Obama Leads in Polls, but Election Not Over Yet

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    By Veronica Anderson

    Though early voting has already begun, 2008 presidential candidates and political activists alike urge voters not to give up at the last moment, no matter what the balance currently looks like.

    Even in a historically conservative area like Provo, some voters have been quite vocal in their support of the Democratic Party.

    “Obama obviously doesn”t have a long record, though what”s there seems very positive to me,” said Austin Smith, a 22-year-old junior from McLean, Va. “But more importantly, I believe he has a clear vision of where America should be going and it is pretty similar to what mine is.”

    While Barack Obama has been and continues to be a leader in national polls, certain experts say that the presidential race cannot be called quite yet.

    “There have been only two instances in the past 14 elections, from 1952 to 2004, when the presidential candidate ahead in Gallup polling a week or so before the election did not win the national popular vote: in 2000 (George W. Bush) and 1980 (Jimmy Carter),” wrote Lydia Saad, a Gallup reporter and political commenter, in an Oct. 27 article. “And in only one of these, in 1980, did the candidate who was behind (Ronald Reagan) pull ahead in both the popular vote and the Electoral College and thus win the election.”

    Brian Spittler, 24-year-old political science major from Bountiful and president of the club BYU Students for Barack Obama, urges student voters to be careful about becoming complacent from media reports of Obama”s success.

    Spittler said Obama”s campaign has been successful so far based on the efforts of those not willing to give up against great odds.

    “Obama”s infrastructure and grassroots organization have outdone the McCain campaign in voter registration and fundraising by quite a margin across the nation,” Spittler said. “It is built by first time voters who have become energized about the well being of our nation and wanting to see it going down the right path.”

    Currently, national Gallup polls rank Obama as the holder of 51 percent of the nation”s popular vote, compared to a 44 percent for his 2008 opponent Senator John McCain.

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