Polling mania continues! So, Thursday brought word of two newly hatched polls — one by The New York Times/CBS News and the other by Fox News — and their results are strikingly different. One poll (hmmm) found that Team Obama was leading by 11 points, while the other (wonder which one?) showed McCain gaining on Obama in a big way. What whimsy!


The New York Times:

All told, 59 percent of voters surveyed said Ms. Palin was not prepared for the job, up nine percentage points since the beginning of the month. Nearly a third of voters polled said the vice-presidential selection would be a major factor influencing their vote for president, and those voters broadly favor Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee.

And in a possible indication that the choice of Ms. Palin has hurt Mr. McCain’s image, voters said they had much more confidence in Mr. Obama to pick qualified people for his administration than they did in Mr. McCain.

After nearly two years of campaigning, a pair of hotly contested nominating battles, a series of debates and an avalanche of advertisements, the nationwide poll found the contours of the race hardening in the last days before the election on Tuesday. Twelve percent of the voters surveyed said they had already voted. These were among the findings:

Mr. Obama is maintaining his lead, with 51 percent of likely voters supporting him and 40 percent supporting Mr. McCain in a head-to-head matchup.

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Fox News:

As the candidates make their closing arguments before the election, the race has tightened with Barack Obama now leading John McCain by 47 percent to 44 percent among likely voters, according to a FOX News poll released Thursday. Last week Obama led by 49-40 percent among likely voters.

Obama has a bit more strength of support going into the final week. Among his backers, 88 percent say they support him “strongly” and 12 percent “only somewhat.” For McCain, 78 percent of his voters support him “strongly” and 22 percent “only somewhat.”

In addition, 66 percent of Obama’s supporters say it is “extremely important” to them that their candidate wins compared to 59 percent of McCain supporters.

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