September 18, 2008 - Women, Blacks Give Obama 4-Pt. Lead Over McCain, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; More Voters Say Dem Tax Plan Helps Middle Class, Poor

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With a 14-point lead among women and a 91-point lead among blacks, Democrat Sen. Barack Obama leads Republican Sen. John McCain 49 - 45 percent among likely voters nationwide, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

This compares to a 47 - 42 percent Sen. Obama lead in an August 19 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.

In this latest survey, 51 percent of voters say Sen. McCain's proposed tax cut will benefit the rich, while 9 percent say it will help the middle class and 1 percent say it will help the poor.

Obama's tax cut plan will help the rich 9 percent say, while 33 percent say it will help the middle class and 22 percent say it will help the poor.

In the matchup, McCain leads 50 - 43 percent among men, compared to 46 - 41 percent August 19, and 52 - 43 percent among white voters, compared to 48 - 40 percent last month. He also leads 71 - 21 percent among white Evangelical Christians, up from 65 - 25 percent.

Obama leads 54 - 40 percent among women, compared to 53 - 39 percent last month, and 93 - 2 percent among black voters. The Democrat leads 57 - 37 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old while McCain inches ahead 49 - 47 percent among voters 35 to 54. Voters over 55 tilt to Obama 47 - 45 percent.

Independent voters shift from 45 - 39 percent Democratic to a 46 - 45 percent split.

"Sen. Obama is right back where he was before the so-called convention bounces with a four-point lead. The Democratic discombobulation after the selection of Gov. Palin as GOP running mate seems to be steadying. Women, black voters and young people favor Obama. Men, white voters and Evangelical Protestants pick Sen. McCain," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"But bringing Clinton voters aboard remains a problem for Obama. One in four who voted for Sen. Hillary Clinton in the primaries say they're for McCain now," Carroll added.

"Obama wins the perception war on taxes. About half think McCain's tax plan would favor the rich. More than one half say Obama's tax plan favors the middle class and the poor."

By a 56 - 33 percent margin, American likely voters have a favorable opinion of Obama. McCain gets a 54 - 34 percent favorability.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's favorability is 40 - 30 percent, with 28 percent saying they don't know enough to form an opinion. Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden gets a 40 - 23 percent favorability, with 36 percent who say they don't know enough to form an opinion.

Seventy-eight percent of voters say they are "entirely comfortable" with an African- American president, while 12 percent are "somewhat comfortable."

Only 37 percent of voters are "entirely comfortable" with a 72-year-old president, while 23 percent are "somewhat comfortable."

And 77 percent say they are "entirely comfortable" with a woman vice president, with 14 percent who are "somewhat comfortable."

The economy is the most important issue in their vote, 47 percent say, as 15 percent list the war in Iraq; 11 percent cite terrorism; 9 percent say energy and 8 percent list health care.

The media favors the Obama-Biden Democratic ticket, 34 percent of voters, including 67 percent of Republicans, say. Only 14 percent of all voters, including 23 percent of Democrats, say the media favors the McCain-Palin Republican ticket. But 49 percent of all voters, including 64 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of Republicans, say the media treats both parties equally.

"Those complaints against the news media at the Republican Convention are echoed among the rank and file. Two thirds of Republicans think news coverage has tilted toward Obama and Biden," Carroll said.

From September 11 -16, Quinnipiac University surveyed 987 likely voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 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                49%     8%    88%    46%    43%    54%    43%    93%
McCain               45     90      8     45     50     40     52      2
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      2      1      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 5      2      4      8      5      5      5      6
 
                     IMP ISSUE Q9......................
                                                 Energy
                     War    Econ   Terr   HlthCr Policy Red    Blue   Purple
 
Obama                64%    56%     6%    77%    32%    44%    56%    48%
McCain               33     38     92     19     59     47     40     47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      -      5      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 2      6      2      4      4      8      4      5
 
                                          WHITE.................................
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl College              BrnAgn
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Men    Wom    Evngl  Cath
 
Obama                57%    47%    47%    37%    54%    38%    47%    21%    51%
McCain               37     49     45     56     44     57     47     71     42
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      -      1      -      1      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
DK/NA                 4      3      7      6      2      5      5      7      8
 
                     PresVt2004..  DemPrim2008.. BushJobAppQ10
                     Bush   Kerry  Clintn Obama  App    Dis   
 
Obama                11%    87%    71%    93%     5%    72%   
McCain               87     10     25      7     91     21    
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       -      -      -      -      -      1    
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -      -      -      -      -      -    
DK/NA                 2      3      3      -      3      6    
 
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 18  Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Obama                49      47      50
McCain               45      42      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       2       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      -       -       -
DK/NA                 5       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              86%    86%    86%
Might change         14     14     14
DK/NA                 1      1      1
 
 
1b. (If support Obama q1) Is your vote more for Obama or more against McCain?
                     LIKELY OBAMA VOTERS Q1
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
For Obama            77%    81%    75%
Against McCain       17     14     19 
DK/NA                 6      6      6 
 
 
1c. (If support McCain q1) Is your vote more for McCain or more against Obama?
                     LIKELY McCAIN VOTERS Q1
                     Tot    Men    Wom
 
For McCain           71%    72%    69%
Against Obama        24     23     25 
DK/NA                 5      5      6 
 
 
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            56%    22%    86%    54%    54%    57%    50%    93%
Unfavorable          33     69      6     31     35     31     38      -
Hvn't hrd enough      9      7      7     14      8     10     10      6
REFUSED               2      2      1      1      2      2      2      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Sep 18  Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            56      52      55
Unfavorable          33      30      29
Hvn't hrd enough      9      15      13
REFUSED               2       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            54%    88%    25%    54%    59%    49%    60%    11%
Unfavorable          34      8     57     33     32     36     30     74
Hvn't hrd enough      9      3     14      9      6     12      7     16
REFUSED               3      1      5      4      4      3      4      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of John McCain favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Sep 18  Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Favorable            54      50    50
Unfavorable          34      32    31
Hvn't hrd enough      9      13    15
REFUSED               3       5     4
 
 
4. 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            40%    12%    59%    45%    42%    38%    38%    61%
Unfavorable          23     46      5     23     30     16     25      4
Hvn't hrd enough     36     40     35     32     26     45     36     34
REFUSED               1      2      1      -      2      -      1      -
 
 
5. 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            40%    74%    11%    42%    43%    38%    45%     8%
Unfavorable          30      3     52     33     31     30     27     52
Hvn't hrd enough     28     22     36     25     25     31     27     34
REFUSED               1      1      2      1      1      2      -      5
 
 
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 Comfortable 78%    70%    88%    76%    79%    78%    76%    93%
Smwht Comfortable    12     15      7     14     10     12     13      2
Smwht Uncomfortable   4      4      2      5      5      4      5      -
Entirely Uncmfrtble   3      8      2      1      4      3      4      -
DK/NA                 3      3      1      4      3      3      2      4
 
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.........
                     Sep 18  Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Entirely Comfortable 78      72      71
Smwht Comfortable    12      17      17
Smwht Uncomfortable   4       5       6
Entirely Uncmfrtble   3       3       3
DK/NA                 3       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 Comfortable 37%    63%    15%    37%    42%    33%    41%    16%
Smwht Comfortable    23     23     20     26     20     25     25     10
Smwht Uncomfortable  25     10     40     24     25     26     24     30 
Entirely Uncmfrtble  13      3     24     11     11     15      9     41
DK/NA                 2      1      1      1      2      2      1      3
 
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........
                     Sep 18  Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Entirely Comfortable 37      37      37
Smwht Comfortable    23      27      27
Smwht Uncomfortable  25      24      23
Entirely Uncmfrtble  13      10      11
DK/NA                 2       2       2
 
 
8. If you honestly assessed yourself, thinking in general about - a woman vice- 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 Comfortable 77%    85%    72%    77%    79%    75%    81%    42%
Smwht Comfortable    14     12     16     15     10     17     13     26
Smwht Uncomfortable   4      2      5      3      5      3      3      9
Entirely Uncmfrtble   3      1      5      2      2      3      2     13
DK/NA                 2      1      3      3      3      2      2      9
 
 
9. 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            11%    23%     2%    10%    12%    10%    13%     1%
The war in Iraq      15     10     21     15     12     18     15     19
The economy          47     40     52     49     47     48     47     50
Illegal immigration   4      5      1      5      4      3      4      1
Energy policy         9     12      6      8     13      5      8      5
Health care           8      5     14      6      5     11      7     20
SOMETHING ELSE(VOL)   3      3      3      3      4      3      4      2
DK/NA                 2      1      2      3      2      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 18  Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Terrorism            11       9       7
The war in Iraq      15      16      16
The economy          47      52      53
Illegal immigration   4       6       6
Energy policy         9      na      na
Health care           8      10      11
SOMETHING ELSE (VOL)  3       3       3
DK/NA                 2       4       4
 
 
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    Blk
 
Approve              31%    68%     4%    28%    33%    28%    35%     5%
Disapprove           65     27     94     67     61     68     61     90
DK/NA                 5      5      2      5      6      3      4      6
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as President?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Sep 18  Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Approve              31      30      26
Disapprove           65      64      67
DK/NA                 5       5       6
 
 
11. 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%    12%    22%    15%    14%    18%    15%    24%
Disapprove           76     80     68     80     80     72     77     65
DK/NA                 8      8     10      5      6     10      8     11
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Sep 18  Aug 19  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Approve              16      16      14
Disapprove           76      74      77
DK/NA                 8      10       9
 
 
12. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very satisfied        2%     3%     1%     2%     3%     1%     2%     -
Smwht satisfied      22     45      7     18     23     21     25      8
Smwht dissatisfied   37     36     35     40     36     37     37     26
Very dissatisfied    39     14     56     41     37     40     36     66
DK/NA                 1      1      -      -      1      1      1      -
 
TREND: In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Sep 18  Aug 20  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Very satisfied        2       2       2
Smwht satisfied      22      19      15
Smwht dissatisfied   37      41      40
Very dissatisfied    39      38      42
DK/NA                 1       1       1
 
 
13. Do you think going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Right thing          38%    74%     8%    39%    38%    37%    44%     2%
Wrong thing          56     20     87     55     56     56     51     93
DK/NA                 6      6      5      6      6      6      5      5
 
TREND: Do you think going to war with Iraq was the right thing for the United States to do or the wrong thing?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Sep 18  Aug 20  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Right thing          38      35      34
Wrong thing          56      59      59
DK/NA                 6       6       7
 
 
14. Regardless of how you intend to vote, what would you prefer the next president do about the war in Iraq? A) Begin immediately a withdrawal of American troops, with a fixed date to have them all out within 18 months. OR B) Keep troops in Iraq until the situation is more stable, and then begin to withdraw them, without a fixed date for full withdrawal.
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
A)Begin immediate
 withdrawal/18 mos   42%    14%    66%    42%    36%    47%    38%    77%
B)Stay until stable/
 No fixed dates      53     83     29     52     60     47     58     12
DK/NA                 5      3      6      6      4      6      4     11
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, what would you prefer the next president to do about the war in Iraq? A) Begin immediately a withdrawal of American troops with a fixed date to have them all out within 18 months OR B) Keep troops in Iraq until the situation is more stable and then begin to withdraw them without a fixed date for full withdrawal.
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Sep 18  Aug 20  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
A) Begin immediate
 withdrawal/18 mos   42      43      43
B) Stay until stable/
 No fixed date       53      51      51
DK/NA                 5       6       5
 
 
15. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as - Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Excellent             1%     -      2%     -      1%     -      -      4%
Good                 15     31      2     14     17     13     16      5
Not so good          39     51     32     38     40     39     42     21
Poor                 45     18     64     48     43     47     41     70
DK/NA                 -      1      -      -      -      -      -      -
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as - Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.
                     Sep 18  Aug 20
                     2008    2008
 
Excellent             1       1
Good                 15      12
Not so good          39      44
Poor                 45      42
DK/NA                 -       1
 
 
16. Which best describes your family's financial situation - Getting ahead, falling behind or holding steady?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Getting ahead        11%    15%     9%     7%    13%     8%    11%    11%
Falling behind       24     11     28     27     23     24     22     32
Holding steady       65     73     62     65     63     66     66     57
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1      1      1      -
 
TREND: Which best describes your family's financial situation - Getting ahead, falling behind or holding steady?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Sep 18  Aug 20  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
Getting ahead        11      11      12
Falling behind       24      26      22
Holding steady       65      62      65
DK/NA                 1       1       1
 
 
17. 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  14%    16%    14%    11%    14%    13%    14%    16%
B) Real estate vals  13     11     11     17     14     12     13      8
C) Health care cost  22     10     32     22     18     26     23     25
D) Gasoline prices   32     45     23     31     33     31     31     38
E) Food prices       15     15     17     13     15     16     15      9
DK/NA                 4      3      2      6      6      2      4      5
 
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 E) Rising food prices
                     LIKELY VOTERS.........
                     Sep 18  Aug 20  Jul 15
                     2008    2008    2008
 
A. Retirement funds  14      11      10
B. Real estate vals  13      11       6
C. Health care cost  22      21      16
D. Gasoline prices   32      34      50
E. Food prices       15      18      12
DK/NA                 4       6       6
 
 
18. 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                   31%     7%    50%    30%    25%    36%    25%    72%
Down                  7     12      5      5      7      7      7      2
Same                 57     77     39     62     66     50     64     19
DK/NA                 5      4      6      4      2      7      5      7
 
 
19. 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                   49%    75%    22%    53%    53%    45%    55%     6%
Down                 15      4     26     13     16     15     11     54
Same                 32     16     47     31     29     34     30     35
DK/NA                 4      5      4      3      2      6      5      5
 
 
20. Do you think John McCain's proposals on cutting taxes favor the rich, favor the middle class, favor the poor, or treat all people about equally?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Rich                 51%    14%    81%    52%    50%    51%    47%    87%
Middle class          9     18      4      7      9     10     10      7
Poor                  1      1      -      1      1      1      1      -
Treat all equally    28     54      9     27     30     26     29      3
DK/NA                11     13      5     13     10     11     12      3
 
 
21. Do you think Barack Obama's proposals on cutting taxes favor the rich, favor the middle class, favor the poor, or treat all people about equally?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Rich                  9%    14%     6%     8%     7%    11%     9%     4%
Middle class         33     16     49     31     34     31     32     39
Poor                 22     40      9     20     28     17     25      6
Treat all equally    23     15     30     22     18     26     19     43
DK/NA                13     14      6     19     12     14     14      8
 
 
22. Do you think it's the government's responsibility to make sure that everyone in the United States has adequate health-care, or don't you think so?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  58%    31%    82%    57%    49%    67%    53%    82%
No                   39     65     17     39     48     31     44     16
DK/NA                 3      4      1      4      3      3      3      2
 
 
23. Do you think the news media coverage of the Presidential campaign has favored - John McCain and Sarah Palin, has favored Barack Obama and Joe Biden or has it treated them about equally?
                     LIKELY VOTERS.......................................
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
McCain and Palin     14%     2%    23%    15%    14%    14%    11%    33%
Obama and Biden      34     67      8     34     40     29     40      2
Treated equally      49     29     64     51     43     54     46     64
DK/NA                 3      3      5      1      3      3      3      -