John McCain is trailing presidential rival Barack Obama by just two points heading into Election Day, according to a new tracking poll released Sunday by Investors Business Daily.
Overall, McCain trails Obama by 2.1 percentage points — 46.7 percent to 44.6 percent, with 8.7 percent not sure — in the tracking poll released Sunday by IBD and its polling partner, the TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics (TIPP).
The latest numbers continue a tightening trend that shows McCain steadily gaining while Obama’s support around 47 percent of respondents is holding firm.
Independents who'd been leaning to Obama shifted to McCain to leave that key group a tossup, according to the IBD pollsters. McCain also pulled even in the Midwest, and moved back strongly into the lead with men. He is padding his gains among Protestants and Catholics, and is favored for the first time by high school graduates.
The newest poll shows that McCain has made steady gains in the West, up from 37 percent of respondents to 44 percent. He still leads Obama in the South, 50 percent to 45 percent, and he is tied in the Midwest, 45 percent to 45 percent, with 12 percent still not sure.
In terms of age group, McCain still is virtually tied with Obama with respondents in the categories between 25 years of age and 64. Some 9 percent are still undecided. He leads among voters 65 and over by 2 points, 45 percent to 43 percent. Obama has a commanding lead only among the young respondents, those 18 to 24. But that group's reliability on Election Day varies tremendously.
Among party faithful, the poll shows that McCain is holding onto Republicans by an overwhelming margin — he has 89 percent locked up — and is winning now among self-described independents, 45 to 43 percent.
McCain also has a 15-point lead over Obama among voters who earn at least $75,000 a year, and now holds a 54 percent to 40 percent edge among male voters, up from a 4-point lead just several weeks ago.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percent. IBD said its polling partner, TIPP, has been the most accurate pollster during the 2004 election season.
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