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Despite Barack Obama's recent surge in the polls, the media maintain -- as they have throughout the summer -- that the race is close, and will be so on Nov. 4. And that may be true.
But imagine if Obama's upward climb in opinion polls right now were not just a few points. Imagine if it were seven or eight or more.
The media narrative might be clear: unfolding landslide. With that would come the momentum, the fundraising potential, the kind of late-election heat on the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket that can induce panic.
And given recent insights into polling data and cell phone users, it's entirely possible that the only thing between a decisive Obama lead coming into October and more election-as-nail-biter boilerplate is the vast leftwing wireless network.
The Pew Research Center's recent report on the issue asserted that polling by landline telephone may undercount Barack Obama voters by perhaps 3 percent. It's one of the first pieces of conclusive evidence on the issue. But this is a young science, in a rapidly changing communications landscape where mobile-only households are multiplying. So who knows if that's undercounting the undercounting?
Statistically, Obama voters are more likely to be part of the younger, cell-only set. Cell users under 30 go left in a big way: 62 percent Democrat to 28 Republican. And cell-only voters of all ages go for Obama over McCain by 19 percent, 55 to 36 percent, according to Pew's most recent survey.