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Posted by on Nov 2, 2008 in Politics | 7 comments

Pew Poll: McCain Narrows Obama Lead To Six Points

The Pew Research Center’s final presidential campaign poll finds Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is narrowing the gap with Democratic Sen. Barack Obama. Will critics of the media’s narrative prove correct? Could this be a nail-biter and even end in a McCain victory, despite the sea of predictions that Obama will ace it in the electoral college?

In a report subtitled “McCain Narrows Gap,” Pew reports:

Barack Obama holds a significant lead over John McCain in the final days of Campaign 2008. The Pew Research Center’s final pre-election poll of 2,587 likely voters, conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 1, finds 49% supporting or leaning to Obama, compared with 42% for McCain; minor party candidates draw 2%, and 7% are undecided.

The survey finds indications that turnout may well be significantly higher than in 2004, when voting participation reached its highest point in nearly four decades. The new poll projects increased rates of voting among young people and African Americans, who strongly favor Obama. But it also finds signs of greater likely turnout across the board.

The big question then becomes: so how are the undecideds expected to go?

In the campaign’s final week, McCain is getting the boost that Republican candidates typically receive when the sample is narrowed from the base of 2,995 registered voters to those most likely to vote. Among all registered voters, Obama leads by 50% to 39%. His lead had been 16 points among registered voters (52% to 36%) in Pew’s previous survey, conducted Oct. 23-26.

Pew’s final survey indicates that the remaining undecided vote breaks slightly in McCain’s favor. When both turnout and the probable decisions of undecided voters are taken into account in Pew’s final estimate, Obama holds a 52% to 46% advantage, with 1% each going to Ralph Nader and Bob Barr.

Democrats: don’t buy your tickets to the inauguration just yet. Republicans: don’t print up your “SARAH IN 2012!!” bumper stickers just yet. Tuesday could be a day of suspense — and it could shape up that Tuesday night could be a long evening. On the other hand: Obama’s lead is not within a poll’s typical margin of error.

Meanwhile, some other polls released today say this:

*TIPP (which did well in 2004) now has Obama ahead by only 2 percent.

*Obama is 7 points ahead in CNN’s final poll.

*Gallup Daily Tracking has Obama with an 8 point lead among “traditional likely voters.”

*Zogby says one day doesn’t a lead make and that even though McCain was ahead in its Friday tracking Obama has a 5.7 percent lead (NOTE: The Drudge Report had SCREAMING HEADLINES about McCain being in the lead but this poll has merited a small link further down on the page.)

UPDATE: You can see Obama’s lead narrowing in the Real Clear Politics average of polls — now down to 6.4 percent. SEE DETAILS OF VARIOUS POLLS HERE. Also see RCP’s Electoral College Map HERE which already has Obama over the top.

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Copyright 2008 The Moderate Voice
  • MaryL

    From Talking Points Memo:

    A new national poll is going beyond saying Obama is ahead: It’s predicting that Obama will win by six points. The final Pew poll predicts that the outcome will be Obama 52%, McCain 46%, with the remainder split among third-party candidates. … In an interview, Pew’s director of survey research Scott Keeter explained to us how they arrived at that 52%-46% predicted outcome. Pew performed a statistical analysis looking at the remaining undecideds on the basis of their demographics and their answers to issue questions, in order to project how they’ll vote — if they’ll vote at all, that is.

    “This is an unusual group of people, anybody who could get to this point in the campaign and not have made a decision,” Keeter said. “So you have to think some of these people are not even going to vote.” Pew predicts a very narrow break of undecideds to McCain, and it won’t be enough to overcome Obama’s lead.

  • JWeidner

    I’ve got to say Joe, you’ve got an interesting blogging style when it comes to a lot of your political posts. You seem to state a particular fact or finding, then follow it up with two or three questions. It always makes me think of the old Batman series, where the episode would end and the narrator would conclude with things like “Will Batman and Robin avoid being dunked in boiling oil? Will catwoman scratch batman’s back? Is the joker’s joke on batman? Find out next week! Saaaaame bat-time, saaaaame bat-channel!”

    I’m not trying to be critical or anything…it’s just that whenever I read your posts, I read them in the batman narrator’s voice in my head…wonder what that says about me….

    Keep up the good work!

  • JSpencer

    All the reporting of Obama being so far ahead reminds me of the projections on election night before all the voting has been completed – projections which have proven wrong before. Polls are fine and dandy, but don’t always tell the story. Think about all the low information voters, the Bradley effect voters, and the remnants of the so-called silent majority. Those will mostly break for McCain. Also factor in the uncertainty when it comes to the youth vote. On one hand they tend to be more difficult to poll, which may work in Obama’s favor, but on the other hand, they traditionally fizzle before getting to the finishing line… which means they talk about voting but don’t show up. I’d love to see a blowout, but my expectation is something closer to a squeeker.

  • Ricorun

    JWeidner: I’ve got to say Joe, you’ve got an interesting blogging style when it comes to a lot of your political posts. You seem to state a particular fact or finding, then follow it up with two or three questions. It always makes me think of the old Batman series, where the episode would end and the narrator would conclude with things like “Will Batman and Robin avoid being dunked in boiling oil?…

    Lol! I can’t say I came up with the same visual (it is provocative and entertaining though, lol!), but I have been wondering along the same lines. Not that there’s anything wrong with the exercise. The most important and the most primary thing is to try to make people think — far more so than to simply agree.

  • My 2 cents:

    Chances are 50/50 for either candidate. ‘Nuff said.

  • StockBoySF

    And yet Intrade’s odds continue to move in Obama’s favor.

    I’ll be sitting on pins and needles until the election is over.

  • elrod

    Actually, the Pew poll is just more realistic than the last one. The prior poll had Obama up 15 points and it just wasn’t credible. This one actually shows Obama with about the same number as last time – but McCain picking up undecideds that he probably already had in his pocket.

    I wouldn’t call this “narrowing.” I’d call it more of a “correction” of an outlier last time.

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