Final numbers: Most accurate '04 poll says Obama over McCain by 7%
As the actual Election Day balloting starts at the end of nearly 22 months of campaigning at an astounding cost of nearly $3 billion, the poll that was the most accurate calling the 2004 presidential race has made its midnight call for 2008:
Barack Obama by 7.2%.
You read it here first. Well, not really.
How this works itself out in the Electoral College is something else.
The IBD/TIPP results show, not surprisingly, Obama is the strongest in the Northeast, where he captures 57% of the vote to McCain's 33% and is....
...weakest in his own region of the Midwest (42% to McCain's 47%), where Hillary Clinton cleaned his clock in the primaries.
It's 46-44 for Obama in the South on the strength of a large black vote and 49-42 in the West. McCain takes suburban areas (46-44) and rural areas (51-37). But the margins can't top Obama's urban lead (55-36).
Third party voters comprise only 3% of the urban vote but 5% both in the suburbs and rural areas, cutting into McCain's potential margins there.
Obama captures the 18-24 year-olds vote (56-38). But his margin steadily slips with voter's age until McCain wins the 65+ group (46-44).
McCain does better among his party members (89%) than Obama among his (87%). But, alas for the GOP ticket, there are fewer Republicans.
Obama gets 71% of the Jewish vote and 71% of those without religion.
Protestants prefer McCain (59-33), as do Catholics (48-40). Obama captures 89% of the self-described liberals while McCain gets 71% of the conservatives.
Single women prefer Obama (65-26) while married women vote for McCain (46-43).
Sixty-thrtee percent of Obama voters do not display the American flag, more than twice the proportion of McCain supporters who don't (30%).
The complete IBD/TIPP results are available here.
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Photo credits: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images (top); Associated Press (bottom).