Saturday, November 1, 2008

McCain moves into lead 48-47 in one day polling

Republican John McCain made a small gain against Democrat Barack Obama and has pulled back within the margin of error, now trailing Obama by five points, 49.1% to 44.1%, the latest Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily tracking telephone poll shows.

Almost two days worth of the polling -- or about half of the current sample in the three-day rolling poll of likely voters nationwide, was conducted after Obama's 30-minute commercial aired Wednesday evening. There is no evidence it helped him, as he has dropped 1.1 points in the last two days, while McCain has gained 0.8 points during the same period.

At a rally today in Virgina John McCain told the crowd, "We need to win Virginia on the fourth of November. With your help we're going to win".

Virginia hasn't voted for a Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, yet polls show Obama leading in the state. McCain contended Obama would seek tax increases as president, and he issued a familiar declaration contrasting himself and his foe: "He's running for redistributor in chief, I'm running for commander in chief."

McCain ally Lindsey Graham, a senator from South Carolina, accused Obama of spending more time writing his memoirs and running for president than serving in the Senate.

"He's got a new book out. 'How I Stood up to the Left,'" Graham said as he introduced McCain. "It's in the fiction section and it's a very quick read."

McCain was headed to a rally in northern Virginia before flying to New York, where he was scheduled to appear on "Saturday Night Live" with host Ben Affleck, an Obama supporter. McCain had eight states on his final three-day itinerary, which ends with a midnight rally Monday in Arizona — where Obama was running television ads.

"We want to win everywhere," Obama said of his decision to air commercials in his opponent's state.

Like McCain, Obama was focusing his efforts in the campaign's final weekend almost completely on states won by President Bush in 2004, a sign of the Democrat's perceived broad support.

An Associated Press-Yahoo News poll of likely voters put Obama ahead, 51 to 43, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. But one in seven voters, 14 percent of the total — said they were undecided or might yet change their minds.

Obama planned final get-out-the-vote rallies in Nevada, Colorado and Missouri for Saturday. He was to campaign in Ohio all day Sunday, including a Cleveland rally with singer Bruce Springsteen, then hit Virginia and Florida on election eve.

"We are four days away from changing the United States of America," Obama told voters Friday night in Indiana, one of about a half-dozen Republican states that remain up for grabs.

McCain's campaign argued that the Arizona senator was closing the gap in the final days and was closer than reflected in public polling. Privately, McCain's aides said he trailed Obama by 4 points nationwide in internal polling.

In Florida, another Bush state teetering between the candidates this year, McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, said the Republican nominee was the only candidate who can keep taxes low, fix the economy and win the war in Iraq. Calling Obama's economic plan "phony," she promised senior citizens that McCain would protect Social Security and "not cut a single Medicare benefit."

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