Pollster says election could end in landslide
One of the country's top pollsters was in Rochester on Thursday and suggested that the November presidential election will end in an electoral landslide, even though the candidates are running close."
Essentially the election is at equilibrium," said John Zogby, president of Zogby International. "This election will stay close until the end."
Zogby said he thinks the race will turn in the last weekend before Election Day and though the popular vote will be tight, the successful candidate will win in a landslide.He likened this year's election to the contest in 1980, when Ronald Reagan defeated President Jimmy Carter.
"This may be and probably is the most important election in our lifetime," Zogby said. "I don't say that lightly."
Despite two books by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, Americans still don't know enough about him. And if they don't think they know him well enough by the time they vote, they'll go with the "comfortable old shoe," Republican Sen. John McCain, Zogby said.
If Obama can convince voters, he'll increase turnout among young people and minorities, Zogby said.
Zogby later added that if the winner doesn't kick off his presidency with a period of reform, he will risk alienating a generation of voters.
The founder of the Utica-based polling firm spoke during a "Business Briefing" at the SUNY Brockport's MetroCenter downtown on St. Paul Street.
Zogby identified five themes among today's voters, from the widely held opinion that the country is headed in the wrong direction — 80 percent of Americans think so, he said — to the resurgence of the "center" of the electorate.
"It is the center that is driving this election," he said. "It is the center that will decide this election."
These voters are looking for a problem-solver, someone who can manage the government competently, he said.