August 24, 2008 - McCain, Obama In Dead Heat In Colorado, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Dem Has Very Small Lead On Economy

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Sen. Barack Obama enters the Democratic National Convention in a dead heat with Sen. John McCain for Colorado's crucial nine electoral votes, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of likely voters released today. Sen. McCain has 47 percent to Sen. Obama's 46 percent.

This compares to a July 24 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University showing McCain with 46 percent of likely voters to Obama's 44 percent and a June 26 survey with a 49 - 44 percent Obama lead.

This latest survey might have more good news for McCain than might appear at first glance. Despite the closeness of the horse race numbers, he is viewed favorably 53 - 34 percent compared to Obama's 48 - 39 percent.

Colorado voters trust Obama more than McCain 49 - 42 percent to handle the energy crisis, 47 - 43 percent to handle the economy and 48 - 41 percent to handle a natural disaster.

But they trust McCain more, 51 - 37 percent, to handle Russia, 57 - 35 percent to handle a terrorist incident in the U.S. and 56 - 36 percent to handle a conflict between Iran and Israel.

"Colorado is one of the most important battleground states that will decide the presidency as Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama slug it out nose to nose. If the national election is close in November, a handful of votes in Colorado will be decisive," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Right now, independent voters are split with 46 percent for Sen. McCain and 44 percent for Sen. Obama.

"Who wins the election may wind up depending on whether voters look inward to the economy and fuel prices or outward to world hot spots."

"The favorability ratings are significant because they show that McCain has made a good impression on voters, even some who may not be for him at this point," Brown said.

"It's likely that between now and Election Day voter opinion will sway back and forth at the margins. It would be surprising if Obama did not enjoy some kind of short-term bump from the convention being held in Denver."

McCain leads 55 - 38 percent among men, 52 - 42 percent among white voters and 70 - 22 percent among evangelical Christians.

Colorado women back Obama 54 - 39 percent, and Hispanic voters back the Democrat 65 - 23 percent.

Voters 18 to 34 years old back Obama 50 - 43 percent, while voters 35 to 54 split with 48 percent for McCain and 47 percent for Obama. Voters over 55 go with McCain 48 - 42 percent.

"The gender gap among white voters is a huge 14 points: McCain is up 60 - 35 percent among men while Obama leads 49 - 44 percent among women," said Brown.

The economy is the most important issue in their vote, 48 percent of Colorado voters say, while 16 percent list the war in Iraq, 11 percent list health care and 10 percent cite illegal immigration.

A total of 86 percent of likely voters say they know McCain's positions on the issues "very well" or "somewhat well," compared to 80 percent who know Obama's positions.

"McCain's ability to contest the economic issue - which voters say is their most important concern - is key to his strength. Colorado voters give Obama a narrow 47 - 43 percent lead when they are asked who can best fix the economy," Brown said.

Colorado voters disapprove 66 - 30 percent of the job President George W. Bush is doing and say 46 - 38 percent that they want a Democrat elected to the White House.

From August 15 - 21, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,060 Colorado likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation 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    His
 
Obama                46%     9%    86%    44%    38%    54%    42%    65%
McCain               47     88      8     46     55     39     52     23
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      2      1      3      2      2      1      6
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 5      2      5      7      5      6      5      6
 
                     IMP ISSUE Q4............... Denvr/ Arap/         RestOf
                     War    Econ   Terr   HlthCr Bouldr Jeff   West   State
 
Obama                63%    51%    11%    64%    56%    48%    40%    38%
McCain               34     43     87     19     36     46     54     54
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      5      4      1      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 3      5      2     12      4      5      5      6
 
                                          WHITE..................................
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl College              BrnAgn
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Men    Wom    Evngl  Cath
 
Obama                50%    47%    42%    36%    50%    35%    49%    22%    42%
McCain               43     48     48     57     45     60     44     70     52
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      2      2      2      1      1      2      3      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 4      3      8      6      4      5      5      5      5
 
                     PresVt2004..  BushJobAppQ10
                     Bush   Kerry  App    Dis
 
Obama                13%    86%     5%    66%
McCain               83     10     90     26
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      2      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 3      3      3      5
 
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 24  Jul 24  Jun 26
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Obama                46      44      49
McCain               47      46      44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       3       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                 5       7       5
 
 
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%    85%    81%
Might change         16     14     18
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
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    His
 
Favorable            48%    15%    82%    49%    41%    55%    44%    65%
Unfavorable          39     75      9     34     47     32     42     26
Hvn't hrd enough     10      9      8     14     10     11     11      8
REFUSED               2      1      2      2      2      2      3      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Aug 24  Jul 24  Jun 26
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            48      51      53
Unfavorable          39      35      33
Hvn't hrd enough     10      11      12
REFUSED               2       3       2
 
 
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    His
 
Favorable            53%    83%    27%    53%    60%    46%    57%    41%
Unfavorable          34      9     60     32     30     39     31     42
Hvn't hrd enough      9      7      9     12      7     12      9     13
REFUSED               3      2      3      3      3      3      3      4
 
TREND: Is your opinion of -- John McCain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Aug 24  Jul 24  Jun 26
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            53      54      53
Unfavorable          34      30      32
Hvn't hrd enough      9      12      13
REFUSED               3       3       3
 
 
4. 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    His
 
Terrorism             7%    15%     1%     5%     9%     6%     8%     3%
The war in Iraq      16     12     22     17     14     19     16     18
The economy          48     46     52     48     51     45     47     54
Illegal immigration  10     13      4     10     11      8     10      5
Health care          11      4     17     11      6     16     10     15
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   5      8      3      6      6      4      6      3
DK/NA                 3      2      1      4      3      2      3      2
 
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 24  Jul 24  Jun 26
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Terrorism             7       9       8
The war in Iraq      16      17      19
The economy          48      48      47
Illegal immigration  10      11       9
Health care          11      10      10
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   5       4       3
DK/NA                 3       2       3
 
 
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    His
 
Democrat             46%     6%    91%    43%    36%    57%    42%    66%
Republican           38     84      3     29     47     29     42     19
DK/NA                16     10      6     28     18     14     16     15
 
 
6. How well do you feel you know Barack Obama's positions on the issues? Very well, somewhat well, not too well, or not well at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    His
 
Very well            32%    35%    33%    29%    36%    28%    31%    34%
Smwht well           48     40     52     52     43     54     49     53
Not too well         13     15     12     12     12     13     13      9
Not well at all       5      8      3      6      7      4      6      4
DK/NA                 2      2      1      1      2      1      2      -
 
 
7. As you've gotten to know more about Barack Obama during the Presidential campaign, would you say that you like him more or like him less?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    His
 
More                 45%    18%    75%    44%    39%    52%    42%    62%
Less                 44     74     12     45     52     36     47     29
VOL No Change         7      4     10      8      7      7      7      5
DK/NA                 4      5      3      2      3      5      4      4
 
 
8. How well do you feel you know John McCain's positions on the issues? Very well, somewhat well, not too well, or not well at all?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    His
 
Very well            35%    42%    29%    36%    44%    27%    35%    36%
Smwht well           51     49     53     51     47     56     53     42
Not too well          8      5     11     10      5     12      8     15
Not well at all       4      4      6      3      3      5      3      6
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      1      1      1
 
 
9. As you've gotten to know more about John McCain during the Presidential campaign, would you say that you like him more or like him less?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    His
 
More                 43%    72%    17%    40%    47%    38%    46%    33%
Less                 41     16     66     43     37     45     38     51
VOL No Change        12      8     12     14     12     11     11     10
DK/NA                 5      4      6      4      4      6      5      6
 
 
10. 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    His
 
Approve              30%    67%     2%    23%    33%    26%    32%    20%
Disapprove           66     25     97     75     63     70     63     76
DK/NA                 4      7      1      2      4      4      4      3
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Aug 24  Jul 24  Jun 26
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Approve              30      31      31
Disapprove           66      62      63
DK/NA                 4       7       6
 
 
11. 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    His
 
A) Retirement funds  13%    10%    12%    17%    14%    12%    13%     7%
B) Real estate vals  13     15     10     13     15     10     13      9
C) Health care cost  22     13     33     20     16     28     20     27
D) Gasoline prices   30     41     24     25     35     26     30     33
E) Food prices       16     14     16     18     13     19     16     18
DK/NA                 7      7      6      7      8      6      7      6
 
TREND: As you think about your own financial situation, which of the following economic issues worries you the most right now -
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Aug 24  Jul 24  Jun 26
                     2008    2008    2008
 
A. Retirement funds  13      10       8
B. Real estate val   13       9      11
C. Health care cost  22      20      19
D. Gasoline prices   30      42      43
E. Food prices       16      13      14
DK/NA                 7       6       5
 
 
12. Regardless of whom you support for President who do you trust more to handle - The energy crisis and make America less dependent on foreign oil - Barack Obama or John McCain?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    His
 
Obama                49%    16%    82%    51%    41%    58%    46%    58%
McCain               42     79      9     39     50     34     46     28
DK/NA                 9      5      9     10      9      8      8     14
 
 
13. Regardless of whom you support for President who do you trust more to handle - Relations with Russia - Barack Obama or John McCain?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    His
 
Obama                37%     7%    68%    38%    31%    44%    33%    52%
McCain               51     87     19     47     60     42     55     32
DK/NA                12      6     13     15     10     14     12     15
 
 
14. Regardless of whom you support for President who do you trust more to handle - A terrorist incident in the United States - Barack Obama or John McCain?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    His
 
Obama                35%     6%    68%    33%    26%    44%    30%    52%
McCain               57     91     22     57     66     47     61     40
DK/NA                 9      4     10     10      8      9      9      8
 
 
15. Regardless of whom you support for President who do you trust more to handle - A natural disaster in the United States on the scale of Hurricane Katrina - Barack Obama or John McCain?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    His
 
Obama                48%    15%    82%    48%    44%    53%    43%    69%
McCain               41     76     10     38     47     35     44     26
DK/NA                11     10      8     14     10     12     12      5
 
 
16. Regardless of whom you support for President who do you trust more to handle - The economy - Barack Obama or John McCain?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    His
 
Obama                47%    11%    83%    47%    38%    55%    43%    60%
McCain               43     80      8     42     52     34     47     25
DK/NA                10      9      9     12     10     11     10     15
 
 
17. Regardless of whom you support for President who do you trust more to handle - A potential conflict between Israel and Iran - Barack Obama or John McCain?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    His
 
Obama                36%     4%    67%    36%    29%    43%    32%    52%
McCain               56     90     24     55     63     48     60     41
DK/NA                 8      5      9      9      7      8      8      7