August 19, 2008 - McCain, Seen 2-1 As Better Against Russia, Gains On Obama, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Men And White Voters Go Republican

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American likely voters say 55 - 27 percent that Arizona Sen. John McCain is better qualified than Illinois Sen. Barack Obama to deal with Russia and now trails the Democrat 47 - 42 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

This compares to a 50 - 41 percent Sen. Obama lead in a July 15 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, Democrats say 48 - 31 percent that Obama is better qualified to deal with Russia, while Sen. McCain is seen as better by Republicans 86 - 5 percent and independent voters 55 - 24 percent.

In the presidential matchup, McCain leads 46 - 41 percent among men, up from 47 - 44 percent July 15, and 48 - 40 percent among white voters, compared to 49 - 42 percent last month. He also leads 65 - 25 percent among white Evangelical Christians, up from 61 - 29 percent.

But Obama leads 53 - 39 percent among women, compared to 55 - 36 percent last month, and 94 - 4 percent among black voters. The Democrat leads 55 - 36 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old, compared to 63 - 31 percent last month. Obama's strength among voters 35 to 54 is up from 48 - 44 percent to 49 - 41 percent. McCain leads 47 - 40 percent among voters over 55, compared to a 45 - 44 percent split July 15.

Independent voters shift from a 44 - 44 percent split to a 45 - 39 percent Democratic tilt.

"The poll underlines Sen. Barack Obama's strengths and weaknesses. Strengths: He leads overall and he's strong with women, even stronger among young folks and astronomically strong with blacks. Weaknesses: Sen. John McCain beats him among white voters, men, older folks and white Catholics," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Next week's Democratic Convention, a week-long political campaign commercial, should help Obama - at least until the Republican Convention, a week-long celebration of McCain the following week," Carroll added.

"In dealing with Russia, even a large minority of Democrats think McCain would do better than Obama," Carroll added. "We'll have to see how important this issue becomes in the Fall campaign."

Only 20 percent of Obama supporters and 17 percent of McCain backers say they might change their mind before Election Day.

By a 52 - 30 percent margin, likely voters nationwide have a favorable opinion of Obama. McCain gets a 50 - 32 percent favorability.

A total of 89 percent of American voters say they are "entirely comfortable" or "somewhat comfortable" having a black President, while 8 percent are "somewhat uncomfortable" or "entirely uncomfortable."

A total of 64 percent of voters say they are "entirely comfortable" or "somewhat comfortable" with a President who is 72 years old, while 34 percent are "somewhat uncomfortable" or "entirely uncomfortable."

"More Americans are willing to admit prejudice against an older candidate than against a black candidate," Carroll said.

The economy is the single most important issue in their vote, 52 percent of American voters say, followed by 16 percent who list the war in Iraq, 10 percent who list health care and 9 percent who cite terrorism.

Obama leads McCain 49 - 41 percent among those who list the economy, 61 - 30 percent among those who cite the war and 66 - 24 percent among those worried about health care. McCain leads 76 - 19 percent among those who worry most about terrorism.

From August 12 -17, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,547 likely voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data -- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and John McCain the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided q1) As of today, do you lean more toward Obama or McCain? This table includes "Leaners".
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                47%    12%    79%    45%    41%    53%    40%    94%
McCain               42     83     13     39     46     39     48      4
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      1      4      3      1      2      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 9      5      7     12     10      7      9      3
 
                     IMP ISSUE Q8.....................
                                                 Illeg
                     War    Econ   Terr   HlthCr Immig  Red    Blue   Purple
 
Obama                61%    49%    19%    66%    23%    42%    53%    47%
McCain               30     41     76     24     64     48     37     41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       4      1      -      2      4      2      1      3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 6      8      4      8      9      9      8      9
 
                                          WHITE..................................
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl College              BrnAgn
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Men    Wom    Evngl  Cath
 
Obama                55%    49%    40%    38%    46%    35%    45%    25%    40%
McCain               36     41     47     49     46     51     46     65     48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      2      2      3      1      3      1      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 7      8     11     10      8     11      8      7     11
 
                     PresVt2004..  DemPrim2008.  BushJobAppQ9  
                     Bush   Kerry  Clintn Obama  App    Dis    
 
Obama                14%    81%    63%    95%    10%    67%    
McCain               76     11     23      3     82     22     
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      -      1      3     
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -     
DK/NA                 9      7     13      2      7      9     
 
TREND: If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and John McCain the Republican, for whom would you vote? (If undecided) As of today, do you lean more toward Obama or McCain? This table includes "Leaners".
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008
 
Obama                47      50
McCain               42      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -
DK/NA                 9       7
 
 
1a. Is your mind made up, or do you think you might change your mind before the election?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     CANDIDATE CHOICE GIVEN
                            CAND CHOICE Q1
                     Tot    Obama  McCain
 
Made up              80%    78%    81%
Might change         19     20     17
DK/NA                 2      2      2
 
 
1b.(If support Obama q1) Is your vote more for Obama or more against McCain? (* Too few members of this subgroup to report)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep*   Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
For Obama            69%           73%    62%    69%    70%    65%    80%
Against McCain       23            21     25     22     23     27     13
DK/NA                 8             6     13     10      7      8      8
 
 
1c.(If support McCain q1) Is your vote more for McCain or more against Obama? (* Too few members of this subgroup to report)
                     LIKELY VOTERS................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem*   Ind    Men    Wom    Wht
 
For McCain           60%    61%           64%    60%    60%    60%
Against Obama        33     31            30     34     32     33 
DK/NA                 7      8             7      6      8      7 
 
 
2. Is your opinion of -- Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            52%    26%    77%    48%    48%    55%    46%    88%
Unfavorable          30     57     10     28     36     26     35      3
Hvn't hrd enough     15     14     12     20     15     15     16      7
REFUSED               3      3      1      3      1      4      2      3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008
 
Favorable            52      55
Unfavorable          30      29
Hvn't hrd enough     15      13
REFUSED               3       3
 
 
3. Is your opinion of -- John McCain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            50%    79%    28%    52%    56%    46%    55%    22%
Unfavorable          32      9     52     30     30     34     29     49
Hvn't hrd enough     13      9     16     13     11     15     12     21
REFUSED               5      3      5      5      4      5      4      8
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- John McCain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008
 
Favorable            50    50
Unfavorable          32    31
Hvn't hrd enough     13    15
REFUSED               5     4
 
 
5. Putting aside for a moment the question of who each party's nominee might be, what is your preference for the outcome of the 2008 presidential election - that a Democrat be elected president or that a Republican be elected president?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Democrat             46%     7%    86%    38%    41%    50%    40%    82%
Republican           34     80      5     27     38     31     38      8
DK/NA                20     14     10     35     21     19     22     10
 
 
6. If you honestly assessed yourself, thinking in general about - An African- American president of the United States, is that something you'd be entirely comfortable with, somewhat comfortable, somewhat uncomfortable or entirely uncomfortable with?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Entirely Cmfrtable   72%    63%    74%    77%    71%    73%    71%    88%
Smwht Cmfrtable      17     23     16     12     16     18     17      8
Smwht Uncmfrtable     5      8      3      4      5      4      5      1
Entirely Uncmfrtable  3      4      2      2      3      2      3      -
DK/NA                 4      2      5      5      6      3      4      3
 
TREND: If you honestly assessed yourself, thinking in general about an African- American president of the United States, is that something you'd be entirely comfortable with, somewhat comfortable, somewhat uncomfortable or entirely uncomfortable with?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008
 
Entirely Cmfrtable   72      71
Smwht Cmfrtable      17      17
Smwht Uncmfrtable     5       6
Entirely Uncmfrtable  3       3
DK/NA                 4       4
 
 
7. If you honestly assessed yourself, thinking in general about - Someone entering office as president of the United States at age 72, is that something you'd be entirely comfortable with, somewhat comfortable, somewhat uncomfortable or entirely uncomfortable with?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Entirely Cmfrtable   37%    56%    21%    38%    42%    33%    39%    17%
Smwht Cmfrtable      27     31     22     27     27     26     29     17
Smwht Uncmfrtable    24      9     38     23     19     28     23     32
Entirely Uncmfrtable 10      2     17      9      8     11      7     30
DK/NA                 2      2      2      3      3      2      2      4
 
TREND: If you honestly assessed yourself, thinking in general about someone entering office as president of the United States at age 72, is that something you'd be entirely comfortable with, somewhat comfortable, somewhat uncomfortable or entirely uncomfortable with?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008
 
Entirely Cmfrtable   37      37
Smwht Cmfrtable      27      27
Smwht Uncmfrtable    24      23
Entirely Uncmfrtable 10      11
DK/NA                 2       2
 
 
8. Which of the following will be the single most important issue in your vote in the election for President this year? (READ OPTIONS)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Terrorism             9%    17%     3%     9%     9%     9%     9%     8%
The war in Iraq      16     11     22     15     15     17     16     12
The economy          52     50     55     52     55     50     52     57
Illegal immigration   6      8      2      8      7      5      7      -
Health care          10      8     12      7      7     12      9     16
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   3      4      3      4      4      3      3      2
DK/NA                 4      2      3      5      4      4      3      4
 
TREND: Which of the following will be the single most important issue in your vote in the election for President this year? (READ OPTIONS)
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008
 
Terrorism             9       7
The war in Iraq      16      16
The economy          52      53
Illegal immigration   6       6
Health care          10      11
SOMETHING ELSE (VOL)  3       3
DK/NA                 4       4
 
 
9. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              30%    58%    10%    27%    31%    29%    33%     8%
Disapprove           64     33     89     66     64     64     61     87
DK/NA                 5      9      2      6      5      6      5      5
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008
 
Approve              30      26
Disapprove           64      67
DK/NA                 5       6
 
 
10. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              16%    16%    18%    14%    15%    16%    15%    19%
Disapprove           74     76     71     75     80     69     75     68
DK/NA                10      8     11     11      5     15     10     13
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008
 
Approve              16      14
Disapprove           74      77
DK/NA                10       9
 
 
28. Regardless of whom you support, which candidate for President - Barack Obama or John McCain - is better qualified to deal with Russia?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                27%     5%    48%    24%    26%    28%    21%    72%
McCain               55     86     31     55     61     51     61     13
DK/NA                18      9     20     21     13     21     18     15