With the public focused on the economy, voters believe Barack Obama is the candidate best able to address financial problems by a 47%-to-33% margin over John McCain. Among independent voters, Obama holds a smaller 40%-30% advantage on this question. Neither candidate is seen by a majority as having laid out a clear plan for dealing with the situation. But while voters are split on whether Obama has done so (48% to 47%), only 29% of voters say McCain has done an excellent or good job explaining how we would handle the financial situation compared with 67% who say he has done only a fair or poor job in this respect. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.