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Berlin-Brandenburg School Project on the U.S. Presidential Elections 2008

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Index l Presidential Candidates l Opinion Polls l Issues l States l
About the USA: 2008 Elections

Polling Sources

2008 Harris Polls
Zogby International
The Gallup Organization
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
Polling Report
CBS News Polls
Los Angeles Times Poll
The Washington Post/ABC News Polls
ABC News Polling Unit
Rasmussen Reports
Project Vote Smart: Political Resources - Polling Resources



Public opinion polling is ever-present in American life. Estimates indicate that, for the 2008 election cycle, more than 500 state and national polls are surveying the U.S. public about the presidential race or issues ranging from Iraq and the environment to immigration and the economy. For more information please see Polls and Pundits from the IIP Publication USA Elections in Brief.

Poll Averages: RealClearPolitics Polls

The Latest Polls

Gallup today has Barack Obama opening a 50 percent to 42 percent lead in the surveying it did Sept. 25-27. A separate Gallup poll on just the debate itself declared Obama the winner by 12 points.

Rasmussen Report has Obama ahead 50 percent to 44 percent which Rasmussen also says is the biggest lead Obama has enjoyed in its daily tracking poll.

Rasmussen Reports: Election 2008 - Electoral College Update: McCain 200 - Obama 193. (Sept. 13, 2008)

Gallup Daily: McCain Moves Ahead, 48% to 45%  - The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update shows John McCain moving ahead of Barack Obama, 48% to 45%, when registered voters are asked for whom they would vote if the presidential election were held today. (Sept. 7, 2008)

USA Today/Gallup: McCain +10 - USA Today/Gallup has released a new survey conducted over the weekend showing John McCain leading by four points among registered voters (50-46) and ten points (54-44) among those most likely to vote in November. (Sept. 7, 2008)

Rasmussen Reports: Daily Presidential Tracking Poll - The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows John McCain with a statistically insignificant one-point lead over Barack Obama. (Sept. 10, 2008)

Polls: How will African Americans Vote?

New York Times/CBS News Poll: Poll Finds Obama Candidacy Isn’t Closing Divide on Race: Blacks and whites hold vastly different views of Senator Barack Obama and the state of race relations, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. (July 16, 2008)
Graphic | How the Poll Was Conducted | Complete Poll Results (pdf)

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press: Obama's Black Audience - What Surveys Show About the Attitudes and Priorities of African Americans

Poll: Hispanic Voter Attitudes

PEW Hispanic Center: 2008 National Survey of Latinos: Hispanic Voter Attitudes: Hispanic registered voters support Democrat Barack Obama for president over Republican John McCain by 66% to 23%, according to a nationwide survey of 2,015 Latinos conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, from June 9 through July 13, 2008.
The presumptive Democratic nominee's strong showing in this survey represents a sharp reversal in his fortunes from the primaries, when Obama lost the Latino vote to Hillary Rodham Clinton by a nearly two-to-one ratio, giving rise to speculation in some quarters that Hispanics were disinclined to vote for a black candidate. (July 24, 2008)

Polls: How will Female Voters Vote?

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press: Should Women Worry Obama?: Whether female voters, who largely favored Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, will give broad support to Barack Obama this fall remains a key to the outcome of the election. The latest survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that Obama is, in fact, performing quite well among this key voting bloc, largely as the result of his substantial lead among politically independent and younger women. However, a significant numbers of older women, especially those who backed Clinton for the Democratic nomination, are not yet ready to throw their support behind Obama.
The presumptive Democratic nominee currently holds a double-digit advantage over John McCain among women voters (51% to 37%), a considerable improvement from May, when Obama held a much narrower 47% to 42% margin. And his lead among this group is wider than those held by John Kerry (47% to 46%) and Al Gore (50% to 41%) over George W. Bush at this stage in 2004 and 2000, respectively. (July 17, 2008)

Poll: Senator Biden

Zogby Poll: Obama Scores by Picking Biden as Running Mate; Gains Ground - Picking Biden seen as a good decision; Vice Presidential candidates seen as much more important in this election. In a year when three-quarter of voters see the vice presidential candidates as important to the Democratic and Republican tickets this year, Democrat Barack Obama scored good marks for choosing Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate, a flash Zogby Interactive poll shows. Nearly half - 43% said they think it was a good decision by Obama, while 25% said it was a bad one, the Zogby online survey shows. And while 43% said Biden was the best available option for Obama, 41% disagreed. However, 43% said they think Biden will help Obama's chances to get elected, while 22% said he would hurt the ticket's chances in November. (August 24, 2008)

Poll: Governor Palin

Zogby Poll: Brash McCain pick of AK Gov. Palin neutralizes historic Obama speech - Republican John McCain's surprise announcement Friday of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate - some 16 hours after Democrat Barack Obama's historic speech accepting his party’s presidential nomination - has possibly stunted any Obama convention bump, the latest Zogby Interactive flash poll of the race shows. The latest nationwide survey, begun Friday afternoon after the McCain announcement of Palin as running mate and completed mid-afternoon today, shows McCain/Palin at 47%, compared to 45% support for Obama/Biden. (August 30, 2008)

Poll on U.S. Economy

Gallup: On Economy, McCain Gains Ground on Obama - 48% of Americans say Barack Obama can better handle the economy, while 45% choose John McCain. This marks a significant gain by McCain; just before the Democratic National Convention in late August, Obama had a 16-point margin over McCain on the economy. (Sept. 10, 2008)

Gallup: Whites, Blacks, Hispanics All Say U.S. Economy Is Lousy: Among Americans surveyed during the first half of August, 83% of blacks, 78% of whites, and 75% of Hispanics say current economic conditions are “getting worse,” but all are somewhat less pessimistic than they were a month ago. (August 19, 2008)

Study: How will Working-Class Whites Vote?

National Journal: Concerns About Obama Linger Among Blue-Collar Whites, Study Finds: Doubts about Barack Obama's experience, values, and patriotism, more than racial resentments, are driving the resistance to him among working-class whites, according to an extensive study of those voters to be released today by veteran Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg. In the study, built around focus groups and a poll, Greenberg and four colleagues found Obama facing substantial hurdles but still possessing the opportunity for gains in Macomb County, a bellwether blue-collar suburb northeast of Detroit.
The survey found McCain leading Obama in Macomb by 51 percent to 42 percent, with Obama suffering substantial defection among white noncollege Democrats. In the focus groups, conducted among Democrats resisting Obama, voters struggled between a strong desire for change and deep doubts about the presumptive Democratic nominee.
"We know Obama is able to bring suburban, young, and minority voters," said Greenberg, who will release the study, "Back to Macomb," at a Convention Daily briefing this morning. "The question now is does he build a real majority with older [and blue-collar] voters."
Since the 1980s, Macomb has been closely watched as a hotbed of "Reagan Democrats"--traditionally Democratic working-class whites who moved to the GOP during the Ronald Reagan era around issues of national strength, taxes, and a belief that Democrats favored minorities on questions like welfare and affirmative action. (August 25, 2008)

Swing State Polling

FOX/Rasmussen: Swing State Polling - Polling in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia shows marginal gains for McCain in three states and for Obama in two. (Sept. 14, 2008)

FOX/Rasmussen: Swing State Polling - Rasmussen Reports conducted five state telephone surveys in partnership with Fox News Channel. The surveys were conducted in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. A total of 500 Likely Voters were interviewed in each state using the Rasmussen Reports automated telephone survey methodology. (Sept. 7, 2008)



Pollsters Take the Political Pulse of American Voters (U.S. Department of State, IIP) - "In 1936, when public opinion polls were in their infancy, the prestigious Literary Digest conducted an ambitious survey using phone books and automobile registrations. Their conclusion: Republican Alf Landon handily would defeat incumbent President Franklin Roosevelt."
Political Polls: Why We Just Can't Live Without Them - John Zogby (U.S. Department of State, IIP): "I make my living by asking questions and so here are a few: What do early polls mean many months before an election? Do they predict or are they simply barometric readings? With all the talk of global warming, are Americans (and those who follow American elections) victims of "poll-ution" — i.e., too many polls out there in the public domain? Can we do without the public polls? I will try to answer each of these questions."
Pollster Discusses How Independent Voters Affect U.S. Politics - John Zogby explains how political center of United States has been “reborn” (U.S. Department of State, IIP): "In the presidential races of 1996, 2000 and 2004, Zogby correctly identified the winners -- something no other major American pollster was able to do. Much of Zogby's polling is conducted using live telephone operators, but over the past decade he has developed an interactive polling methodology that has become extraordinarily accurate."


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October 2, 2008