Final Polls Show Mixed Results on Momentum

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

( - Final polling results from two well-known tracking surveys predict similar outcomes in Tuesday's presidential election, but the trends add little clarity in answering the ultimate question of whether George W. Bush or Al Gore will be the next president.

The Poll released Tuesday morning projected a Bush will defeat Gore by a 45-40 margin, and the final Portrait of America survey finds the Texas governor leading the vice president by a nine-point margin of 49-40 percent.

But the Battleground Poll by Republican Ed Goeas and Democrat Celinda Lake shows Gore has closed some of the gap with Bush over the past five days, whereas the POA survey, conducted by Rasmussen Research, showed Bush widening his lead over Gore, shedding little light on which candidate has the greatest momentum heading into Election Day.

As late as November 2, the POA survey had Bush leading Gore by three points, but the same poll showed Bush expanding his lead to nine points running up to Election Day, suggesting that end-game momentum may be swinging toward the governor.

Conversely, the Battleground Poll gave Bush a nine-point edge on November 2, which has shrunk by four points over the past five days, pointing to a rally by Gore.

But that suggestion was muted by fresh data on women voters. "Gore's advantage among women voters, which reached 11-points a month ago, has fallen over recent weeks. Gore is now projected to win the women's vote by only two points," read a report on the Goeas-Lake poll.

The POA survey reported that voter sentiment was not the "volatile whirlwind" that many had been led to believe. "Partisan voters knew back in March how they would vote. Less partisan voters have been gradually making up their minds over the past seven months in a manner that is anything but volatile," said a Rasmussen statement.