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Post-ABC Tracking: In the Final Week

The Washington Post-ABC News daily tracking poll shows Barack Obama kicking off the final full week of campaigning with a seven-point lead over John McCain, but beneath the nationwide number are big regional and racial differences.

Obama is outperforming any Democrat back to Jimmy Carter among white voters, getting 45 percent to McCain's 52 percent. But in the South, it is a very different story. Obama fares worse among Southern whites than any Democrat since George McGovern in 1972.

Whites in the East and West tilt narrowly toward Obama (he's up 8 and 7 points, respectively), and the two run about evenly among those in the Midwest. By contrast, Southern whites break more than 2 to 1 for McCain, 65 percent to 32 percent.

That stark divide is not simply a partisan difference. While white Democrats outside the South give Obama margins of 80 points or more, he leads by a more modest 65 points among white Southern Democrats. The Democrat is up 55 points among liberal whites in the region, far under his performance among those voters elsewhere, where he is up by 79 points.

Southern white independents are also far more likely than politically independent whites in other regions to support McCain: They break 62 to 33 percent in his favor. White independents in the West favor Obama by a similarly wide margin, 63 to 34 percent. White political independents in the East and Midwest divide much more evenly.

Among non-whites, it is the West that does not fit the pattern. There, Obama holds a 41-point lead among non-whites, compared with 65 points in the East, 70 in the Midwest and 68 in the South.

And that difference stems largely from a key demographic difference. Non-whites in the West are far more likely to be Hispanic, while in the other three regions, non-whites are more apt to be African American. Both groups heavily favor Obama, but the margin among Hispanic likely voters (70 percent Obama to 26 percent McCain) is narrower than among black voters (96 percent for Obama, 2 percent McCain).

Nationwide, interest in the contest remains high in this final week: six in 10 registered voters said they are following "very closely," rising to 67 percent among those most likely to vote. Just 5 percent of likely voters said they are paying little attention to the contest.

But the new poll shows some small signs voters are beginning to grow weary of the campaign. Enthusiasm for both candidates has dipped a bit, with high enthusiasm among Obama's supporters down to 66 percent from a high of 71 reached late last week, while 36 percent of McCain's backers are "very" enthusiastic about his candidacy, a slight decline from a 40 percent high point early last week.

Full data from the Post-ABC tracking poll can be found here.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  October 27, 2008; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Tracking  
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Comments

The fact that Obama may get ANY white votes in the South is remarkable in itself. And, he will get plenty....but, the only ones that count are in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. People I know in Mississippi, for example, are terrified, I tell you, terrified that if Obama wins the "blacks will take over the whole country".
Stupid, I tell them. How many blacks are IN America, after all?
You think you are going to be put up on the auction block? You think you are going to be murdered in your beds because you, yourself, treated blacks so bad for so long? I ask. Well, yeah, they say.
This is a true story. I have contact with these people because I love them and comprehend that they have NEVER accepted the Confederacy's loss to Abraham Lincoln and the Union of the United States. Really. Truly.
So, I reassure them everyday. I tell them that Americans in other places besides Mississippi are interested in THEM and wish for them to rise up from Republican rule and educate their children and make sure that they are included and get health care and wish to spread the loss of life in the military and take care of all the veterans returning home to Mississippi who have NO ONE and NO MEDICAL care.
And, believe it or not, one or two of them are now saying, "Well, maybe I could vote for that n*gger after all."
Oh Lord, what a long struggle it is to perfect this Union.

Posted by: cms1 | October 27, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Over the last three days, the difference between dems and reps in your poll has dropped from 8 to 7 and now 5 points.

McCain continues to gain among women while Obama has dropped since your first daily poll.

Obama has also lost support among reps which intially was around 12% and is now at 9%. In the past Obama was doing 3-4 points better than McCain with the opposing party.

Both are very close with the percent of votes from their own party with Obama at 91% and McCain with 89%.

Independents preference has jumped all over the place over the last eight days, sometimes Obama has been favored by 8 points and other times by only 1 point.

The same thing happened with Bush and Kerry which makes the independents very unpredictable and unreliable. Bush won, as you know, yet the last Post poll before the election had independents preferring Kerry by 6 points.

Posted by: SAM13 | October 27, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

**The fact that Obama may get ANY white votes in the South is remarkable in itself**

What a ridiculous comment. As someone who was raised in D.C. hearing horrible stories about the South, but currently lives in North Carolina and is married to a Texan, the above comment explains why many Southerners are resentful of Northern elites. I see just as much racism up North as I do down here. I'm pretty sure the person who posted the nonsense above would object vehemently to any race, gender, or religion being painted by such a large brush. Good thing it's okay to paint a whole geographic thusly.

-Brian (one of many white Obama supporters from Southern states)

Posted by: BBlacklow | October 27, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I see just as much racism up North as I do down here.

I would really like to agree with you, but my grandfather is from South Carolina and every time I drive down there I see the confederate flag hanging proudly from every house.

I can't help but think how much happier an.d better off we would be if we just would've let the South go in the 1860's like they wanted. We could be a strong liberal nation in line with Northern Europe, and the South could be run by the religious right We truly are 2 countries still, I hope the fly-overs get it correct this time.

Posted by: cmc3 | October 27, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I also defend the South against charges of uniquely intense racism. But the poll numbers here show that racism is clearly a bigger force in the South than elsewhere. There's no reason why Mondale or Dukakis would fare better among Southern whites than Obama. None other than racism.

Fortunately, many parts of the South are becoming de-Southernized. North Carolina, Virginia and Florida are now only modestly Southern in attitude. And pockets of Tennessee, Georgia and Texas are less Southern too. From those pockets will grow the future Southern Democratic Party.

And I say this is as someone in a decidedly Southern part of Tennessee.

Posted by: ElrodinTN | October 27, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

SO JUST WHEN WE WERE OPENED MINDED enough to believ that the 'ole rebel south was fading into the yellowing pages of past history, the south just has to jump right up and attempt to remind all of us that the "rebel yell" is louder then ever, is that right? too bad. seems as though while the rest of america progresses along the path to maturity and a new "age of reason" the south is more content to present itself as that never-to-weather speed-bump in the path of understanding. this time around, however, they will be left in the dust as the rest of america speeds forward into the futureworld of non-racial relations. see 'ya southies.....juss tryy to stick to NASCAR, o.k.? we'll handle the rest of it for ya all.

Posted by: wa_idaho_lonewolf | October 27, 2008 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Now Mr. McCain wants to institute a spending lid for the government at the onset of a deep economic depression? Flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop, there you go again, Mr. McCain. What happened to your $300,000,000 bailout for underwater mortgages? Oh, I see, that's so last week. Well, Mr. McCain, that's exactly what President Hoover did when the Great Depression started. Didn't work out so well, huh? Don't let this dangerous clown anywhere near the helm of the ship of state! He'll run us even deeper on the rocks than W. has, and that's really saying something!

Posted by: steelsil2 | October 27, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Changes in the polls that are smaller than the sampling error aren't worth analysis, because they probably represent sampling error. For those not familiar with statistical analysis, sampling error is caused by the fact that the sample is a lot smaller than the population it is supposed to represent, and it reflects the likelihood that the sample isn't quite representative. So, I'd say that Obama's lead hasn't actually changed in recent weeks, because most of the polls have a 3% sampling error, meaning that variations between 6 and 12% may well represent sampling error-9% plus and minus 3%.

Posted by: steelsil2 | October 27, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

It's ironic that the part of the country with the most racial bigots is called the "bible belt." It would be more honest to call it hypocrisy belt!

Posted by: dreevesx | October 27, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I suppose heaps of Americans have read the following article?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/us_elections_2008/7693309.stm

I sincerely hope it turns out as per the last sentence in this well written article - or it will be a nightmare of the other 90% of the article. Prayer helps. And quite sincerely, "May God bless America" and not with a brick which unfortunately is sometimes necessary in the greater plan of things.

Posted by: wandererfromoz | October 27, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Gonna redistribute the Country's wealth, Barry?

Fat chance.

Heh-heh. A week and a wake-up until that clown is relegated to non-issue status again. Just like kerry and gore.

Heh-heh. Redistribution. Right.

Communists.

Posted by: viejo1 | October 27, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Not all Southern whites are racist, and there are racists up North. But, come on, I live here in the South (Tennessee), and let me tell you, the whites down here are overwhelming racist. Since I'm white, I hear it all- and people I use to respect have said, "I'll never vote for a niggar for president." The most popular lies about Obama are that he is either a Muslim that will turn America over the Osama Bin Laden, or that he is the anti-Christ. Yes, folks, you would be AMAZED at how many times someone has said to me that they think he is the anti-Christ.

I moved back home from back East to take care of an elderly mother and a meth-addicted sister's five children. There are some good people here, but when I hear Republicans get on tv and whine about how mean Democrats can be I want to throw up. I've lived with these Southerners, and I don't know if it is the heat, the booze, or the meth, but we have a long way to go. The Republican party is in many ways responsible for the beast they created down here- a hate filled region full of backward rednecks.

Posted by: davetheman | October 27, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Someone said above that McCain continues to gain among WOMEN? Uh, I don't think so. Certainly not any of the ladies I pal around with. McCain's made great gaffes with women. He's got his coterie of fluffy pretties who get banished when they trip up (think Carly Fiorina) and then his bizarre comments on the trail last week about "left-wing feminists"? What WAS that? I think those are all the nice ladies who grew up to make six figures and now go to kid's soccer games and book clubs. Oops. John McCain is woefully out of touch with women. The gender gap in his support compared to Obama's is not unstubsantial.

Posted by: JulieMcNamara | October 27, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

"Someone said above that McCain continues to gain among WOMEN? Uh, I don't think so."

I'm referring to the Post's polls. Over the last eight days McCain has gained 3 percentage points among women at the same time Obama has lost 4 points. Obama still leads, dems also get a higher percentage of the female vote, but the gap has narrowed by 7 points.

Hence the statement that McCain continues to gain support among women.

Posted by: SAM13 | October 27, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

The Verdict is in: Obama is a Marxist!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA5HPil8Fj4&feature=related

With the recent discovery of Obama's comments it's become obvious to us all that this man is a Communist.

After listening to this link along with others on the site there is no doubt that Obama is antithetical to the U.S. Constitution and in this regard he is an Enemy Of The State.

He should not be allowed to be President, for he has absolutely no capacity whatsoever to take the oath of The Presidency--whereby he is sworn to uphold and protect the U.S. Constitution. Obama wants to trash it altogether...

Obama's association with William Ayres is much more clearer with the revelation of this tape.

OBAMA IS AN ENEMY OF THE STATE...


Source Link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA5HPil8Fj4&feature=related

Posted by: charko825 | October 27, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

"After listening to this link along with others on the site there is no doubt that BUSH is antithetical to the U.S. Constitution and in this regard he is an Enemy Of The State.

He should not be allowed to be President, for he has absolutely no capacity whatsoever to take the oath of The Presidency--whereby he is sworn to uphold and protect the U.S. Constitution. BUSH wants to trash it altogether..."

You had the comment right, just the name wrong, so I fixed it for you. And since McCain agrees with Bush and wants to essentially maintain his policies, your final line should read:

"MCCAIN IS AN ENEMY OF THE STATE..."

There, all fixed now.

Posted by: joe_s | October 27, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

I think I am right in saying that southern whites are more inclined to vote for a white dog,(breed not a factor) than for a man of color.

Posted by: tydicea | October 27, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Not sure where to start.

Racism has not, and will not go away. We can mitigate it, not accept it, but anybody different than mainstream is not accepted. Should blacks reach 50% of the population, then most likely racism will be greatly eased.

It was the same for the Irish "No Irish Need Apply". The Jews also had a ton of problems. The Italians faced a racist stigma.

Over time, racist views will ease regarding blacks. 20 more years? Reasonable. 20 years ago, the racial climate was much worse than it is today.

To switch topics--now socialism/communism. Thise that accuse Obama and the Democrats of Socialism or Communism need to review political science and history textbooks.

First, we have been partially Socialist since the 1930's. Remember the new deal? Anyone that has voted since the 60's has voted to support Socialistic policies. (Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, farm subsidies, etc.)

The main difference between Socialism and Communism is that Socialism is supported by ballots and Communism is supported by guns.

Anyone that accuses Obama of being a Communist need to advise us where Obama has advocated violence?

Perhaps those that hate Socialistic policies should refuse Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid payments?

Perhaps those that hate socialistic policies should move to a different party that advocates the elimination of Socialistic policies.

Oh wait. There isn't one.

Posted by: TheMiddleRoad | October 27, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who has (justifiable) concern about what Low-Information-Voters are going to do, I suggest you get down to your local Obama hdq tommorrow (open till 10:00 PM) & ask what you can do to help. Most likely, you will be given a list of Low-Information-Voters, and asked to knock on their doors and ask which candidate they prefer.
From there, you just talk to them about why you think Barack Obama is the better choice for thier circumstance. Remember, they have LOW INFORMATION!
Then if they're tending to favor Barack, you expedite their voting in whatever way your state prescribes (the Obama office staff will tell you).

Of course, McCain supporters can do this also, but your local hdq are fewer, and you are unlikely to find many staff on hand.

Posted by: SoldiersMom | October 27, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Gonna redistribute the Country's wealth, Barry?

Fat chance.

Heh-heh. A week and a wake-up until that clown is relegated to non-issue status again. Just like kerry and gore.

Heh-heh. Redistribution. Right.

Communists.

Posted by: viejo1 |
*****************************
ahhh, the smell of desperation, b.o. and bourbon - viejo1 is back to wave his tiny fist in the air and smack talk. Since you have nothing anyone would want to redistribute, what are you worried about?

Posted by: LABC | October 27, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Hence the statement that McCain continues to gain support among women.

Posted by: SAM13
*************************
Hence, you need to look at more than one poll - unless all you want to cling to a scenario. 'Cause the aggregate of polls are not suggesting any gains among women voters for McCain. He appears to have a slight uptick with some white male voters.

Posted by: LABC | October 27, 2008 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I think you all fail to see the big picture. Amazing, this year during the democratic primary you have a white and a black candidate running and black candidate carries 90% of black vote while white vote was split 55-45%. During every Presidential election white Democratic carries 90% of the black vote. Now you tell me where the real racism is.

Posted by: Patriot18 | October 28, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I hate to admit it, but Racism is just as abound in the north , the mid-west, and the west as it is in the south.Maybe not so obvious, or open.But i guarantee ou there are plenty of "White Folk" up here who have that same ideolouge as the southern whites do.
White men, of many age groups see AA's as competition,in the work force, in the bed, in sports, you name it, they fear the competition.I speak to several age groups of white men, i live not to far(about 5 minutes away) from "Joe the Plumber" and one thing is true, White men are Ignorant.And the older age persons are even more fearful of Obama,for exactly the same reasons, "Those blacks will take over everything".
It is sad to know so much racism and ignorance still exist in this day and age.With America still being the biggest "Melting Pot" of cultures in the world, you would think this mentality would be a minimal demograph, yet i fear there are more bigots than there are open minded people in this country.I so hope im wrong, and i so hope the openness of Obama and his campaign prove to be the winner, America cant afford another 4 more years of GOP control.

Posted by: mullett | October 28, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I envite all the racists and bigots to join me at the polls next Tuesday here in Montgomery, AL. I will personally demonstrate how some "white" folks who grew up in the south and was here for George Wallace, freedom riders and the riots in Birmingham have grown past the level of hatred that used to exist and have absolutely no problem voting for Barack Obama. He is the most qualified of the canditates to lead this country for the next 4 years and I welcome his leadership. So y'all come on down and see how it's really done in the 21st century. This election is about America, not the color of a man's skin and I'm sorry you don't understand that. We've got real problems and I believe a President Obama is the man to start leading us in the right direction. It's foolish to think he can get everything done in 4 years that needs to be done, but at least he can use his oratorical gifts and "bully pulpit" to move us in the right direction. God Bless America...RON

Posted by: rtomberlin78 | October 28, 2008 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Sorry rtomberlin78: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need - Karl Marx. If that is your definition of qualified leadership you should move to Russia. Putin is looking for a few good comrades. That is NOT the direction I am interested. This isn't about a man's color it is about his dream. Why don't you google: Yuri Bezmenov and watch his 1985 interview and witness a preview of your most excellent adventure.

Posted by: Patriot18 | October 28, 2008 2:25 AM | Report abuse

It’s absurd to think Obama’s poor performance with whites is due to racism. Far more important are Obama’s obvious commitment to socialism, his twenty years under the Rev. Jeremiah “God-damn-America” Wright’s tutelage, his close association with terrorist Ayers and felon Rezko.

Posted by: gmdim | October 28, 2008 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Just makes one wish Condi Rice had run.

With Hillary and Barack rising on the left, would the R's have nominated her?

Would have been interesting.

And she's from Bama right? Down home and could carry dixie!

Or is something wrong with the logic here?

Posted by: tdn0024 | October 28, 2008 7:04 AM | Report abuse

What's funnier about those that live in what's called the bible belt and who are more racist than any other part of the country are the very people who will wake up in hell one day because of their belief and stupidity is no excuse if they read the Bible, but I pray for them because in hell is where they will lift their eyes because the in the Bible it says that God said how can you say you love me, who you have never seen, but hate your brother who you see everyday.

Posted by: swilli13 | October 28, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

"The Verdict is in: Obama is a Marxist!!!"

Whoooohooooo.... we'll all get access to educationa and health car when he gets elected. That's awesome!!!!!

(ps -- i'm a white guy from the south.)

Posted by: ezra_is_king | October 28, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

**The fact that Obama may get ANY white votes in the South is remarkable in itself**

***What a ridiculous comment. As someone who was raised in D.C. hearing horrible stories about the South, but currently lives in North Carolina and is married to a Texan, the above comment explains why many Southerners are resentful of Northern elites. I see just as much racism up North as I do down here. I'm pretty sure the person who posted the nonsense above would object vehemently to any race, gender, or religion being painted by such a large brush. Good thing it's okay to paint a whole geographic thusly.***

Amen. And this is another poll-based article on race that says less than readers seem to think. Whites in the South tend to be evangelical Christians, who normally do not vote for liberals (and Obama is clearly one of the most liberal senators). The fact fact that Whites in the South are less enthousiastic about Obama does not necessarily mean they object to his race. Far more likely is the fact that they are just more conservative or have other doubts that are well known. The poll numbers on liberal Whites in the south are somewhat more telling, but I maintain that simply saying someone is White and does not support Obama does not provide any clear evidence of race bias. When the research demonstrates this after the election, I will sadly accept it. But there is way too much sloppiness in the discussion of this issue. Race is a limited factor in certain areas (not all in the South), and it is only one factor among many.

Obama will almost certainly win on the merits. And even when he wins by a landslide, carrying states no Democrat has carried in years, we will not doubt be treated to more unnuanced and not too meaningful articles saying some percentage of White voters somewhere had problems with Obama's race.


Posted by: dwatson01 | October 28, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I see just as much racism up North as I do down here. I'm pretty sure the person who posted the nonsense above would object vehemently to any race, gender, or religion being painted by such a large brush. Good thing it's okay to paint a whole geographic thusly.

I live on Cape Cod and can attest to the truth of racism here. Some of these people would put so-called southern rednecks to Shame.

Posted by: Chas1 | October 28, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Polls are annoying and many of us more are learning to give wrong answers. I want candidates who give their platform and expalin way an let it be known period.
Let the race be started in 6 month and over and let them work together afterwards for the greater good with small pay and benefits and non afterwards except a good civil service job. We are all nice peopel and not so easiliy put into groups on every issue.

Posted by: crrobin | October 28, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

If Obama is a Marxist then McCain and his attack dogs are racist neo-Nazi's like his buddy Sean Hannity of Faux News.

Posted by: vjamodeo | October 28, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

A scary thought and only a heartbeat away if McCain steals this one like the last two were stolen:

http://www.palinaspresident.us/

Posted by: vjamodeo | October 28, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

These polls clearly show racism continues to be pervasive among whites in the south. The majority of whites in the southern states usually voted Democratic before the Civil Rights laws were enacted during the Johnson administration. Since the 1968 election, most white southerners have voted Republican out of resentment at northern and western Democrats for enacting the civil rights legislation.

McCain does not seem to know much about history. His supposed hero, Theodore Roosevelt, was widely considered a radical and "socialist" by most conservatives, especially when he was a candidate for president in the 1912 election. Also unlike TR, McCain does not offer many positive ideas on dealing with major domestic, especially economic, problems in this country.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | October 28, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Well said, cms1. You have been doing a terrific job. We've got a long way to go. But we are making very good progress. We just have to keep up the good job.

Posted by: ExpressReader | October 28, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

i wonder how many complaining about redistribution live in a Red State. The blue states on balance pay more in income taxes than they receive in government spending while it is the Red States who get more in government spending than they pay in income taxes or any other kind of taxes (highway trust fund).

Exhibit number 1 - Alaska. When you lot stop asking for government spending then you can start complaining about re-distribution. I hope when the Democrats are fully in charge we can move government spending out of DC and return it to the states in proportion to the taxes collected from the states.

Posted by: rds7481 | October 28, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Surprise! Surprise! White southern men voting for McCain. These same men are still fighting the Civil War for God's sake...

Posted by: satchnthesaint | October 28, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I read with interest all of you fearful writers who get all choked up with re-distribution of wealth.

Are you all brain dead, I ask? Isn't the USA federal income/ and state taxes JUST THAT? it takes our money, and re-applies it to programs as it sees fit, and nearly all of us, great or small, see the benefits. Roads, Social Security, infrastructure, military, et cetera.

You don't see anyone calling these programs socialist, or do you?

It appears that you are, well, forgetting something.

Re-distribution has been going on for quite some time.

so NOW you become, "wow, socialism" on the subject of taxation?

Get lost or find a new mantra. You don't fool me.

I've been through the "trickle-down" effect, and it mostly feels like warm urine being passed down through the layers of business entitlement.

I should be grateful that it's warm?

Posted by: pgibson1 | October 28, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I've heard the expression, "The South will rise again".

Hmm...isn't the Southern philosophy represented in Bush's foreign policy, a policy which relies on the domestic demonization of Arabs and Muslims.

We've experienced the South rising ever since Bush was elected in 2000...or shall I say un-elected in 2000.

Posted by: 2greekdc | October 28, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 29, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

SAM13, what poll are you going by? Can you provide a link?

Posted by: camera_eye_11 | October 29, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

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