Barack Obama’s lead over his Republican rival Senator John McCain appears to have almost completely evaporated in recent weeks.

According to a Newsweek poll released over the weekend, Obama leads John McCain by a mere three percentage points in a national head-to-head general election match up.

Taking into account the statistical margin of error, that essentially means the two Presidential contenders are locked in a virtual dead heat.

The latest numbers could suggest a substantial dip in favor for Obama, who enjoyed a 15 percentage point lead over McCain as recently as June 20 in a similar Newsweek poll.

Some observers are now saying that Obama may have peaked too soon.

The results of the latest Newsweek poll suggest that voters are upset with what has been perceived as Obama’s flip-flopping in the last weeks, given his change of position on FISA legislation, his decision to opt out of the campaign public-financing system, and his recent attempt to modify his strong pro-abortion positions.

Most strongly affected by Obama’s move to the centre are former Hillary Clinton supporters, who account for 50% of the overall total of 53% of voters who believe that Obama has changed his position on key issues in order to gain political advantage.

Obama also seems to be losing the support of moderate and independent voters who now favour McCain over Obama 41 percent to 34 percent, whereas in June, Obama led McCain among independent voters by a healthy double-digit margin of 48 percent to 36 percent.

The results of the Newsweek poll are supported by the latest Rasmussen daily Presidential tracking poll which shows Obama ahead of McCain by a slight margin of 44 percent to 42 percent after both candidates had been tied at 43 percent each for the two previous days.

When “leaners” are included, it’s Obama 47% and McCain 46%, a gain for McCain after the Rasmussen survey had Obama leading by about five percentage points for most of the last month-and-a-half.

Despite results from Newsweek and Rasmussen Reports, other recent polls paint a less grim portrait for the Senator Obama as they show him faltering but still maintaining a decent lead over McCain. According to at least one such poll from Pew Research, Obama is still eight points ahead of his Republican rival.

© 2008 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved.