Obama-McCain Race Will Tighten, Predicts DNC chairman

Howard Dean says the election could be very close and come down to turnout.

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The outcome of the presidential race still hangs in the balance even though Democratic candidate Barack Obama leads in the national polls, says Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

In a telephone interview with U.S. News, Dean predicted that the race will tighten, and the election could still be very close. "We've got to get everybody out to vote," he said.

Dean has been traveling around the country to register voters, recruit volunteers, encourage participation in early voting programs, and drum up support for Obama and other Democratic candidates.

"The torch is about to pass to a new generation. Don't blow it," he told University of Dayton students in Ohio Tuesday.

He said the Bush administration has increased the government's debt and inflated annual deficits to astronomical levels over the past eight years, adding: "You can't trust Republicans with your money."  

In the interview, Dean said Obama has demonstrated that he is ready to be president and that he would govern effectively, despite Republican John McCain's attacks on his fitness to lead and his liberal voting record.

"He's overcome that threshold," Dean said, referring to questions about Obama's experience and judgment. "One campaign [McCain's] is a little desperate, the other is taking the high road. Barack has to continue on the high road."