Polls Get Even Tighter in Presidential Race

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.

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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.