New polls show dead heat or Obama landslide
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Well, it depends on who you're listening to. Two new national polls show the race is statistically a dead heat. But new state-by-state polls are showing something completely different. And to make things as confusing as possible, the polls are all coming out at around the same time.
Signs of life
We'll first look at the polls that show the McCain campaign has a pulse.
The Associated Press/GfK survey released yesterday gives Obama a one-point lead at 44 - 43 percent. While a George Washington University Battleground poll put out today shows Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 42 percent.
The Associated Press says its poll shows that McCain's stronger showing in the third debate and using Joe the Plumber to carry his less taxes message are working.
"Since McCain has seized on that line of argument, he has picked up support among white married people and non-college educated whites, the poll shows, while widening his advantage among white men," AP reporter Liz Sidoti writes.
"The Republican also has improved his rating for handling the economy and the financial crisis. Nearly half of likely voters think their taxes will rise under an Obama administration compared with a third who say McCain would raise their taxes."
Criteria for surveying voters vary from pollster to pollster. As for the George Washington University Battleground Poll, Bloomberg reports the directors of this poll purposely did not interview people on Friday and Saturday.
"I think there are a lot of the harder core Republicans that are family adults that just will not engage in polling over the weekend,'' Goeas said.
In addition, some pollsters have an "unrealistic'' expectation that the youth vote will dramatically increase this year, he said. Younger voters tend to be Obama voters by large margins.
If these polls are legitimate and not outliers, then in the true spirit of this late October season, the Republican candidate's campaign -- just like a pack of wild zombies -- has come back from the dead.
We could even apply the line of the cult classic "Return of the Living Dead," to Team McCain.
It is easy, however, to jump to conclusions when looking at polls. A national poll is one thing, but presidents are not elected by popular vote. It's all about the Electoral College -- the road to 270.