February 21, 2008 - Clinton, Obama Each Have Key To Victory In New Jersey, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; U.S. Is In A Recession, Voters Say 2 - 1

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Either Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, with an advantage among independents, or New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, with an advantage among Democrats and women, would defeat Arizona Sen. McCain by a substantial margin in New Jersey in the presidential election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Sen. Clinton beats McCain 47 - 41 percent, taking 80 percent of the Democratic vote and 52 percent of the women, while splitting independents. Obama wins 46 - 39 percent, bolstered by a 47 - 38 percent edge among independent voters, according to the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll.

New Jersey voters like Obama more than Clinton, giving him a 58 - 21 percent favorability rating to her 50 - 43 percent. McCain gets a 52 - 28 percent favorability rating.

"Sen. Obama runs as well as the Senator next door against Sen. John McCain in New Jersey in the general election. The big difference is that Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain split the independent vote almost evenly while Obama holds a nine-point edge among independents - the group that has given the Democratic candidate the edge in New Jersey in most recent statewide elections," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Also, Obama ties McCain 43 - 43 percent among men in New Jersey while Clinton loses the male vote 41 - 47 percent to McCain.

"Either way, McCain could run a close race in New Jersey this year, but at this early point not close enough to make the Garden State a key swing state in the presidential election."

In an open-ended question, allowing for any answer, 27 percent of New Jersey voters say the economy is the most important issue in deciding how they will vote, followed by 21 percent who list the war in Iraq, 11 percent who list healthcare and 9 percent who list terrorism.

The U.S. economy is in a recession, voters say 64 - 32 percent. Republicans say 50 - 45 percent that the economy is not in a recession, while Democrats say 79 - 18 percent that it is. Independent voters also use the 'R' word 62 - 34 percent.

Only 16 percent of voters describe the economy as "excellent" or "good," while 83 percent say the economy is "not so good" or "poor."

New Jersey voters also say 65 - 31 percent that going to war in Iraq was the wrong thing to do. The situation in Iraq is getting better, 28 percent of voters say, while 24 percent say it is getting worse and 45 percent say it is the same.

The U.S. should set a timetable to get out of Iraq, 56 percent of voters say, while 38 percent say the U.S. should stay until the country is stabilized.

"With two-thirds of voters saying the U.S. is in a recession, the economy has become more important than the Iraq war in the election, a development which could rewrite the script in New Jersey," Richards said.

If they had to choose, 30 percent of New Jersey voters would back Sen. Robert Menendez as a Democratic vice presidential candidate, while 29 percent would back Gov. Jon Corzine and 40 percent are undecided.

New Jersey voters disapprove 70 - 26 percent of the job President George W. Bush is doing. Voters say 35 - 7 percent that President Bush's job performance makes them less likely to vote for a Republican for President, while 55 percent say this will not affect their vote.

From February 13 - 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,803 New Jersey voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percent.

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/x271.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

1. If the 2008 election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and John McCain the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Clinton                 47%      7%     80%     43%     41%     52%     42%     75%
McCain                  41      83      10      44      47      36      47      13
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          2       3       2       1       2       2       1       4
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         3       2       3       4       4       2       2       4
DK/NA                    7       5       5       9       7       8       7       4
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Clinton                 47%     53%     50%     44%     47%     46%     48%
McCain                  41      42      38      44      38      41      42
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          2       3       1       2       2       2       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         3       -       3       2       5       3       2
DK/NA                    7       2       7       8       8       8       6
 
TREND: If the 2008 election for President were being held today and the candidates were Hillary Clinton the Democrat and John McCain the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                        Feb 21  Sep 26  Jul 5   Apr 19  Mar 1 Jan 25
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2007
 
Clinton                 47      46      47      45      45      43
McCain                  41      41      41      41      45      44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          2       2       2       2       2       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         3       4       3       2       2       2
DK/NA                    7       7       7       9       6      10
 
 
2. If the 2008 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?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Obama                   46%     12%     72%     47%     43%     49%     39%     87%
McCain                  39      74      15      38      43      35      46       6
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          2       2       3       2       2       2       2       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         2       2       3       2       2       2       2       1
DK/NA                   11      10       7      11       9      12      11       5
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Obama                   46%     59%     54%     43%     41%     44%     52%
McCain                  39      32      34      44      38      41      36
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          2       5       1       2       2       2       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         2       -       2       2       3       2       2
DK/NA                   11       4       9      10      15      11       9
 
TREND: If the 2008 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?
                        Feb 21  Sep 26  Jul 5   Apr 19  Mar 1   Jan 25
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2007
 
Obama                   46      44      44      43      45      39
McCain                  39      41      40      41      41      42
SMONE ELSE(VOL)          2       1       2       2       2       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)         2       5       4       3       2       2
DK/NA                   11       9       9      11      10      15
 
 
3. Is your opinion of -- Hillary Clinton favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Favorable               50%     17%     77%     47%     43%     55%     45%     69%
Unfavorable             43      80      16      44      49      38      48      20
Hvn't hrd enough         5       3       5       7       6       4       5       4
REFUSED                  3       1       3       2       2       3       2       6
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Favorable               50%     49%     51%     50%     49%     50%     48%
Unfavorable             43      42      41      44      42      42      44
Hvn't hrd enough         5       9       5       4       5       5       4
REFUSED                  3       -       3       2       4       2       3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Hillary Clinton favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                        Feb 21  Dec 13  Sep 26  Jul 5   Apr 19  Mar 1   Jan 25
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2007    2007
 
Favorable               50      43      51      50      49      47      53
Unfavorable             43      42      41      42      43      43      38
Hvn't hrd enough         5      11       6       6       5       8       6
REFUSED                  3       4       2       2       3       2       2
 
 
4. Is your opinion of -- Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Favorable               58%     41%     71%     59%     56%     59%     53%     86%
Unfavorable             21      35      13      17      22      19      23       5
Hvn't hrd enough        19      22      14      21      19      19      22       5
REFUSED                  3       2       1       3       2       3       3       3
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Favorable               58%     59%     63%     57%     56%     54%     66%
Unfavorable             21      21      19      23      16      22      17
Hvn't hrd enough        19      18      15      18      23      22      14
REFUSED                  3       2       2       2       4       3       3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                        Feb 21  Sep 26  Jul 5   Apr 19  Mar 1   Jan 25
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2007
 
Favorable               58      50      49      48      42      41
Unfavorable             21      23      21      15      11       9
Hvn't hrd enough        19      25      29      34      45      49
REFUSED                  3       2       1       2       2       1
 
 
5. Is your opinion of -- John McCain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Favorable               52%     77%     33%     54%     57%     48%     57%     27%
Unfavorable             28      12      43      26      27      29      25      46
Hvn't hrd enough        16       9      22      16      13      19      14      24
REFUSED                  3       2       2       4       2       5       3       3
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Favorable               52%     50%     47%     57%     52%     50%     58%
Unfavorable             28      24      31      26      31      28      27
Hvn't hrd enough        16      26      21      14      12      19      12
REFUSED                  3       -       1       3       5       4       3
 
TREND: Is your opinion of John McCain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                        Feb 21  Sep 26  Jul 5   Apr 19  Mar 1   Jan 25
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2007
 
Favorable               52      47      46      52      48      52
Unfavorable             28      28      30      24      24      24
Hvn't hrd enough        16      23      21      20      25      21
REFUSED                  3       3       3       4       4       2
 
 
6. Thinking ahead to the November 2008 presidential election, what is the single most important issue in your vote for president?
                        Tot
 
Economy Total           27%
 Economy general        22
 Unemployment/jobs       2
 Cost of living          2
 Business leaving/
  Outsourcing            1
 
War (Iraq)              21%
 
Healthcare/Costs/
  Ins/HMO's             11%
 
Terrorism Total          9%
 Terrorism general       3
 Security/Safety         6
 
Taxes general            4%
 
Politicians Total        3%
 Political corruption    1
 Bush admin              1
 Politicians/
  Campaigns other        1
 
Immigration              3%
 
Foreign affairs/
 policy general          3%
 
Budget Total             2%
 Budget deficits         1
 Gov too big/Gov
  spending               1
 
Education general        1%
 
Environment              1%
 
Experience/Leadership    1%
 
Other                    5%
DK/NA                    6%
 
 
11. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Approve                 26%     59%      8%     18%     27%     25%     29%      5%
Disapprove              70      37      90      75      69      70      66      94
DK/NA                    5       5       2       6       4       5       5       1
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Approve                 26%     22%     29%     25%     23%     26%     25%
Disapprove              70      74      67      71      71      69      71
DK/NA                    5       4       5       4       6       5       4
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Approve Approve
                        Feb 21  Dec 13  Sep 26  Jul 5   Apr 19  Oct 18  Jul 5
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2001    2007
 
Approve                 26      26      27      21      25      90      21
Disapprove              70      67      68      74      70       7      74
DK/NA                    5       7       5       4       5       3       4
 
 
24. Both Governor Jon Corzine and Senator Robert Menendez have been mentioned as possible vice presidential candidates this year. If it came down to that, which one would you prefer to run for vice president - Jon Corzine or Robert Menendez?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Corzine                 29%     20%     38%     30%     29%     29%     30%     35%
Menendez                30      29      31      31      32      29      29      28
DK/NA                   40      51      31      39      39      42      41      37
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Corzine                 29%     28%     31%     30%     30%     25%     38%
Menendez                30      54      34      28      22      32      27
DK/NA                   40      18      35      42      48      43      35
 
 
26. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as - Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Excellent                1%      1%      1%      0%      1%      0%      0%      2%
Good                    15      26       6      16      19      12      17       6
Not so good             45      47      45      45      42      47      45      38
Poor                    38      25      46      38      36      39      36      53
DK/NA                    1       1       1       0       1       1       1       1
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Excellent                1%      -       1%      0%      1%      1%      0%
Good                    15      15      19      13      15      15      16
Not so good             45      51      44      46      42      43      49
Poor                    38      31      35      41      41      39      34
DK/NA                    1       2       1       0       1       2       0
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as - Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                        Feb 21  Sep 21  Aug 5  Jun 23  Oct 18
                        2008    2004    2004   2004    2001
 
Excellent                1       2       2       3      1
Good                    15      38      40      38     39
Not so good             45      39      40      44     50
Poor                    38      20      17      14     10
DK/NA                    1       1       1       1      1
 
 
27. During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal financial situation will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Get better              23%     24%     23%     21%     26%     19%     20%     30%
Get worse               20      14      23      22      17      23      19      26
Stay the same           55      60      52      55      55      56      59      42
DK/NA                    2       1       2       2       2       2       2       2
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Get better              23%     55%     32%     18%      8%     21%     26%
Get worse               20      10      12      23      29      22      16
Stay the same           55      35      55      57      60      54      57
DK/NA                    2       -       1       2       3       3       1
 
TREND: During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal financial situation will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                        Feb 21  Oct 18
                        2008    2001
 
Get better              23      35
Get worse               20       8
Stay the same           55      54
DK/NA                    2       3
 
 
28. Do you think the United States economy is in a recession now?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Yes                     64%     45%     79%     62%     61%     66%     60%     78%
No                      32      50      18      34      36      29      34      22
DK/NA                    4       4       2       4       3       5       5       -
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Yes                     64%     56%     59%     68%     66%     65%     60%
No                      32      38      40      29      27      30      36
DK/NA                    4       7       1       3       7       4       4
 
 
29. Do you think going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Right thing             31%     66%      8%     27%     35%     27%     37%      7%
Wrong thing             65      30      87      69      61      68      60      85
DK/NA                    5       5       5       4       3       6       3       8
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Right thing             31%     28%     32%     33%     27%     31%     31%
Wrong thing             65      67      63      64      68      64      65
DK/NA                    5       6       6       3       5       5       4
 
TREND: Do you think going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?
                                                                Highest Lowest
                                                                Right   Right
                        Feb 21  Jul 5   Apr 19  Mar 1   Jan 25  Oct 19  Jan 25
                        2008    2007    2007    2007    2007    2004    2007
 
Right thing             31      32      33      32      30      44      30
Wrong thing             65      64      62      64      63      51      63
DK/NA                    5       5       5       3       7       5       7
 
 
30. Do you think the situation in Iraq is getting better, getting worse, or staying the same?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Better                  28%     54%      8%     28%     37%     21%     33%      6%
Worse                   24      10      38      22      20      28      20      42
Same                    45      34      52      48      42      47      44      49
DK/NA                    3       2       2       2       2       3       2       3
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Better                  28%     19%     24%     30%     33%     28%     29%
Worse                   24      34      25      23      23      25      22
Same                    45      46      48      45      42      43      47
DK/NA                    3       -       3       2       3       3       2
 
 
31. Should the United States set an announced timetable to get out of Iraq or stay until the country is stabilized?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
Set timetable           56%     35%     75%     53%     48%     62%     51%     77%
Stay until stabilized   38      63      19      40      49      29      43      15
DK/NA                    6       3       6       7       3       9       5       8
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
Set timetable           56%     55%     56%     57%     53%     56%     55%
Stay until stabilized   38      39      38      38      38      38      39
DK/NA                    6       6       6       5       9       6       6
 
 
32. Does President Bush's job performance make you more likely to vote for Republican John McCain for President this November, less likely to vote for him, or doesn't it make a difference?
                        Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom     Wht     Blk
 
More likely              7%     15%      3%      5%      8%      7%      8%      3%
Less likely             35      10      55      36      33      37      30      60
Doesn't make diff       55      74      38      57      57      53      59      34
DK/NA                    3       1       4       2       2       3       2       4
 
                                Age in years.........           No col  College
                        Tot     18-29   30-44   45-64   65+     degree  degree
 
More likely              7%      8%      7%      5%     10%      8%      6%
Less likely             35      30      39      35      37      33      38
Doesn't make diff       55      61      53      58      47      55      54
DK/NA                    3       1       1       2       6       3       2