If Barack Obama thought he had a battle on his hands when he was vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, he’s in for an even bigger struggle now, if the latest Zogby poll represents an accurate read on American voters’ inclinations at this stage in the game.

SF Gate:

A national poll released Wednesday by Reuters/Zogby showed McCain beating Obama 46 to 41 percent, an advantage that also shows that voters now see McCain as stronger on economic issues. The latest poll erased the strong seven-point advantage held by the Democrat just last month. Other polls had the race statistically tied.

Moreover, some recent polls indicate that some red states that Democrats had hoped they could flip to blue — like Indiana and Virginia — are tacking back slightly to McCain.

The latest polls show that even with gas prices rising precipitously under a Republican administration, the candidates are unusually close on whom Americans trust to deal with the issue.

Some Democrats … say it’s clear Obama needs to sharpen his message and get tougher on beating back attacks from McCain’s campaign, which has suggested that Obama is elitist and even unpatriotic.

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