John McCain, Barack Obama Make Final, Frenzied Push to Close 2008 Election

Marathon day of campaigning brings candidates to 13 states in the final hours.

November 3, 2008, 8:46 AM

Nov. 3, 2008— -- Sen. Barack Obama capped what he called a two-year long "wild ride" by cautioning today that if he becomes president, he won't be able to "get everything done all at once."

Obama talked with ABC News' Ann Compton about the first term of what would be an historic presidency if he defeats Sen. John McCain Tuesday.

The Election eve peek at an Obama administration came as fresh polls indicate Obama is pulling away, while McCain was promising pumped up supporters an Election Day upset.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll indicates that Obama has established a 54-43 point lead over his Republican rival on the eve of the vote.

McCain's camp, however, insists that its internal polls show the Republican closing the gap, particularly in battleground states where the election will be decided.

Obama started the day by warning supporters in Jacksonville, Fla., that the election was close, particularly in Florida.

"Don't believe for a second this election is over. ... It's going to be close," Obama said. "Now it's all about who wants it more, who believes it more."

Sometime during his Jacksonville stop, Obama also received the sad news that his beloved grandmother who largely raised him had died.

Obama had suspended his campaign last month so he could travel to Hawaii and see one last time the woman he affectionately called Toot, short for the Hawaiian word tutu for grandparent. The Obama campaign said he would continue with a day packed with campaign events.

Despite his warning about over confidence, Obama was willing to discuss his presidency and how many of his campaign promises he'll be able to keep.

"Well, I think that we are not going to get everything done all at once, because of this financial crisis that's going to require a lot of attention, a lot of resources," Obama told ABC News.

"It means that some priorities may get deferred," he said.

Obama said changing the tax code, investing in clean energy, controlling health care costs and improving the education system remain his "core commitments."

"We will have progress on all fronts by the end of my first term," Obama said.

The Illinois senator looked back at his victory in the Iowa caucuses and his upset loss to Sen. Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary nearly two years ago, to where he is considered the front-runner in Tuesday's election.

"It has been a wild ride," he told Compton.

McCain, however, was undaunted by the polls and promised his supporters a come-from-behind win on Tuesday.

"The pundits may not know it, but the Mac is back," McCain told a cheering crowd in Tampa, Fla., where he kicked off a grueling final seven state sprint. "We're going to win this election."

"We never give up. We never quit. We're going to win," he vowed.

The Arizona senator was in such a buoyant mood that he even joked about his rival's running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, who has repeatedly made statements on which the McCain campaign has pounced.

McCain chuckled as he referred to Biden as "Joe the Biden, the gift that keeps on giving."

Both campaigns launched a frenzied push for votes across 13 states in a single day to encourage their supporters to get out and vote, and to appeal to the handful of voters who have yet to make up their minds.

A number of polls in three critical battleground states, however, that seemed to bolster Obama's historic bid to be the nation's first black president, and McCain's presidential hopes may be in jeopardy.

Quinnipiac University released polls for Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all states that could prove decisive in the election.

Florida remains the tightest of the critical trio of states, with a 47-45 edge for Obama, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

Ohio appears to be tilting toward Obama with a 50-43 lead, and Obama appeared to have a comfortable 52-42 lead in Pennsylvania, also according to Quinnipiac.

Both candidates have mapped out punishing schedules for themselves on the final day of campaigning, to generate a big turnout among their supporters and to convince the few voters yet to make up their minds to pull the lever that bears their name.

More than 25 percent of the nation's voters have already cast their ballots, and 7 percent of the vote remains up for grabs, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The importance of those states is seen in the dueling campaign schedules.

Both Obama and McCain start their final drives in Florida, the state that settled the 2000 election. And their vice presidential contenders Biden and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will appear in Ohio, the state the nailed the 2004 election for President Bush. Both campaigns will also make stops in Pennsylvania.

Obama, his wife, Michelle, and his running mate will spread out to stump in North Carolina, Missouri, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, Indiana, Delaware and Illinois. Obama will continue campaiging on election day in Indiana.

McCain and Palin will touch down in many of the same states. Their hopscotch itinerary includes Tennessee, Indiana, New Mexico, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and Alaska.

McCain will keep campaigning through Election Day.

After voting in Arizona Tuesday morning, he will jet off for get-out-the-vote appearances in New Mexico and Colorado.

McCain, Obama Fight for Final Votes Before Election Day

McCain and Obama will also get their last shot at a national audience by appearing during half time tonight on "Monday Night Football."

Obama's camp is taking care not to sound over confident.

Caroline Kennedy, an early Obama supporter, told "Good Morning America," "I'm always worried. ... If everyone gets out there we'll be OK."

McCain supporter Mitt Romney, a rival to McCain for the Republican presidential nomination who has been campaigning for the GOP candidate, was more bullish.

"I expected to find people discouraged," he told 'GMA'. "They're enthusiastic. They expect to win. ... For Obama and the million or so people who expect to be with him in Chicago [on election night] it could be a long cold night."

McCain was encouraged by a midnight rally in Miami Sunday night that drew 10,000 supporters.

"We've got to have all of our rallies at this time of night, I'm telling ya," McCain said enthusiastically.

"This is the kind of intensity, this is the momentum, that we will win Florida, and we will win this election," McCain said.

But McCain's path to the White House appears more complicated at this point.

The undecided voters are composed primarily of women, the elderly and the economically distressed, ABC News' chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos explained on "GMA."

The McCain camp is betting that undecided voters will "break at the end of the day" for the Republican, Stephanopoulos said.

"That's not what we show. ... We think they'll break pretty evenly for McCain and Obama," he said.

Stephanopoulos said the election could be decided in the early hours of the evening as polls close between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. in six states: Indiana, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida.

For McCain to keep his hopes alive, he must win all of the Bush states plus Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and five of those six states, although he is tied or trailing in all of those states in polls the day before the election.

Or, if McCain wins Pennsylvania, McCain could then afford to lose others, but the polls suggest he is 10 points behind in Pennsylvania.

ABC News' Bret Hovell contributed to this report.