At the top of Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared: "A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows Barack Obama maintains a double digit lead over John McCain, he's now ahead by 11 points, 52% to 41%." However, the current Real Clear Politics average of polls, which includes the CBS/New York Times poll, only gives Obama a 6-point advantage. That is because all other polls range from Obama being up three to being up eight, the CBS/NYT poll is clearly the outlier.
In a report that followed, correspondent Jeff Glor looked at poll numbers on the economy: "A new CBS News/New York Times poll asked if the candidates would raise taxes on people like you. 50% said Obama would, 46% said McCain would. But when asked which candidate will make the economy better, 54% said Obama, 32%, McCain." In contrast to that 22-point gap, a recent Rasmussen poll shows that 48% of voters trust McCain more on the economy, while 47% trust Obama more. In addition, Rasmussen gives Obama only a 4-point lead nationally. Given such great disparity in the results and the fact that most other polls show the race tightening, one wonders about the credibility of the CBS/New York Times poll.
Here is the full transcript of the segment:
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: The last 100 hours and a brand new poll from CBS News.
BARACK OBAMA: We will win Florida and we will win this general election.
JOHN MCCAIN: We're going to win Ohio. I can -- I can feel it!
RODRIGUEZ: Is McCain closing in?
MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: But we begin on the campaign trail here at home, as we hit the final 100 hours before election day on Tuesday. A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows Barack Obama maintains a double digit lead over John McCain, he's now ahead by 11 points, 52% to 41%. Early Show national correspondent Jeff Glor joins us this morning from one battleground state, Ohio. Good morning, Jeff.
JEFF GLOR: Maggie, good morning to you. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be campaigning inside this arena with and for John McCain today, while Al Gore goes to work for Barack Obama in Florida. On the same day we learned the powerful American economy is now shrinking, the candidates were taking their already aggressive schedules and expanding.
JOHN MCCAIN: And I can feel momentum in this room tonight and we're going to win! We're going to win Ohio!
GLOR: A combined 13 rallies in four battleground states Thursday. A pace that will only intensify today through Monday.
BARACK OBAMA: If we don't let up, then I promise you, we will win Florida and we will win this general election.
GLOR: Consumer spending, that's down for the first time in 17 years, proves that every dollar means that much more these days. And both men continued sparring over tax cuts.
MCCAIN: This is the fundamental difference between Senator Obama and me. We both disagree with President Bush on economic policy. The difference is he thinks taxes have been too low and I think that spending has been too high.
OBAMA: No matter what John McCain may claim, here are the facts. If you make under $250,000, you will not see your taxes increase one single dime.
GLOR: A new CBS News/New York Times poll asked if the candidates would raise taxes on people like you. 50% said Obama would, 46% said McCain would. But when asked which candidate will make the economy better, 54% said Obama, 32%, McCain. McCain has used Joe the Plumber to plug his economic message, though on Thursday, the lines of communication got clogged.
MCCAIN: Where is Joe? Is Joe here with us today? Joe I thought you were here today. Alright, well, you're all Joe the Plumber, so all of you stand up and say-
GLOR: Joe did make the next rally. After two years of grueling campaign events, it seems everyone is making mistakes.
OBAMA: I was -- I was Bill Clinton -- I was with Bill Clinton last night.
GLOR: In case there's any doubt about how important this region of the country is, the vice presidential candidates will be busy, too. Joe Biden launching a two-day bus tour of Ohio today, while Sarah Palin will be in Pennsylvania. Maggie.
RODRIGUEZ: CBS's Jeff Glor in Ohio, thanks a lot, Jeff. In these final 100 hours, the candidates are concentrating on those key battleground states, as Jeff mentioned. Joining us now, political reporters from our CBS affiliates in three important swing states, Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida. Let's begin in Indianapolis. Jim Shella of WISH-TV is there. Jim, good morning to you, why don't you tell us what your recent polls show in Indiana?
JIM SHELLA: Yeah, good morning, Maggie. First of all, understand this is a state that last voted for the Democrat for president in 1964. The WISH-TV Indiana poll released Wednesday shows that a dead heat, Barack Obama 47% and John McCain 47% and just 3% undecided. A month ago that same poll was 46 to 46, little change. And this is in a state where Republican Governor Mitch Daniels up for reelection, has a 14-point lead.
RODRIGUEZ: And Jim, that dead heat explains why the candidates are visiting Indiana so much. Safe to say your state is like the unpopular girl who's suddenly getting a lot of attention?
SHELLA: Yeah, this is very foreign to us. Barack Obama will be in northwest Indiana tonight, his 48th Indiana campaign stop. Joe Biden in Evansville tomorrow. Sarah Palin's been here three times in the last three weeks. McCain supporters still hope that John McCain might make a stop here, maybe a quick airport stop. We're no longer jealous of our neighbors in Ohio.
RODRIUGUEZ: Jim Shella, thank you so much. Let's go over to Raleigh, North Carolina right now. Cullen Browder from WRAL-TV is there. Cullen, good morning to you. I know that the last time your state voted Democratic was back in 1976. How's it shaping up this time?
CULLEN BROWDER: Well, all of the recent polls have been very close, Maggie. In fact, this latest poll shows Senator Obama with a 48% to 46% lead over Senator McCain here in North Carolina and that is very unusual, because we are largely ignored down the stretch in the general election. Both campaigns typically don't campaign here because it's been in the Republican side for so long, but as Jim said, it's very, very different here. We have seen Senator Obama build a very, very impressive field organization. He's visited here many times and that has forced the McCain campaign to be here. In the past week, we've seen Senator McCain, Senator Obama, Michelle Obama, and tomorrow, Governor Palin will be here in Raleigh.
RODRIGUEZ: If early voting is any indication, can you give us a prediction for voter turnout for election day?
BROWDER: We are expecting record turnout. In fact, early voting turnout has been record, at this point. In fact, we're expecting more than 2 million early voters, also African-American turnout is expected to be extremely high. Typically 17 to 18% here in North Carolina. So far in early voting, African-American turnout has been around 28% to 29%. Maggie.
RODRIGUEZ: Cullen Browder from North Carolina, thank you so much. Let's go over to Florida, Mike Deeson is there. He's from WTSP in Tampa. Florida, Florida, Florida. Mike, this is my home state. I know how complicated it can be. I also know it gave the White House to George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. How's it looking this year?
MIKE DEESON: Well, it's very tight here, Maggie. Barack Obama has a 45% to 43% lead, but with that two percentage point margin of error it could be a dead heat and that's why the candidates, as usual, are invading the sunshine state and particularly in that important I-4 corridor that leads between Tampa and Orlando. Just this week in the Tampa Bay area we had Barack Obama yesterday, John McCain earlier this week, Sarah Palin was here last weekend, she's going to be here this weekend, and all of their surrogates have been invading the state as well, stumping because they realize Florida is very close and Florida has 27 electoral votes.
RODRIGUEZ: And hopefully we've cleaned up all the kinks that have plagued us in the past. Mike Deeson, WTSP, thank you so much. Thanks to all three of you.