly favored him, 49% to 44%, and Ohio men gave McCain only a 44%-41% edge.
An age gap also is evident: Obama dominates the 18-34 age group by double-digit margins. McCain does better -- but more narrowly -- among the over-65 crowd. That is an especially important constituency in Florida.