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Touching Base

Barack Obama's campaign has been more successful than John McCain's at reaching out to voters - both in the "base" and across battleground states.

Overall, about three in 10 voters, 29 percent, in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll report having been asked to support Obama, compared with 21 percent who have heard from the McCain campaign.

It is a crucial advantage for Obama as Election Day nears. The final days of any political campaign are often a frenzied push to get supporters to the polls, and campaign contacts are a key measure of the strength of each campaign's get-out-the-vote effort.

Unsurprisingly, the campaigns' national operations have not reached as broad a swath of voters as in the uber-swing state of Ohio, where a Post-ABC poll conducted earlier in the month found 43 percent had been contacted by Obama, 33 percent by McCain. But the national numbers are large on both sides.

Breaking down the nationwide contacts by mode, 21 percent of likely voters have heard from Obama either through in-person contacts or on the phone, and 16 percent by e-mail or text messaging (the campaign has reached out to 8 percent both ways). McCain's campaign has reached 14 percent by phone or in-person and 10 percent by e-mail or text message. All told, about four in 10 have been contacted by at least one campaign, and roughly one in 10 report having been contacted by both.

Obama's campaign has made no secret of its outreach to African Americans, and 56 percent of black likely voters said they have been contacted. Just 16 percent had been contacted by McCain.

Younger voters have also been a heavy focus, and among those under age 35, 29 percent report hearing from Obama, just 11 percent from McCain. Obama holds a narrower edge on outreach to seniors, 32 to 25 percent.

McCain has outpaced Obama on reaching out to white evangelical Protestants (26 percent, compared with 15 percent reached by Obama), but not among some other core GOP constituencies. The McCain campaign has reached fewer Republicans, 25 percent, than Obama has Democrats, 44 percent, and the two candidates have each contacted about the same proportion of conservatives, 22 percent have heard from Obama, 23 percent from McCain.

The battleground, however, is among independents, 26 percent of whom have heard from the Democrat, 20 percent from the Republican.

And in the literal battleground, those coveted purple states we wrote about yesterday, 36 percent of likely voters report having heard from Obama, 23 percent from McCain.

Full data from this poll can be found here.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  October 24, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Tracking  
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Comments

I think this will be a tuff race for Obama and Mccain. Watch funny videos http://www.frizle.com

Posted by: roverfind | October 24, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Obama and ACORN - partners in voter fraud.

Posted by: pgr88 | October 24, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Obama and ACORN - partners in voter fraud.

Posted by: pgr88
*********************
McCain and pgr88 - partners in misinformation.

Posted by: LABC | October 24, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Not voting for McCain or Obama.
But every time I hear from the desperate pgr88's on the republican side, the closer I get to actually swallowing the bile and voting for Obama.

It seems all they have left are the slogans and the hatred, McCain will owe them for any victory he gets ... I'm tired of my government being run by slogans and hatred.

Is it too late for the republicans to stop this?

Posted by: barfolomew | October 24, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

But does being contacted mean winning votes? I'm not sure if it does. Interesting figures, nonetheless.

Posted by: yobi831 | October 24, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

What's interesting, however, is that when you look at the percent of the base supporting each candidate, Obama has dropped 2 percentage points at the same time McCain has gained two percentage points in your four daily tracking polls. Obama dropped from 91% to 89% while McCain increased from 84% to 86%.

In 2004, Bush consistently had 90-92%, even as high as 94%, of his base in your poll while Kerry averaged 86%.

Obama maintained his 11 point margin between your last two polls even though he lost a point from his base while McCain increased a point with his base because the percentage of reps in the poll dropped 2 points. If you maintained the party affiliation, Obama would have a 9, not 11, point lead.

If you look at who's appealing to their base, the margin is narrowing over the last four days. Obama is still doing better, but if it continues to narrow by 1-2 points, the party faithful will only matter in turnout. Traditionally, dems need help getting to the polls, reps tend to go no matter what.

Posted by: SAM13 | October 24, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

What is your model for predicting likely voters? Did you expand your model as Gallup did between 2004 and 2008?

I notice that Gallup has begun to publish both its traditional model as well as its expanded model. Do you also have two?

Posted by: SAM13 | October 24, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The difference between Obama and McCain in Gallup's traditional and expanded models is two points.

If you've expanded your likely voter model, is your traditional model showing the same disparity from the expanded model as Gallup's?

Since dems are favored by 9 points in the internals of your most recent poll, if you have a traditional poll showing the race closer by two points, the 11 point Obama margin in your most recent daily poll could theoretically be as small as 4 percentage points assuming dems account for 4 percentage points more than reps (one percentage point higher than in 2006).

Posted by: SAM13 | October 24, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"The difference between Obama and McCain in Gallup's traditional and expanded models is two points"

Let me clarify, the difference between Obama and McCain in Gallup's expanded model is 6 points but in the traditional model it is 4 points. Obama's margin dropped by 2.

Posted by: SAM13 | October 24, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

It is so good to know that Obama has gotten his base supporters because of issues; the need for solutions to huge problems.

Not only has he rallied a sufficient majority (many first timers, independents, and republicans too), but he has done so with character... integrity and intelligence.

INTEGRITY and INTELLIGENCE.

Barfolomew writes:

"Not voting for McCain or Obama.
"But every time I hear from the desperate pgr88's on the republican side, the closer I get to actually swallowing the bile and voting for Obama.

It seems all they have left are the slogans and the hatred, McCain will owe them for any victory he gets ... I'm tired of my government being run by slogans and hatred.

Is it too late for the republicans to stop this?"
---------------
I am for Obama, and I would like to thank pgr88 et al for showing the truth about the desperation, the moral and intellectual bankruptcy that is the "loyal" core of McCain/Palin's failed (in so many ways) campaign (and policies).

the call is now out for all racist, bigoted, mis-informed, un-educated to rally for McPalin...
This is almost beyond bizarre; but after 8 yrs of Bush, not all surprising.


Posted by: ukeman | October 24, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

McCain and Palin. American as apple pie and Chevrolet.

Posted by: AmmoChief63 | October 25, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Palin and McCain. As corrupt as Nixon, Agnew,Liddy, Erlichman, Haldeman , Mitchell and Dean. McCain was found guilty of abusing his power in the Keating5 scandal. Palin was found guilty of abusing her power in Troopergate. Do we really want to elect two people to the highest offices in the land who have already been found to be ethically challenged? I think not.

Posted by: winnie47 | October 26, 2008 11:01 PM | Report abuse

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