Pollster: Don’t believe the Dem hype
Boston Herald / By Joe Dwinell & Jessica Fargen Wednesday, October 8, 2008 - Updated 9h ago
The presidential race is still too close to call and could come down to the very last weekend before voters decide if they like or distrust Barack Obama, a national pollster predicts.
“I don’t think Obama has closed the deal yet,” pollster John Zogby told the Herald yesterday.
Zogby said the race mirrors the 1980 election, when voters didn’t embrace Ronald Reagan over then-President Jimmy Carter until just days before the election.
“The Sunday before the election the dam burst,” Zogby said of the 1980 tilt. “That’s when voters determined they were comfortable with Reagan.”
Now voters are wrestling with two senators with opposite resumes - Obama, at 47, the unknown, and the established 72-year-old McCain.
Zogby said he’s still hearing from moderates and non-partisan voters - what he calls “the big middle” - who are still shopping for a candidate.
“It still can break one way or the other,” Zogby says.
The three-day survey polled 1,220 likely voters - about 400 people a day. Zogby will continuously poll right up until the November election.
The latest poll numbers may reflect the bump that McCain received after his running mate, Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin sparred with Obama’s running mate, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden during the first and only vice presidential debate last week.
The poll shows that the two White House contenders have no problem attracting support from their own parties.
Obama is winning 84 percent of the Democratic Party support and McCain has 85 percent of the GOP support, but Obama has the edge among sought-after Independent voters.
He leads McCain among independents, 48 percent to 39 percent, according to the poll.
Obama also has support from a slightly higher percent of conservative voters than McCain gets from liberal voters, but the advantage is small, according to the poll.
Pollsters surveyed 1,220 likely voters and asked approximately 39 questions. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
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