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Final WaPo-ABC News Tracking Poll Shows Stable Obama Lead

By Jon Cohen and Jennifer Agiesta
The Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll concluded last night after 19 nights of interviewing, with Barack Obama ahead of John McCain 53 to 44 percent among likely voters. That is identical to the margin in the track's first release nearly two weeks ago.

Over that time, neither candidate's support varied by more than a point in either direction, as the contest bounced within a narrow range of seven to 11 points.

More than 10,000 randomly-selected adults participated in one of these surveys, including more than 2,300 likely voters over the final four nights of the track.

We would like to thank all of our respondents.

Happy voting.

Read more about polling at Behind the Numbers»

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 4, 2008; 7:24 AM ET
Categories:  The Pollster  
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One Last Audacious Hope- Poll Inaccuracy

Pollsters ponder racial bias among U.S. voters - and in their own polls
By Kate Zernike Published: October 12, 2008
International Herald Tribune

Three weeks to Election Day, and polls project a victory, possibly a big one, for Barack Obama.

Yet everywhere, anxious Democrats wring their hands. They have seen this Lucy-and-the-football routine before, and they are just waiting for their ball to be snatched away, the foiled Charlie Browns again. Remember how the exit polls in 2004 predicted President John Kerry?

The anxiety is more acute this year, because Obama is the first African-American major-party presidential nominee. And even pollsters say they cannot be sure how accurately polls capture people's feelings about race, or how forthcoming Americans are in talking about a black candidate.

In recent days, nervous Obama supporters have traded worry about a survey - widely disputed by pollsters yet voraciously consumed by the politically obsessed - that concluded racial bias would cost Obama six percentage points in the final outcome. He is, of course, about six points ahead in current polls. See? He's going to lose.

If he does, it would not be the first time that polls have overstated support for an African-American candidate. Since 1982, people have talked about the Bradley effect, where even last-minute polls predict a wide margin of victory, yet the black candidate goes on to lose, or win in a squeaker. (In the case that lent the phenomenon its name, Tom Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles, lost his race for governor, the assumption being that voters lied to pollsters about their support for an African-American.)

Kohut conducted a study in 1997 looking at differences between people who readily agreed to be polled and those who agreed only after one or more call-backs. Reluctant participants were significantly more likely to have negative attitudes toward blacks - 15 percent said they had a "very favorable" attitude toward them, as opposed to 24 percent of the ready respondents. "The kinds of people suspicious of surveys are also more intolerant," Kohut said.

Posted by: thecannula | November 4, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse


Apology accepted. Did you hear that McCain filed his first lawsuit in Virginia yesterday?

Posted by: JakeD | November 4, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Turnout here in Ohio is going to easily surpass 2004, when turnout was at 67% of all eligible voters. In early voting here in Columbus, people waited 4-5 hours in line to vote.

I arrived at my polling station, in a Rec Center where four precincts about 6, half-hour before polls opened and had finished voting by 7. As I was leaving the polls, the lines outside were growing. I'd guess the line was for those just arriving was about 2 hours. The weather here is gorgeous---temperature already into the 60's, expected to hit the 70's. We don't get many 70-degree days in Ohio in November. By this afternoon people will be having to wait 3-4 hours to vote.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | November 4, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse


They all promised too much so even if Palin-McCain win they face the exact same problem.

Need I remind you both McCain AND Palin said they would balance the budget within the first term. Did anyone REALLY believe them? If they did I have a real nice Bridge to Nowhere I'd like to sell them.

Don't worry, it will all be over soon. And I'll be honest with you, I don't believe anything is a sure bet until the votes have been counted. So you never know, the unthinkable may happen. I'll leave it to the individual to fill in the blank for "unthinkable".

Whatever the outcome, it is going to take everyone working together to get this country back to some sense of sanity. So no matter who you vote for and who wins, stay engaged. Let's find the common ground rather than the divided ground and work together to fix what we can agree on.

Posted by: wes1155 | November 4, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Oh that poor JakeD...after today he will have to go back to watching Reality TV and Hannity's America 24/7!

As for me I will be at the Obama Campaign Victory Rally in Chicago!


Posted by: AJ2008 | November 4, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse


Another Obama buddy: Beyond audacity
Monday, November 3, 2008

Barack Obama's audacity is a grave concern for anyone troubled by the Wall Street meltdown.

Sen. Obama continues to support Penny Pritzker -- the disgraced billionaire hotel heiress who helped sink a major bank that used subprime mortgage machinations -- as she helps fund his crusade.

Ms. Pritzker is the finance chairwoman overseeing Obama's fundraising and a "bundler" who has pledged to personally raise between $200,000 and $500,000 for him. She has contributed nearly $500,000 to Democrat candidates and political action committees since 2000, reports The Washington Times.

Pritzker, among Forbes magazine's 2008 richest Americans with a net worth of $2 billion, had run Superior Bank until she became a board member of the parent company. The Treasury Department closed Superior and its 18 branches in 2001.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found the bank's failure "was directly attributable to the bank's board of directors and executives ignoring sound risk management principles." And that it "paid dividends and other financial benefits without regard to the deteriorating financial and operating condition of Superior."

In July, Obama said he and Pritzker "share certain core values about how to run organizations, and hopefully that will inform how we manage the government."

Barack Obama must be taken at his word.

Posted by: thecannula | November 4, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

JakeD muses:
I would much rather have Obama supporters posting here than standing in line to vote ; )

Sorry JakeD,

This Obama-Biden voter voted at 6:00 AM this morning. I was putting out the trash and got to thinking about Palin-McCain. I figured what the heck, I'll walk down to the polling station while I'm at it. It somehow seemed appropriate. ;-)

I do feel sorry for voters in populated areas. It took me all of 5 minutes to vote and I was number 12. Living in a small town does have other advantages aside from the obvious ones. But hang in there folks, the wait and time spent in line is well worth the temporary inconvenience.

Go Obama-Biden!

Posted by: wes1155 | November 4, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

From Plato to Lincoln to JFK:

"Election Day Quotes To Remember"

Posted by: scootmandubious | November 4, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I almost feel sorry for O'Bomba.

He has promised too much. There is no way he will be able to deliver even a fraction of what all the Messiah's deluded Masses think they were promised! :-(

Any more than Ninny Peloser, or Hair-Brain Reid could stop Iraq, or get anything(Though with over 600 Congressional Inquiries in the First Hundred WORTHLESS Days-God KNOWS They TRIED!), on Bushie for Impeachment.

LOL! :-D

Look where THEY are now!(Approval Rating)

Yep, the soon-to-be False Messiah! He should have left the Loony Left Psycho-Date at Home;

And never taken her to the Dance!

Reap what you Sow! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 4, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

My condolences to Senator Obama and family.
Do on worry Senator, your grandmother will be right beside you on election 2008. And shame on the McCain camp for complaining of your use of a plane to see the the one you loved. It shows the Republicans true colors when it comes to compassion. Man it back fired on them big time. From Canada, may God bless your family and all Americans. Grandmother is just fine world
and in good hands.

Posted by: justada56 | November 4, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee voted for Obama?

Report of some states that are already decided because of early voting.

Posted by: pastor123 | November 4, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

McCaint and his pathetic and laughable campaign...let's not forget his old fashioned regular scandals -- adultery, gambling, the Keating 5, religious pandering, mafia ties, and his junkie wife.


- "The thought of McCain being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me." -- Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known McCain for 35 years.

- "Look, is this guy, Bin Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted? Most of us have never heard of him before." McCain in 1998, after Clinton shot missiles at Osama

- "Craps is addictive. ... This is a very, very supersitious game." -- John McCain

- "You know why Chelsea Clinton's so ugly? Because her dad is Janet Reno." -- McCain

McCaint...Where's that damn "fragrance consultant" I hired....'cus my campaign stinks.."

Let's face it, he was 64 at the time and is 72 now. Whether he is still cheating or not, he seems to be led by his little McCaint witness the videos of McCaint checking out peeeuuu's Palin's butt during the speech where he introduced her.
Its time for the voters to drop the children off at the pool.....flush Palin/McCain

Posted by: AlexP1 | November 4, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

This comment is pending approval and won't be displayed until it is approved.

Gov Palin's trip from Alaska to DC for the inauguration planned on travel planning site

Lots of moose and joe sixpack references


Posted by: elliot123 | November 4, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I would much rather have Obama supporters posting here than standing in line to vote ; )

Posted by: JakeD | November 4, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

As far as the media is concerned the election was over last winter. The media wanted Barack Obama elected President and they went overboard to ensure the desired result.

Mark Penn was correct when he stated "the biggest loser in this election will be the media".

But the American people are losers also because we know so little about Barack Obama and his plans for our nation!

Posted by: mwhoke | November 4, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

The best part about the significant lead heading into Election Day is there will be no way those of us on the left will tolerate another election being stolen. They can't even make the attempt this time, and they know it. Even if Diebold is on the side of the GOP.

It won't get down to an Ohio or Florida

Voter suppression also will not be able to steal this race, the lead is too widespread.

But, as I wrote a couple of weeks back, conservatives are on the record, saying that low voter turnout is their game plan.

It's on video.

Posted by: scootmandubious | November 4, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Make certain that your ballot reads the way you intend before casting. Visit and

May your time at the polls be pleasant and may our country prosper.

Posted by: rooster54 | November 4, 2008 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of the results -- who knows how much more voter fraud there will be -- McCain should NOT concede tonight and keep ALL of his legal options open.

Posted by: JakeD | November 4, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

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