Heading into Tuesday’s election, every major independent poll gives Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama” href=”/themes/?Theme=Barack+Obama” >Sen. Barack Obama the lead over his Republican opponent, John McCain” href=”/themes/?Theme=John+McCain” >Sen. John McCain.
The RealClearPolitics.com average of national polls shows Mr. Obama holding a 6.4 percentage-point lead, with the closest poll being the Investor’s Business Daily survey showing Mr. Obama up two points, less than that poll’s error margin, and the biggest gap being 11 points in the ABC News/The Washington Post survey.
In the state-by-state matchup, the news is also good for Mr. Obama - the polls suggest he will easily flip Iowa, which went Republican in 2004, and has a lead in a series of other traditionally Republican “red” states: Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico.
Mr. Obama fought to make sure his supporters don’t get complacent.
“We can’t afford to slow down, sit back, or let up for one day, one minute, or one second in these last few days,” he told a crowd in Ohio.
The McCain campaign argued that his numbers are “on the uptick” and challenged the polls, arguing they include a higher percentage of Democrats, producing artificially high leads for Mr. Obama.
“I mean, structurally, our country is set up as a two-party system. And in a lot of polls, right now, they’re weighted down against the Republican Party,” McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told ABC’s “This Week” Sunday.
He said there’s been a tightening of the polls in the southwestern swath of states, arguing that New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada “right now are dead even.”
In the national polls released Sunday: CNN/Opinion research gave Mr. Obama a 53 percent to 46 percent lead, Rasmussen Reports had him up 51 percent to 46 percent, Gallup’s traditional survey showed him leading 51 percent to 43 percent, Gallup’s expanded electorate poll gave him a 52 percent to 43 percent lead, Diageo/Hotline’s poll put Mr. Obama with a 50 percent to 45 percent lead, a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll had Mr. Obama winning 50 percent to 44 percent, Pew Research showed the Democrat up 52 percent to 46 percent, ABC News/The Washington Post had it widest with 54 percent for Mr. Obama to 43 percent for Mr. McCain, and Investor’s Business Daily/TIPP had it closest at 47 percent to 45 percent in Mr. Obama’s favor.
In Colorado, for example, where registered Republicans usually outnumber Democrats substantially in early voting, this year Democrats have grabbed the advantage. Mr. Davis dismissed the early voting, arguing Mr. McCain will win a majority of Election Day voters.
Nationally, the polling has been remarkably stable for the past month - a bad omen for Mr. McCain’s campaign, which on Oct. 2 predicted that with an infusion of advertising spending, many of those red states would “snap back” into the Republican column.
Last week, McCain political director Mike DuHaime said the problem was the financial mess, which threw the McCain team off its game plan.
“People have lost 25, 30 percent of their retirement,” he said. “That makes it difficult in this environment.”