AP POLL: Obama 44% - McCain 43%

The poll found Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent, it supports what some Republicans and Democrats have said in recent days, that the race narrowed after the third debate as Republican-leaning voters drifted home to their party.

Charles Franklin, a University of Wisconsin political science professor and polling authority, said variation between polls occurs, in part, because pollsters interview random samples of people.

"If they all agree, somebody would be doing something terribly wrong," he said of polls. He said that surveys generally fall within a few points of each other, adding, "When you get much beyond that, there's something to explain."

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