THE RACE: The presidential race nationally

___

THE NUMBERS

Barack Obama, 44 percent

John McCain, 41 percent

___

OF INTEREST:

Obama and McCain are essentially even in the latest poll by Newsweek. The magazine's last survey in June showed Obama with a 15 percentage point lead, though that was one of the few that have shown Obama with such a large edge. By a 21-point margin, most say Obama has been changing his positions on some key issues. The poll was conducted after Obama reversed himself by not accepting public campaign financing and supporting an intelligence surveillance overhaul with elements he had earlier opposed. McCain has a slight edge among independents and a 12-point lead with whites, while Obama is ahead by nearly 50 points among minorities. Seven in 10 former supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton say they will support Obama, with fewer than one in five saying they will back McCain.

___

The Newsweek poll was conducted from July 9-10 and included telephone interviews with 1,037 registered voters. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

___

COMPLETE RESULTS: http://www.newsweek.com