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White House hopefuls wary of polls

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White House hopefuls wary of polls


There are now six days left and counting in the race for the White House.

Some polls suggest Barack Obama will win by a landslide, others that John McCain is mounting a comeback.

The art of polling dates back to the 1820s, but as one pollster points out it is still not an exact science.

“We don’t know what the story is going to be on turnout. Traditionally you are able to look at an electorate and they look like the electorate four years before, so you can generally predict how everybody is going to vote. This year we really just don’t know how everybody is going to turnout and that’s why it’s a little questionable,” explains Michael Tanner of the CATO Institute.

Obama is warning his supporters against complacency, having led in most polls for weeks. Campaigning in Pennsylvania, he returned to his attack on the unpopular Iraq war:

“Our troops have done everything that’s been asked of them, they have performed magnificently in Iraq, magnificently in Afghanistan but it is time to stop spending 10 billion dollars a month in Iraq when the Iraqi government sits on a huge surplus.”

McCain told Pennsylvanians he’ll confound the pollsters and win the state, warning that a Democrat whitewash of Washington would be a disaster. He said: “My opponent is working out the details with Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and Senator (Harry) Reid of their plans to raise your taxes, increase spending and concede defeat in Iraq.”

Tonight Obama will air a half-hour campaign ad on the country’s major television networks, detailing his economic plan. Polls will soon tell us whether voters tuned in or turned off.

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