A week after the election, voters are feeling good about themselves, the presidential campaign and Barack Obama. Looking ahead, they have high expectations for the Obama administration, with two-thirds predicting that he will have a successful first term.
Barack Obama captured the White House on the strength of a substantial electoral shift toward the Democratic Party and by winning a number of key groups in the middle of the electorate. In particular, the overwhelming backing of younger voters was a critical factor in Obama's victory, according to an analysis of National Election Pool exit poll data.
The Pew Research Center's final pre-election poll of 2,587 likely voters finds 49% supporting or leaning to Obama, 42% for McCain; 2% for minor party candidates and 7% undecided. When the undecided vote is allocated, Obama holds a 52% to 46% lead over McCain. The survey was conducted from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1.
As recently as a month ago, this analyst and the American public itself were throwing up our hands and saying we can't figure this one out -- too many intangibles. No more.
With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, voters remain riveted to the presidential campaign. But liberal Democrats are engaging in far more activism than other partisan and ideological groups.
Obama is inspiring more confidence on several key issues, including Iraq and terrorism, than he did before the debates, and his margin over McCain as the candidate best able to improve economic conditions has grown.
The race remains close as enthusiasm for McCain increases among GOP base. Somewhat more swing voters (46%) say their greater concern is that McCain will govern too much like President Bush, rather than that Obama lacks experience (37%).
McCain and Obama will make their first joint appearance of the general election campaign at an event moderated by Pastor Rick Warren at his 22,000-member Saddleback Church. John Green discusses what the candidates stand to gain from speaking with Warren and the challenges that Warren will face as he attempts to broaden evangelicals’ political agenda.
Even with a partisan enthusiasm gap, voter interest is already as high as in November of recent elections, two trends that may significantly alter the composition of the eventual electorate in the Democrats' favor. The proportion of swing voters is also up compared with four years ago. Nearly half of independents (47%) are undecided or may change their minds, up from 28% in June 2004.
Already in this campaign season, more Americans -- 46% -- have gone online to get political news and campaign information than in all of 2004.