Washington Matters


Polls Get Even Tighter in Presidential Race


The latest round of polls -- whether on the national or on the more important state level -- confirm that this is going to be another very close presidential election.

The latest national poll -- by Pew Research -- shows that McCain has drawn almost even with Obama, trailing by 46% to 43%. The margin of error in the poll, taken July 31-Aug. 10, is 2 percentage points. Obama led by 8 points in the June Pew poll and by 5 points in July. The difference is that McCain has solidified support among his base and among white working class men. There are still a lot of voters who say they have not settled firmly (emphasis on firmly) on either candidate.

State polls in potential swing states are also split and relatively close. In Wisconsin, Strategic Vision has Obama leading 47% to 42%, with a margin of error of 3 points. In Florida, InsiderAdvantage has McCain ahead 48% to 44%, a small pickup for Obama. 

In Pennsylvania, a Franklin & Marshall College poll of registered voters has Obama leading 44% to 36%, with almost 20% undecided. When narrowed to likely voters, Obama's lead shrinks to 46%-41%, with a 4 point margin of error. Obama leads by a smaller 48%-44% in Colorado, according to a Public Policy Polling survey with a 3.2 percentage point error margin. In Virginia, it's a virtual tie, with a SurveyUSA poll showing McCain ahead 48% to 47%. 

In two states usually safe for Republicans, McCain's lead has shrunk or disappeared. A SurveyUSA poll in North Carolina has him leading 49%-45% (4 point margin of error) and in Alaska, he's behind, with Obama ahead 45%-40%, according to a Hays poll with a 5 point margin of error.

 




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