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McCain vs. Obama: A final round of polls

Here's the Wall Street Journal on the new NBC/WSJ poll: "Sen. Barack Obama enters Election Day with a solid, though narrowing, lead over Sen. John McCain as both men sprint to the finish line of their long presidential race."

Here's our writeup of the poll on MSNBC.com: "To put Obama's eight-point edge into perspective, the final NBC/WSJ survey before the 2004 presidential election had President Bush with a slim one-point lead over John Kerry, 48 to 47 percent. Bush went on to win that election, 51 to 48 percent."

More: "'The McCain campaign is going to have to thread the needle to pull out a victory on Election Day,' says Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart. 'The campaign is facing an uphill battle.' Hart puts it this way: 'The results of this survey says it is going to take more than rain, sleet or snow to derail the Obama express. He is holding all the high cards, and that is a hand that is hard to beat.'"

The final USA Today/Gallup poll has Obama ahead among likely voters, 53%-42%. Asked to predict the state of their personal finances four years from now, 48% say they'd be better off under a President Obama; just 27% say that of a President McCain. Asked about the nation's security in four years, an equal 37% say the country would be safer under a President Obama or a President McCain. Asked about federal income taxes, 48% say their taxes would be higher in four years under Obama; 50% under McCain. Asked about health care costs, 42% say they would rise under Obama; 61% say that of McCain. That means Obama has neutralized the advantage McCain once held on national security and taxes while maintaining a significant advantage on handling the economy and health care."

The Washington Post/ABC tracking poll has Obama up, 54%-43%. The poll also "finds that Obama has firmly reestablished his advantage on handling the economy, beaten back a challenge on taxes and has an edge in terms of perceptions about which candidate would better deal with an unexpected major crisis."

The Washington Post: "The waning hours of the longest presidential campaign in history elicited a fresh round of stinging attacks from Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain and their supporters on Sunday, a departure from the positive messages that candidates normally revert to before an election… Republicans in Pennsylvania brought back the controversial comments of Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., despite McCain's admonition that he should not be used as a political weapon, and the campaign unleashed robo-calls that employed the withering dismissal that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton made of Obama's experience when the two were competing against each other in the Democratic primaries."

Meanwhile, "Obama cut an ad that used Vice President Cheney's endorsement of McCain to reinforce his central argument that his rival represents a third term of the unpopular Bush administration."

"Barack Obama and John McCain uncorked massive get-out-the-vote operations in more than a dozen battleground states yesterday -- millions of telephone calls, mailings, and door-knockings in a frenzied, fitting climax to a record-shattering $1 billion campaign,"

The AP looks at some of the myths of the 2008 election cycle. "Facts have taken a beating in Campaign '08. Each in his own way, John McCain and Barack Obama have produced enduring myths, amplified by their running mates and supporters. When a non-licensed plumber who owes back taxes and would get a tax cut under Obama is held out by McCain as a stand-in for average working Americans who should vote Republican, you know truth-telling is taking a back seat to myth-making. McCain has clung tenaciously to many of his distortions throughout the campaign, yielding on a few. Obama has taken a different tack when he is called on his misstatements. Although perhaps too late to really set the record straight, he's edged closer to the facts."

"Obama's fist bump. Palin's lipstick. McCain's plumber. Clinton's tears. We've been through a lot in the two-year slog that will be remembered as Campaign 2008. Much of it was temporarily fascinating. And at the same time utterly forgettable. What will endure? What will fade faster than a campaign promise? The answers depend, in part, on who wins Tuesday night."