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WaPo-ABC Tracking: The Final Countdown

It's hard to believe, but the 2008 presidential campaign will really be history by the end of tomorrow. As the candidates make their final pitches in late-night swing-state rallies, Barack Obama continues to hold a wide national lead over John McCain.

The new Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll shows Obama up over McCain 53 to 44 percent among likely voters. Neither candidate has strayed more than a point off these figures over the course of the tracking poll, which started Oct. 16, the night after the third presidential debate.

The candidates' last-minute maneuverings are aimed at a dwindling group: A third of the probable electorate reports that they've already having cast their ballot, and just 7 percent overall said they could change their minds before voting tomorrow.

Those early voters remain an Obama-leaning group, 58 percent said they voted for the Illinois Democrat, 40 percent for McCain. That's a flip from 2000 and 2004, when George W. Bush scored around 60 percent among early voters.

Both Obama and McCain candidates head into Election Day viewed more positively than negatively, with the Democrat enjoying the more favorable ratio. Nearly two-thirds, 63 percent, of likely voters have a favorable impression of Obama, including nearly half with "strongly" positive views. Fifty-four percent see McCain in a positive light, including 30 percent with deeply positive views.

A few other highlights:

  • Half call the economy their top issue, 10 percent each cite Iraq and health care.
  • Obama continues to hold advantages on handling the economy (54 percent to 40 percent) and taxes (52 percent to 43 percent), but the two rivals are closer on handling an unexpected major crisis (49 percent to 46 percent).
  • Enthusiasm among McCain supporters has ticked up to 90 percent overall, the first time it has reached that level since late-September. But his backers are still far less apt to be very enthusiastic about his candidacy than Obama's are of him (41 vs. 67 percent).
  • Nearly four in 10, 38 percent, said they have been contacted by either the Obama or McCain campaign in the past week. More than half of likely voters who live in one of the six Washington Post toss-up states, 51 percent, have been contacted by one of the two camps in the past week.

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

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  November 3, 2008; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  Tracking  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: WaPo-ABC Tracking: Advantage Obama
Next: WaPo-ABC Track, It's a Wrap




...or else you'll have PRESIDENT PALIN!!!

Posted by: onestring | November 3, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse


All the progress we've made does not matter if we let the politics of fear and smear carry the day tomorrow.

It's time for a new brand of politics!
It's time for a politician that gives us hope!
It's time for the middle class to take back our country!
It's time for change!
It's time to VOTE!

If you've already voted, go to your local Obama campaign office and volunteer to help others vote.


Posted by: jgarrisn | November 3, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

There may well be some reasons for not voting that seem valid, but the problem with all of them is this: If you don't show up, how will anyone ever know why?

Yes, it's a cliche and a half, but there really are people dying around the world for the right to do what we all have the opportunity to do tomorrow.

How much will your vote or my vote count? Ghandi said that the part we play might not be important, but we must still play it. Don't be foolish - VOTE.

If you haven't made up you mind and you're actually waiting for someone to tell you WHO to vote for, OK then: Republican Socialism is the worst kind - Vote for Obama. But chances are you already had that part worked out.

Posted by: stan3 | November 3, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Amen to the prior posters. The polls mean nothing if we dont't get out and vote. This is no game: this is probably our last chance at rescuing the American economy, being able to get sick without being financially ruined, and living under a government that respects and abides by the law. It's all on the line tomorrow, so please vote!

Posted by: lydgate | November 3, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

So why does the graph show 11% movable voters and the text of this article states 7%?

Get out and vote for Obama!!!!

Posted by: halfowler | November 3, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Everyone get out and vote, if you haven't already!

Obama/Biden 08

Posted by: jboykin | November 3, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Americans rarely have this oportunity.

The chance to make "The Man" take a Hike.

The hard pressed US Tax Payer after $150 oil and gas through the roof, economy down the hole, rising prices, the stupid Iraq war, after having their 401Ks and the pensions halved and then halved again.

After no trickle down but plenty of corruption, TRILLION dollar Welfare for the Wealthy and all that is not even half of it; those US taxyers and voters could perhaps be described as being:


So you can perhaps see why they will be relishing the chance to tell John McCain and all his commie GOP cronies to:


Posted by: walker1 | November 3, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

As a physicist I got a good chuckle out of the raw data and how WaPo manipulates it to fit their agenda. Leave it up to the far left media with their liberal arts degrees to butcher statistics 101. Whatever it takes to meet their end desires and appease their target audience... keep drinking the kool-aid...

Posted by: capitalism101 | November 3, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Remember the past 8 years; a vote for McCain-Palin will continue to endanger the national security of the USA.

Posted by: asterisk1 | November 3, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Clearly democrats are better for national security. Obama is clearly better in dealing with Iraq, Al Qaeda and any unforeseen wars like Georgia-Russia. All 5 secretaries of state agreed with Obama (including the ones who were supporting McCain)

-McCain did not have a clue about Georgia-Russia war
-He was wrong on attacking Iraq and stating that Sunni's and Shia will get along fine
- His response to economic meltdown was incoherent and patchy like his campaign

-Palin could not choose a secure password.
- She takes prank calls.
GOP ticket does not bode well.

Posted by: DrCha | November 3, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Word on the street is the republicans will flip the election tomorrow. Here is pretty much how its going to go. Obama will lose Pennsylvania by a few thousand votes. Actually he will win Pennsylvania by over 1 million but the servers that report the tally will flip the actual results. He will similarly lose Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, and Virginia. Is anyone aware that 20% of the voters have already been purged from the rolls in Colorado and New Mexico?

The only way to stop it is overwhelming votes and people who know what they are doing policing the election sites. None of the voting machines should be connected to any sort of network, it is an open license to hack and steal. In the republican run counties of these states this type of theft will be rampant.

Everyone is saying how could mccain possibly win Pennsylvania, he is trailing by double digits? How indeed?? All of mccain's talk about how he is going to take Pennsylvania and all the time that he has spent there in the past week telegraph what they are about to do. At this point I think we should all be praying that everyone's vote will get counted and that Obama has enough fail-safes in place to counteract this debauchery.

Go Obama you are going to need all the help you can get, because the only way that republicans can win is to cheat and steal and they are planning to do plenty of both. I guess I will keep hoping for a better world. Get the word out on what's going down.

Posted by: HopingForABetterWorld | November 3, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

>As a physicist I got a good chuckle out of
>the raw data and how WaPo manipulates it to
>fit their agenda.

Heh heh heh yeah there's this huge conspiracy to manipulate perceptions, isn't there. It takes a quantum mechanic to see through it to the truth. (*guffaw*)

It's The Left, isn't it!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | November 4, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

The economy is in the tank because the price of oil tripled under this administration. The war in Iraq was started to eliminate cheap oil which Hussain was selling for $6.00 per barrel. Once we take our government back, we regulate the petroleum industry and then Bush and Cheney are charged with treason. The charges will be made on Jan. 21st 2009.

Posted by: winston707 | November 4, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

Fellow Americans, we are fortunate to have the right to vote in our country, and if we exercise that right, there will not be a repeat of a "stolen" election as we had in 2000.

I sent in my absentee ballot from Thailand a month ago, and I look forward to an Obama victory.

Posted by: kerryberger | November 4, 2008 2:19 AM | Report abuse

Please do not vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin unless you want more of the same:


This is just page 1. This is just California.

Vote for Obama/Biden. Don't walk, run and vote to stop the war.

Posted by: mamatink | November 4, 2008 4:19 AM | Report abuse

As a physicist I could attempt to persuade you by massaging numbers to support my biased agenda. But instead I'll tell you to GET OUT AND VOTE!!

Let's leave the past where it belongs - in the rear view mirror. Embrace change and together we will make America strong again.

Let's show the world we are not afraid to lead!


Posted by: danmonkey | November 4, 2008 5:49 AM | Report abuse

I was third in line this morning voting for Obama. By the time I left the line was outside the door with a 1 hour wait. I was in line at 5:30. The turn out is tremendous and it will be for an Obama Avalanche.
McCain's ad was just on TV and still looking for a sympathy vote. How pathetic. One good point about after today's election, NO MORE PALIN! May she disappear in Alaska after the voters there throw her out. McCain got his place in history losing to the first Black President, President Obama.

Posted by: beachbum1938 | November 4, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Only the truly lame
will cast a vote for McCain
you know their party is failin
when best they can do is Palin
true she's got a bod that she ain't hidin
but I'd rather have Joe Biden
so if you care about your momma
cast a vote for Obama

Posted by: precaryus1 | November 4, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

I know I'm the minority here by far, but I would like to say that I proudly voted for the first time last week absentee, and I voted for the man with experience in the REAL WORLD and the woman who can do anything. If anyone would like to cross the despicable gender gap and break the glass ceiling in this country by themselves, be my guest. I realize Obama is probably more popular, but I wouldn't vote for someone who has never had a real leadership position before, who barely knows Washington, and has been to the war zone.....once? maybe twice? Sorry, I want to be able to TRUST my president and feel SAFE with someone who knows what they're doing.

Posted by: burkee07 | November 4, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

burkee07 - can you see the REAL WORLD from your kitchen?

Posted by: csockey | November 4, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

The Obama-Nation bloggers are really scary people. I can only hope that the rest of America is not as stupid and is not voting for the Hollywood persona that is Obama. He is a completely manufactured candidiate and has no stance on anything and no real answers. His Marxist background is something that his past mentors and associations have ingrained in him and he wants to brainwash America into the ideology of class hatred and warfare.

he constantly talks about the politics of smear tactics and he is the biggest proponent of this. Teaching minds full of mush to hate the rich and tax the EVIL RICH and BUSH IS THE DEVIL.. sounds like Chavez doesn't it...... Well, we can welcome our own Chavez to the WH.

If this happens, please don't complain one time about higher taxes, terrorists in America bombing us, lower wages, more unemployement, higher energy bills, gas at $4 a gallon, your 401K controlled by the Govt.. and the list goes on and on....

Do not blame it on Bush, do not blame it on the GOP. It will be your blood and the blood of our nation on your hands. You wanted the "MESSIAH" so live with his web of lies and deceite.

Posted by: tbastian | November 4, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Just voted for Obama. It definitely felt good in its own right, but all of the fear and smear from Republicans made it a lot sweeter..

Posted by: distance88 | November 4, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Huckabee voted for Obama?

Report of states that are already decided.

Posted by: pastor123 | November 4, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

This Republican is Voting for Obama and Biden. They speak with more reality of the good conservative values then the Bush Neocons.

How they ever convinced the public they were fiscally conservative is amazing.

They got all the bigot vote. They can have it forever. Me I am going to kick them out of the GOP and let them start the third party they always seemed to want.


Posted by: Fei_Hu | November 4, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

ok obama needs to go suck it and die! i hate him and all of his kin.. its not that i dont like him...wait no i do not like him..mcCain in my man and sarah is my girl! they need to be in office no matter what. if brarack obama is to become president we will a die from a nuclear bomb. i just have that scared-for0yu=ourlife-from-a-bomb feeling. i could never accept barack as my prsident..he is not cut out for it. he will not be there and he will not tqackle the issues at hand. i be republican and i saty that way! GO MCCAIN! GO PALIN!

Posted by: iluvsocr09 | November 4, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

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