According to a Rasmussen report, Obama now leads McCain by one single point. The race is in a dead heat… Or is it?

Many are trying to find other ways of gauging the election, beyond reliance on traditional polls.

For instance, Tech Crunch recently did an interesting article based on research by Hitwise – comparing the number of people accessing Obama and McCain’s respective websites by state, attempting to infer which candidate is more popular via web hits.

Alternately, there are some (relatively unscientific) methods, such as this Yahoo News Poll, that states that pet owners could be the deciding factor in the election (they apparently revere McCain).

The search for alternate polling methods makes sense considering that traditional polls are completely unrepresentative – utilizing predominantly landlines to survey voters – and leaving out the increasing number of voting age adults with only cell phones. According to PEW Research, 14.5% of American adults (a majority of which are the 18-30 demographic) cannot be reached by land-line. I call this neglected group the Mobile Millennial, and I predict they will come out in droves in November.

If traditional polls are obsolete, how do we connect with this demographic?

Barack Obama’s campaign has targeted the young, tech-savvy potential voter from the get go. With the innovative mybarackobama.com social site, his campaign has been on the forefront of technology and social networking — seen in the lauded interactive initiatives led by Blue State Digital.

On the other hand, John McCain’s campaign has belatedly re-launched McCainSpace to expand his niche voter pool from the older voter to the social-networking oriented millennial. His campaign has also enhanced its YouTube efforts where via his web page voters can access television run commercials and those made especially for the web.

Most recently, Obama’s use of mobile in his text-for-VP announcement of Joe Biden, reaching 2.9 million, showed us the value of using mobile to build campaign buzz and reach the youth population.

McCain and Obama have made their moves in the interactive space. Although Obama has augmented his digital efforts into the mobile arena. If polls representing older landline users show McCain and Obama in a dead heat, the decisive votes may come from Obama’s mobilizing efforts.

The race is a dead heat?

I don’t think so… Obama’s mobile efforts may be the difference.

Disclosure – Blue State Digital is a client of Tin Can Communications.