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CBS/NYT: Both Dems lead McCain by double digits

I’ll break my usual rule on not blogging about national polling numbers as the following qualifies as a landmark of sorts. In recent days, we have picked up significant movement toward the Democrats in our state-by-state polling numbers. Now, according to a fresh CBS/NYT poll, both Democrats now lead John McCain by double digits. Hillary Clinton’s lead is 12 points, while Barack Obama’s lead is 11.

This represents the largest lead ever for Hillary Clinton in a national poll against John McCain, and the largest lead for Obama since before the Ohio and Texas primaries.

Obama has also improved his margin against Hillary Clinton among likely Democratic primary voters to 12 points.

Caveat: CBS/NYT has a distinctly poor track record.

UPDATE: And here’s something very, very interesting. By a 49-45 plurality, respondents said that suspending the gas tax for the summer is a bad idea. Democrats oppose the idea 50-47, while independents oppose it by an enormous 60-32 margin. However, Republicans favor suspending the gas tax 58-37.

I’ve criticized the Obama campaign for being too risk-averse in recent weeks, but I thought it required a lot of testicular fortitude on their part to try and turn around the gas tax issue and play offense with it. If Obama beats expectations on Tuesday — and I think its safe to assume that Edison-Mitofsky will be including questions about the gas tax in their exit interviews — the people on their messaging and internal polling teams are going to have really earned their paychecks.

Nate Silver founded and was the editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.