Undecided voters unlikely to bail out beleaguered McCain

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Washington, Oct 30 : A leading pollster in the US has said that Republican presidential nominee John McCain can't bank upon the undecided voters, as in the past elections undecided voters had not swayed decisively for either candidate.

The pool of undecided voters on Election Day could be as large as one in 10, but John McCain can hardly rely on them to overtake Barack Obama, he said.

According to politico.com, in the past eight presidential elections, voters who made up their minds during the last week of the campaign never went for either ticket by large margins of 3-2 or 2-1, which potentially could tip the scales.

"There is likely no hidden life raft in the undecided vote for John McCain," the report quoted Andy Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center, as saying.

He added: "Pew recently conducted an internal analysis of its polls and concluded that undecided voters were likely to split about equally between McCain and Obama on Election Day, meaning the group is more evenly split between the two candidates than the electorate overall."

In the coming days, Pew, like the Gallup poll, will finalize its best estimate for how undecided voters will cast their ballots.

Pew's recent studies found that 8 percent of the 2008 electorate remained undecided, similar to its findings among registered voters in the last week of the 2004 election. Other recent surveys from Ipsos/McClatchy Poll and the IBD/TIPP Tracking Poll generally match Pew's results.

Data shows that undecided voters are significantly more likely to be women, 63 percent to 37 percent. They are more likely to be working class, while about half have a high school education or less. And by double-digit margins, undecided voters are less engaged in the presidential race than those who have already made up their minds, according to Pew.

The Reagan-Carter race and the 2000 matchup between George W. Bush and AL Gore are the only presidential contests since 1952 in which the leader in the Gallup poll taken about a week before the election lost the popular vote, added the report.

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