March 20, 2012 - Obama Back On Top In Virginia Presidential Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; McDonnell On Ticket Doesn't Help GOP

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President Barack Obama leads all the Republican presidential candidates in Virginia, with his 50 - 42 percent margin over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney his biggest lead over Romney in this election cycle, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Putting Gov. Bob McDonnell on the ticket as the GOP vice-presidential nominee does not help the Republicans carry the state, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. In a matchup of President Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden against Romney and McDonnell, the Democrats win 50 - 43 percent.

Obama wins head to head against other Republican contenders:
  • 54 - 35 percent over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich;
  • 49 - 40 percent over former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum;
  • 49 - 39 percent over Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.
In Virginia's U.S. Senate race, Democrat Tim Kaine has 47 percent to Republican George Allen's 44 percent, too close to call.

"President Barack Obama has opened up some daylight in Virginia against his Republican challengers," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "His margin over Romney, in the state where Obama has been struggling after his win in 2008, compares to a slight 47 - 43 percent lead in February."

"The president's lead over Romney in Virginia is due mainly to his strong margin among women, 52 - 39 percent, but he also wins 48 percent of men to Romney's 45 percent."

Obama leads 97 - 2 percent among Democrats and gets 46 percent of independent voters to Romney's 43 percent. Romney is ahead among Republicans 84 - 6 percent.

With McDonnell on the GOP ticket, women still vote Democratic 51 - 40 percent while men split with 48 percent for the Democrats and 46 percent for the Republicans. Independent voters go 45 percent Democrat to 43 percent Republican, a statistical tie.

"There has been speculation about Gov. Bob McDonnell being a possible choice for vice president by the eventual GOP nominee," Brown said. "What this Quinnipiac University survey finds is that despite the governor's approval ratings with Virginia voters, he does not appear to help give the GOP the state's electoral votes."

Overall, Obama is seen most positively by Virginia registered voters when they are asked to rate the candidates favorably or unfavorably. The president gets a 51 - 44 percent favorability.

Romney gets a negative 36 - 43 percent favorability rating, his first negative in Virginia, while Santorum gets a negative 33 - 39 percent score.

Virginia voters approve 49 - 47 percent of the job the president is doing, Obama's best score in almost a year, and say 49 - 47 percent he deserves to be reelected, also his best score.

"These numbers don't constitute a mandate, but they are an improvement," Brown said.

U.S. Senate Race

Both candidates in the Senate race get positive favorability ratings, 48 - 29 percent for Kaine and 41 - 26 percent for Allen.

In the matchup, women back Kaine 49 - 40 percent while men go 48 percent for Allen and 46 percent for Kaine. Independent voters also are in a statistical tie, with 45 percent for Allen and 43 percent for Kaine.

"Virginia's U.S. Senate race has been too-close-to-call from the get-go," said Brown. "It remains a squeaker and is likely to remain that way until the November election. An Obama victory in the presidential race would help Kaine, while if the Republican carries the state in November that would help Allen."

From March 13 - 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,034 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

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

1. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and - Newt Gingrich the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                54%    10%    97%    53%    52%    55%    40%    94%
Gingrich             35     73      2     34     37     34     45      5
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      -      4      3      1      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      9      1      5      4      5      7      -
DK/NA                 4      6      1      5      4      5      6      -
 
                                   WHITE................................
                     COLLEGE DEG   COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Obama                56%    52%    49%    34%    39%    41%    24%    46%
Gingrich             35     35     41     48     47     44     59     45
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      1      2      2      4      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      6      4      8      6      7      7      4
DK/NA                 3      5      3      8      4      7      8      4
 
                     Miltry ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     HsHold <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Obama                44%    60%    50%    55%    51%    59%    53%    50%
Gingrich             45     26     37     35     39     28     36     40
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      3      3      2      4      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      6      8      4      3      4      6      4      5
DK/NA                 3      5      5      4      3      3      5      4
 
TREND: If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Newt Gingrich the Republican, for whom would you vote? (2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21
                     2012    2012    2011
                             
Obama                54      51      46
Gingrich             35      37      41
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       2       3
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5       5       4
DK/NA                 4       5       6
 
2. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and - Rick Santorum the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                49%     6%    95%    46%    48%    51%    36%    95%
Santorum             40     82      2     40     42     39     52      5
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      -      3      3      1      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      4      -      4      3      2      4      -
DK/NA                 6      7      3      6      4      7      6      -
 
                                   WHITE................................
                     COLLEGE DEG   COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Obama                53%    47%    47%    29%    34%    37%    17%    42%
Santorum             38     42     45     56     53     51     72     49
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      1      2      2      3      1      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      3      3      5      5      3      1      3
DK/NA                 4      7      3      8      4      8      9      5
 
                     Miltry ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     HsHold <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Obama                43%    57%    44%    47%    51%    55%    48%    47%
Santorum             46     32     41     44     41     34     41     45
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      1      3      2      2      4      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      4      4      1      2      3      3      3
DK/NA                 5      6      8      6      4      5      6      5
 
TREND: If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Rick Santorum the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Mar 20  Feb 08
                     2012    2012  
 
Obama                49      49
Santorum             40      41 
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       1 
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3       4 
DK/NA                 6       5 
 
3. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and - Ron Paul the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                49%     9%    91%    46%    47%    50%    35%    90%
Paul                 39     70      5     41     42     36     49      7
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      3      -      2      2      2      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5     11      -      5      5      5      7      -
DK/NA                 6      7      4      6      4      8      7      2
 
                                   WHITE................................
                     COLLEGE DEG   COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Obama                53%    46%    46%    28%    34%    37%    21%    41%
Paul                 37     39     45     52     51     47     59     48
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      1      2      2      2      1      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      6      5      9      8      6      9      4
DK/NA                 4      8      3     10      5      8      8      5
 
                     Miltry ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     HsHold <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Obama                41%    51%    43%    49%    50%    51%    48%    48%
Paul                 48     33     43     37     41     41     40     37
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      2      -      3      1      2      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5      5      5      5      5      3      4      7
DK/NA                 4      9      8      6      3      3      6      6
 
TREND: If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Ron Paul the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Mar 20  Feb 08
                     2012    2012  
 
Obama                49      47
Paul                 39      40 
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2       1 
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      5       6 
DK/NA                 6       6 
 
 
4. If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and - Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                50%     6%    97%    46%    48%    52%    36%    95%
Romney               42     84      2     43     45     39     54      5
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      2      2      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4      5      -      5      3      4      5      -
DK/NA                 3      5      -      4      2      4      4      -
 
                                   WHITE................................
                     COLLEGE DEG   COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Obama                50%    50%    42%    32%    36%    37%    23%    40%
Romney               44     41     51     55     55     52     66     52
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       3      -      2      1      2      1      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      5      2      7      4      6      6      3
DK/NA                 2      4      2      5      3      5      5      3
 
                     Miltry ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     HsHold <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Obama                41%    58%    50%    48%    46%    51%    52%    46%
Romney               53     29     42     47     47     39     40     46
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      2      2      1      2      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      6      4      -      4      5      4      3
DK/NA                 2      5      3      2      3      2      3      4
 
TREND: If the election for President were being held today, and the candidates were Barack Obama the Democrat and Mitt Romney the Republican, for whom would you vote? (2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21  Oct 11  Sep 15
                     2012    2012    2011    2011    2011
 
Obama                50      47      42      44      42
Romney               42      43      44      45      44
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1       3       1       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      4       3       3       3       2
DK/NA                 3       5       7       7       9
 
 
5. Let's say the Democratic ticket is Barack Obama for president and Joe Biden for vice president and the Republican ticket is Mitt Romney for president and Bob McDonnell for vice president. If you were voting today, how would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama/Biden          50%     7%    96%    45%    48%    51%    37%    93%
Romney/McDonnell     43     85      2     43     46     40     55      5
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      2      -      2      1      1      1      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      3      3      -      6      3      3      4      -
DK/NA                 3      3      1      4      2      4      3      2
 
                                   WHITE................................
                     COLLEGE DEG   COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Obama/Biden          50%    49%    43%    33%    36%    37%    23%    41%
Romney/McDonnell     43     42     51     57     56     53     70     51
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       2      -      3      -      1      1      1      2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      4      2      5      4      4      3      3
DK/NA                 2      4      2      4      2      4      3      3
 
                     Miltry ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     HsHold <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Obama/Biden          41%    59%    50%    48%    46%    51%    52%    46%
Romney/McDonnell     55     32     42     46     47     41     41     46
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      1      1      2      1      2      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      2      4      4      1      4      3      4      4
DK/NA                 2      4      3      4      1      3      2      4
 
 
6. Is your opinion of - Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            36%    66%     6%    39%    40%    32%    43%     8%
Unfavorable          43     17     69     41     45     41     39     60
Hvn't hrd enough     18     14     21     16     13     22     15     29
REFUSED               3      2      4      3      2      4      3      4
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Mitt Romney favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21  Oct 11
                     2012    2012    2011    2011
 
Favorable            36      43      37      38
Unfavorable          43      39      27      29
Hvn't hrd enough     18      15      33      31
REFUSED               3       3       3       2
 
 
7. Is your opinion of - Rick Santorum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            33%    66%     8%    32%    38%    28%    39%    11%
Unfavorable          39     10     59     45     43     36     36     54
Hvn't hrd enough     27     24     32     22     18     34     23     35
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      1      1      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Rick Santorum favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 20  Feb 08
                     2012    2012  
 
Favorable            33      32
Unfavorable          39      28 
Hvn't hrd enough     27      38 
REFUSED               1       1
 
 
8. 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            51%     8%    93%    50%    49%    53%    39%    93%
Unfavorable          44     87      3     44     47     41     56      4
Hvn't hrd enough      3      2      3      4      2      4      3      2
REFUSED               2      3      1      2      2      2      2      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Barack Obama favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21  Oct 11
                     2012    2012    2011    2011
 
Favorable            51      50      45      45
Unfavorable          44      47      47      49
Hvn't hrd enough      3       1       3       2
REFUSED               2       2       4       3
 
 
9. Compared to past presidential elections, how would you describe your level of enthusiasm about voting in this year's presidential election; are you more enthusiastic than usual, less enthusiastic, or about the same as usual?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
More                 33%    41%    33%    29%    39%    28%    32%    39%
Less                 25     26     14     35     20     30     28      7
About the same       41     33     53     35     40     42     39     54
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      1      1      1      -
 
                                   WHITE................................
                     COLLEGE DEG   COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
More                 36%    31%    35%    30%    40%    24%    33%    32%
Less                 22     27     22     32     22     34     29     28
About the same       41     41     41     37     36     41     37     40
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      2      1      1      -
 
                     Miltry ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     HsHold <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
More                 35%    30%    29%    33%    36%    34%    31%    34%
Less                 21     26     22     26     27     24     30     21
About the same       43     44     46     41     37     42     39     43
DK/NA                 1      -      3      -      -      1      -      1
 
 
TREND: Compared to past presidential elections, how would you describe your level of enthusiasm about voting in this year's presidential election; are you more enthusiastic than usual, less enthusiastic, or about the same as usual? (2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21  Oct 11
                     2012    2012    2011    2011
 
More                 33      31      30      35
Less                 25      23      23      20
About the same       41      46      46      44
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1
 
10. If the election for United States Senator were being held today, and the candidates were George Allen the Republican and Tim Kaine the Democrat, for whom would you vote?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Allen                44%    87%     4%    45%    48%    40%    53%     6%
Kaine                47      8     90     43     46     49     38     83
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      -      -      1      1      -      1      -
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      1      -      1      1      1      1      -
DK/NA                 8      4      6     11      4     11      7     11
 
                                   East   West   ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...
                     North  SthEst Rchmnd Shnd   <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K
 
Allen                42%    39%    43%    54%    39%    40%    43%    46%
Kaine                48     52     49     37     45     49     50     47
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1      1      1      -      1      1      -      1
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1      -      1      1      1      2      -      1
DK/NA                 8      8      7      8     14      9      7      5
 
TREND: If the election for United States Senator were being held today and the candidates were George Allen the Republican and Tim Kaine the Democrat, for whom would you vote? (2011 wording referenced "2012 election")
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21  Oct 11  Sep 15  Jun 30
                     2012    2012    2011    2011    2011    2011
                             
Allen                44      44      44      44      45      42
Kaine                47      45      42      45      44      43
SMONE ELSE(VOL)       1       1       1       1       1       2
WLDN'T VOTE(VOL)      1       2       2       1       1       2
DK/NA(VOL)            8       9      12       9       9      11
 
11. Is your opinion of George Allen favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            41%    75%    15%    40%    43%    39%    47%    19%
Unfavorable          26      5     49     24     29     23     24     35
Hvn't hrd enough     32     19     35     34     26     36     27     45
REFUSED               1      1      1      1      1      2      2      1
 
TREND: Is your opinion of George Allen favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21  Oct 11
                     2012    2012    2011    2011
 
Favorable            41      42      41      45
Unfavorable          26      29      27      28
Hvn't hrd enough     32      27      30      26
REFUSED               1       1       2       1
 
 
12. Is your opinion of Tim Kaine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Favorable            48%    19%    79%    46%    47%    48%    44%    68%
Unfavorable          29     54      3     32     33     25     34      6
Hvn't hrd enough     23     26     19     21     18     27     21     26
REFUSED               1      1      -      1      1      1      1      -
 
TREND: Is your opinion of Tim Kaine favorable, unfavorable or haven't you heard enough about him?
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21  Oct 11
                     2012    2012    2011    2011
 
Favorable            48      46      42      47
Unfavorable          29      29      27      29
Hvn't hrd enough     23      25      28      23
REFUSED               1       1       2       1
 
 
17. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Approve              49%    10%    92%    46%    47%    52%    36%    92%
Disapprove           47     86      4     49     50     43     59      5
DK/NA                 4      4      4      4      3      5      4      3
 
                                   WHITE................................
                     COLLEGE DEG   COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Approve              51%    48%    44%    32%    35%    37%    23%    41%
Disapprove           47     46     54     63     62     57     70     57
DK/NA                 2      6      2      5      3      5      7      2
 
                     Miltry ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     HsHold <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Approve              41%    59%    50%    43%    48%    53%    51%    46%
Disapprove           55     38     44     50     49     43     45     51
DK/NA                 4      3      6      6      2      4      4      3
 
TREND: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21  Oct 11  Sep 15  Jun 30
                     2012    2012    2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Approve              49      46      42      45      40      48
Disapprove           47      49      51      52      54      48
DK/NA                 4       5       7       3       6       4
 
 
20. Do you feel that Barack Obama deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes/Deserves         49%     9%    95%    45%    48%    51%    36%    95%
No/Does not          47     89      3     49     50     44     60      5
DK/NA                 4      2      2      6      3      5      4      1
 
                                   WHITE................................
                     COLLEGE DEG   COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Yes/Deserves         51%    49%    42%    32%    35%    37%    22%    39%
No/Does not          46     47     55     64     62     59     74     58
DK/NA                 3      4      3      5      3      5      4      4
 
                     Miltry ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     HsHold <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Yes/Deserves         41%    58%    49%    47%    47%    54%    50%    46%
No/Does not          55     38     44     50     50     42     46     50
DK/NA                 4      4      7      3      3      4      4      4
 
TREND: Do you feel that Barack Obama deserves to be reelected, or do you feel that he does not deserve to be reelected?
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21  Oct 11  Sep 15  Jun 30
                     2012    2012    2011    2011    2011    2011
 
Yes/Deserves         49      46      41      44      41      47
No/Does not          47      48      53      51      51      47
DK/NA                 4       5       6       5       8       6
 
 
21. Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on the economy, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Obama                47%     7%    89%    44%    45%    49%    34%    89%
Romney               45     86      6     47     49     42     58      7
DK/NA                 8      7      5      9      6      9      8      4
 
                                   WHITE................................
                     COLLEGE DEG   COLLEGE DEG                 BornAgnEv
                     Yes    No     Yes    No     Men    Wom    Yes    No
 
Obama                47%    48%    38%    31%    34%    34%    21%    37%
Romney               47     44     55     60     60     56     70     55
DK/NA                 7      8      7      9      6     10      8      8
 
                     Miltry ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME...  AGE IN YRS.......
                     HsHold <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K  18-34  35-54  55+
 
Obama                42%    56%    50%    46%    42%    55%    47%    44%
Romney               53     38     43     48     52     41     45     48
DK/NA                 5      6      7      6      7      4      8      8
 
TREND: Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you think would do a better job on the economy, Barack Obama or Mitt Romney?
                     Mar 20  Feb 08  Dec 21
                     2012    2012    2011
 
Obama                47      44      41
Romney               45      47      46
DK/NA                 8       9      13
 

Demographic Summary