McCain has made some good gains from last week to this week with undecided voters, but Obama is still maintaining a solid margin above 50%.
In the campaignâ€™s final week, McCain is getting the boost that Republican candidates typically receive when the sample is narrowed from the base of 2,995 registered voters to those most likely to vote. Among all registered voters, Obama leads by 50% to 39%. His lead had been 16 points among registered voters (52% to 36%) in Pewâ€™s previous survey, conducted Oct. 23-26.
Pewâ€™s final survey indicates that the remaining undecided vote breaks slightly in McCainâ€™s favor. When both turnout and the probable decisions of undecided voters are taken into account in Pewâ€™s final estimate, Obama holds a 52% to 46% advantage, with 1% each going to Ralph Nader and Bob Barr.
The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted among 3,402 adults who were interviewed on landline and cell phones, finds that since mid-October, McCain has made gains among young voters, although they still favor Obama by a wide margin (by 61% to 36% among those ages 18 to 29). The Republican candidate has also made gains among political independents and middle-income voters. Obama still maintains a modest lead among independents, while middle-income voters are now evenly divided.
One other factoid…Obama leads McCain in “strong support” by 12%…
Notably, a much greater share of Obama supporters continue to say they are supporting him strongly, compared with McCain supporters. Among likely voters, 36% favor Obama strongly, while 13% say they support him only moderately.
Only about a quarter of likely voters support McCain strongly (24%), compared with 18% who favor him only moderately.
In most recent elections where there has been an imbalance in intensity of support, the candidate with the greater share of strong support has gone on to victory.
More as it develops…