September 16, 2008 - With White Support, McCain Nips At Obama's Heels In NJ, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Women Stay With Dem, But Men Move To GOP

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Fueled by a surge of support from white voters, Republican Sen. John McCain has narrowed a 10-point gap and now trails Democratic Sen. Barack Obama 48 - 45 percent among New Jersey likely voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

This compares to a 51 - 41 percent Sen. Obama lead in an August 13 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, white voters back Sen. McCain 56 - 37 percent, up from 50 - 42 percent August 13. Black voters support the Democrat 93 - 7 percent, compared to 94 - 1 percent. Men back McCain 53 - 40 percent, reversing a 48 - 45 percent Obama lead, while women stay with Obama 54 - 38 percent, compared to 53 - 38 percent.

But white women back McCain 50 - 42 percent, compared to 46 - 44 percent for Obama Aug. 13. Independent voters shift from 45 - 42 percent for Obama to 47 - 43 percent for McCain.

The Democrat leads 58 - 36 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old and 50 - 43 percent among voters 35 to 54, while McCain leads 52 - 41 percent among voters over 55 years old.

"The McCain-Palin ticket has narrowed the gap dramatically, but it will take more than this post convention bounce for the Republicans to win in true blue New Jersey. The upcoming debates probably will provide a clue to whether Sen. McCain can build on his current momentum, or whether the tide will turn back to the Democrats," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

More than a quarter of all voters and more than a third of independent voters say it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that the presidential debates will change their minds about who they will vote for.

New Jersey likely voters give Obama a 56 - 34 percent favorability rating, compared to 56 - 35 percent for McCain.

Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, gets a 42 - 32 percent favorability, with 25 percent saying they don't know enough about her to form an opinion. Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden gets a 48 - 25 percent favorability, with 26 percent who say they don't know enough about him.

New Jersey voters say 58 - 33 percent that McCain's selection of Palin was a good choice. Obama's selection of Biden was a good choice, voters say 59 - 30 percent.

The economy is the most important issue in their vote, 51 percent of New Jersey voters say, while 13 percent list the war in Iraq; 10 percent cite terrorism; 9 percent say health care and 8 percent say energy policy.

Obama understands the economy better than McCain, voters say 48 - 43 percent, but McCain better understands foreign policy, voters say 64 - 27 percent.

Voters say 32 - 28 percent that they will be better off if Obama is elected. But 54 percent of voters say their taxes will go up if Obama is elected, compared to 34 percent who expect a tax hike if McCain is elected.

And 44 percent believe McCain's claim that Obama will raise taxes on most American families, while 40 percent believe Obama's claim that he will cut taxes for 95 percent of working families.

"In addition to the Palin bounce, Republicans seem to be scoring points with their attacks on the Obama tax plan," Richards said.

From September 10 - 14, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,187 New Jersey likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and nationally 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                48%    10%    83%    43%    40%    54%    37%    93%
McCain               45     89     10     47     53     38     56      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      -      1      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 6      2      6     10      5      7      6      -
 
                     IMP ISSUE Q26                      Philly
                     War    Econ   Urban  SbUrbn ExUrbn land   Shore
 
Obama                68%    54%    67%    46%    40%    56%    35%
McCain               25     39     27     46     51     39     60
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      1      -      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 7      6      5      7      9      4      4
 
                                          WHITE...........................
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Men    Wom    Cath   Jew
 
Obama                58%    50%    41%    34%    42%    32%    42%    31%    59%
McCain               36     43     52     58     53     63     50     63     35
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 6      6      7      7      5      5      8      6      5
 
                     PresVt2004..  BushJobAppQ21
                     Bush   Kerry  App    Dis
 
Obama                12%    83%     8%    65%
McCain               85     10     90     27
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      1      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 3      6      1      8
 
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.
                     Sep 16  Aug 13
                     2008    2008
 
Obama                48      51
McCain               45      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -
DK/NA                 6       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              83%    82%    83%
Might change         16     17     15
DK/NA                 2      2      2
 
 
8. 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            56%    23%    83%    55%    48%    62%    47%    93%
Unfavorable          34     68     10     31     42     28     42      1
Hvn't hrd enough      8      8      6     10      8      7      8      4
REFUSED               3      1      2      4      2      4      3      2
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Sep 16  Aug 13
                     2008    2008
 
Favorable            56      57
Unfavorable          34      31
Hvn't hrd enough      8       9
REFUSED               3       3
 
 
9. 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            56%    94%    22%    62%    65%    49%    67%    18%
Unfavorable          35      5     65     29     28     41     27     71
Hvn't hrd enough      6      1     11      6      4      8      5      7
REFUSED               2      -      2      3      2      2      2      5
 
TREND: Is your opinion of John McCain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Sep 16  Aug 13
                     2008    2008
 
Favorable            56      54
Unfavorable          35      35
Hvn't hrd enough      6       8
REFUSED               2       3
 
 
10. Is your opinion of -- Joe Biden favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            48%    28%    65%    48%    49%    48%    45%    69%
Unfavorable          25     51      7     24     31     20     30      5
Hvn't hrd enough     26     21     28     27     19     31     23     25
REFUSED               1      1      -      2      1      1      1      1
 
 
11. Is your opinion of -- Sarah Palin favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about her?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            42%    80%    16%    40%    48%    37%    51%    11%
Unfavorable          32      4     56     30     27     36     27     54
Hvn't hrd enough     25     15     27     28     25     25     22     33
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      1      -      3
 
 
12. Do you think John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate was a good choice or a bad choice?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Good choice          58%    85%    35%    60%    63%    55%    64%    31%
Bad choice           33     10     54     30     28     37     28     60
DK/NA                 8      5     10     10      9      8      8      9
 
 
13. Do you think Barack Obama's selection of Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate was a good choice or a bad choice?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Good choice          59%    40%    75%    59%    56%    61%    55%    87%
Bad choice           30     45     19     30     34     27     33      9
DK/NA                11     15      7     11     10     12     12      4
 
 
14. Does John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin for Vice President make you more likely to vote for McCain for President, less likely, or doesn't it make a difference?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
More likely          27%    48%    10%    28%    29%    25%    30%     7%
Less likely          25      7     40     23     21     28     21     31
Doesn't make diff    47     42     49     47     48     45     47     61
DK/NA                 2      3      1      1      2      2      1      -
 
 
15. Does Barack Obama's choice of Joe Biden for Vice President make you more likely to vote for Obama for President, less likely, or doesn't it make a difference?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
More likely          22%     9%    32%    22%    21%    23%    20%    35%
Less likely          11     14      6     13     14     10     13      1
Doesn't make diff    65     76     61     64     65     66     65     62
DK/NA                 1      -      2      1      -      2      1      2
 
 
16. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: The vice presidential candidates picked by Barack Obama and John McCain have little to do with which candidate I will vote for, for president.
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Agree                57%    52%    61%    56%    59%    55%    53%    68%
Disagree             41     47     37     42     40     41     44     31
DK/NA                 2      2      2      2      1      4      3      1
 
 
21. 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              25%    56%     7%    20%    26%    25%    29%     5%
Disapprove           71     38     93     74     70     72     67     93
DK/NA                 4      5      -      6      4      4      4      2
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Sep 16  Aug 13
                     2008    2008
 
Approve              25      26
Disapprove           71      70
DK/NA                 4       4
 
 
26. 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            10%    20%     3%     9%    12%     8%    12%     -
The war in Iraq      13      7     17     12     11     14     14     10
The economy          51     43     56     53     50     51     48     63
Illegal immigration   5      7      4      4      5      5      3      4
Energy policy         8     11      5      7     13      4      9      1
Health care           9      6     10     10      5     12      8     13
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   3      2      3      3      2      4      3      8
DK/NA                 2      3      3      1      3      2      3      -
 
TREND: Which of the following will be the single most important issue in your vote in the election for President this year? (READ OPTIONS) na = not asked
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Sep 16  Aug 13
                     2008    2008
 
Terrorism            10      10
The war in Iraq      13      17
The economy          51      51
Illegal immigration   5       6
Energy policy         8      na
Health care           9       9
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   3       3
DK/NA                 2       3
 
 
27. As you think about your own financial situation, which of the following economic issues worries you the most right now - A) declining retirement fund values, B) declining real estate values, C) rising health care costs D) rising gasoline prices, or E) rising food prices?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
A) Retirement funds  17%    19%    14%    19%    15%    19%    17%    15%
B) Real estate vals  14     15     18     12     15     14     14     10
C) Health care cost  28     21     29     31     26     30     28     35
D) Gasoline prices   22     25     19     22     26     18     21     18
E) Food prices       15     16     17     12     14     16     15     18
DK/NA                 4      4      3      5      4      4      4      4
 
TREND: As you think about your own financial situation, which of the following economic issues worries you the most right now - A) declining retirement fund values, B) declining real estate values, C) rising health care costs D)rising gasoline prices, or E) rising food prices?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Sep 16  Aug 13
                     2008    2008
 
A) Retirement funds  17      15
B) Real estate vals  14      13
C) Health care cost  28      23
D) Gasoline prices   22      28
E) Food prices       15      16
DK/NA                 4       5
 
 
28. How likely is it that the presidential debates could change your mind about who you will vote for this year? Very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not likely at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very likely           7%     2%     6%    10%     6%     7%     7%     4%
Smwht likely         19     17     15     26     19     20     19      7
Not too likely       21     19     18     25     21     21     23     16
Not likely at all    53     62     60     39     54     52     51     72
DK/NA                 1      -      -      1      -      1      1      1
 
 
29. How likely is it that the vice-presidential debate could change your mind about who you will vote for this year? Very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not likely at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very likely           4%     2%     4%     6%     3%     5%     5%     -
Smwht likely         13     13     11     17     12     14     12      6
Not too likely       19     21     13     23     18     19     20     14
Not likely at all    63     64     72     51     66     60     62     77
DK/NA                 1      -      -      3      -      2      1      2
 
 
30. Which of the following statements do you agree with: John McCain is the candidate who will bring change or Barack Obama is the candidate who will bring change or Neither will bring change?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
McCain               26%    57%     6%    24%    30%    23%    32%     3%
Obama                42     10     73     37     35     47     32     88
Neither              28     29     19     35     31     25     32      7
DK/NA                 4      4      2      5      4      4      4      2
 
 
31. Which of the following statements do you agree with: I will be better off a year from now if John McCain is elected president or I will be better off a year from now if Barack Obama is elected president or I will not be better off a year from now?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Better off/McCain    28%    61%     7%    23%    35%    22%    35%     4%
Better off/Obama     32      6     63     24     25     39     23     72
Not be better off    33     29     23     45     35     32     36     16
DK/NA                 7      3      7      8      5      8      6      8
 
 
32. Who do you think better understands the economy - John McCain or Barack Obama?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
McCain               43%    82%    13%    42%    49%    37%    53%     4%
Obama                48     12     80     46     42     53     40     82
DK/NA                 9      6      7     13      8     10      7     14
 
 
33. Who do you think better understands foreign policy - John McCain or Barack Obama?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
McCain               64%    95%    34%    71%    72%    58%    75%    23%
Obama                27      5     51     22     23     31     18     68
DK/NA                 8      1     15      7      5     11      6      9
 
 
34. If John McCain is elected President, do you think your taxes will go up, go down, or stay about the same?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Up                   34%    16%    52%    31%    24%    43%    28%    69%
Down                  8     13      4      6      8      7      9      -
Same                 55     69     41     58     65     46     60     27
DK/NA                 3      3      3      4      2      4      3      5
 
 
35. If Barack Obama is elected President, do you think your taxes will go up, go down, or stay about the same?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Up                   54%    82%    29%    55%    58%    50%    61%    25%
Down                 12      3     24      8     12     12      7     28
Same                 31     11     43     34     28     33     29     40
DK/NA                 4      4      4      3      2      5      3      7
 
 
36. Barack Obama says he will cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. John McCain says Obama will actually raise taxes overall on most American families. Whom do you believe?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
McCain               44%    82%    13%    47%    54%    36%    54%     8%
Obama                40      7     73     32     35     44     29     80
DK/NA                16     11     14     21     11     21     18     12