Partly thanks to an increasingly likable image, the Republican presidential candidate has pulled even with the two Democrats still brawling for their party's nomination, according to a new Associated Press-Yahoo! News poll.
The survey suggests that those switching to McCain are largely attuned to his personal qualities and McCain may be benefiting as the two Democrats snipe at each other during their prolonged nomination fight.
By tracking the same group of roughly 2,000 people throughout the campaign, the AP-Yahoo poll can gauge how individual views are evolving. What's clear is that some Republican-leaning voters who backed Bush in 2004 but lost enthusiasm for him are returning to the GOP fold _ along with a smaller but significant number of Democrats who have come to dislike their party's two contenders.
Among people who have moved toward McCain, about two-thirds are discontented Bush voters, with many calling themselves independents but leaning Republican.