WISCONSINREPORT.COM (06/30/08) - Polls are in huge abundance during this presidential election year in the United States, and, they vary from week to week. However, a Wall Street Journal - Washington Post - Quinnepiac University poll deserves mentioning. It shows that Democrat Barack Obama is out in front of Republican John McCain by a hefty margin in Wisconsin, and elsewhere. The poll results, released late last week, was taken before Hillary Clinton gave her speech at Unity, New Hampshire.
An emerging Democratic coalition of women, minorities and younger voters is propelling Illinois Sen. Barack Obama to leads of five to 17 percentage points over Arizona Sen. John McCain among likely voters in the battleground states of Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to four simultaneous Quinnipiac University polls, conducted in partnership with The Wall Street Journal and washingtonpost.com.
Senator McCain's lead among white voters in Colorado and Michigan cuts the gap to single digits, but doesn't offset Sen. Obama's strength among other groups. The Democrat also leads by eight to 21 percentage points among independent voters in each state.
Overall results show:
- Colorado: Obama leads McCain 49 - 44 percent, including 51 - 39 percent among independent voters;
- Michigan: Obama tops McCain 48 - 42 percent, with 46 - 38 percent among independents;
- Minnesota: Obama buries McCain 54 - 37 percent, and 54 - 33 percent with independents;
- Wisconsin: Obama leads McCain 52 - 39 percent, and 50 - 37 percent with independents.
Democrats would like Obama to pick Senator Hillary Clinton as his running mate, but voters overall reject the idea. Independent voters oppose Sen. Clinton by 16 to 29 percentage points.
"November can't get here soon enough for Sen. Barack Obama. He has a lead everywhere, and if nothing changes between now and November he will make history," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"But Sen. Obama should not be picking out the drapes for the Oval Office just yet. His lead nationally, and double digits in some key states, is not hugely different from where Sen. John Kerry stood four years ago at this point in the campaign," Brown added.
"At this point, Sen. Obama has assembled what Democrats see as their victory coalition for the future: young people, racial minorities and women, while remaining competitive - and in some places ahead - among men and whites.
"There is a clear consensus among voters in all of these states that they don't want Sen. Hillary Clinton as vice president and that they see her as a liability for Obama, not an asset."
President Bush's approval ratings are:
31 - 63 percent in Colorado;
26 - 67 percent in Michigan;
24 - 70 percent in Minnesota;
27 - 67 percent in Wisconsin.
Obama leads 53 - 39 percent among Colorado women likely voters, while men back McCain 50 - 45 percent. White voters split with 47 percent for McCain and 46 percent for Obama as Hispanic voters go Democratic 62 - 36 percent. Obama leads 53 - 45 percent with voters 18 to 34 years old and 49 - 42 percent among voters 35 to 54. He gets 47 percent of voters over 55 to McCain's 45 percent.
Obama gets a 53 - 33 percent favorability rating, with 53 - 32 percent for McCain.
While 19 percent of Colorado voters say they are less likely to vote for McCain because of his age, 78 percent say it doesn't matter. Obama's race won't affect their vote, 91 percent say.
The economy is the most important issue in their vote, 47 percent say, while 19 percent list the war in Iraq, 10 percent cite health care and 9 percent cite illegal immigration.
"Democrats say Colorado is one of the states most likely to turn from red to blue in 2008, and these numbers certainly support that view," said Brown.
In the U.S. Senate race, U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, the Democrat, leads Republican Robert Schaffer 48 - 38 percent, including 54 - 27 percent among independent voters.
Colorado voters support 66 - 15 percent a constitutional amendment outlawing discrimination or preferential treatment in public employment, contracting or education.
"Similar ballot proposals passed easily in Washington, California and Michigan. Colorado looks like it will join that list unless there is a dramatic shift in voter sentiment," Brown said.
Michigan women voters back Obama 52 - 38 percent, while men split with 46 percent for McCain and 45 percent for Obama. White voters back McCain 48 - 42 percent, as black voters support Obama 89 - 6 percent. The Democrat leads 57 - 36 percent among voters 18 to 34 and gets 48 percent of voters 35 to 54, to McCain's 45 percent. Obama has a 45 - 42 percent edge among voters over 55.
Voters give Obama a 54 - 27 percent favorability, with 49 - 29 percent for McCain.
Because of his age, 18 percent of Michigan voters are less likely to vote for McCain, and 79 percent say it doesn't matter. Obama's race won't affect their vote, 90 percent say.
For 56 percent of Michigan voters, the economy is the most important issue in November, while 16 percent list the war in Iraq and 10 percent cite health care.
"Michigan is a blue-collar state with a large white, working-class vote, the kind of voters with whom Sen. Obama had problems during the primaries. But at this point Sen. McCain isn't doing nearly as well among that group as he needs to in order to carry Michigan," Brown said.
Obama tops McCain 58 - 32 percent with women and 49 - 42 percent among men. White voters support Obama 51 - 39 percent. The Democrat leads 63 - 33 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old, 52 - 39 percent among voters 35 to 54 and 49 - 38 percent with voters over 55.
Obama gets a 59 - 22 percent favorability, to 46 - 32 percent for McCain.
McCain's age will not affect their vote, 75 percent say, while 22 percent say they are less likely to vote for him because of his age. Obama's race will not affect their vote, 90 percent say.
By a 23 - 18 percent margin, Minnesota voters are less likely to vote Republican if Gov. Tim Pawlenty is the vice presidential candidate, while 56 percent say it won't affect their vote.
The economy is the most important issue for 51 percent of Minnesota voters, while 21 percent list the war in Iraq and 11 percent list health care.
In the Minnesota U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman tops Democrat Al Franken 51 - 41 percent, including 55 - 35 percent among independent voters.
"Senator Obama sweeps nearly every demographic group in Minnesota, including whites and blue collar workers, to lead by 17 points, the biggest lead in the four states surveyed. At the same time, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, with overwhelming support among men and a tie among women, has a 10-point overall lead over comedian Al Franken, the Democratic challenger," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"Most voters say it would not make any difference in their vote if Gov. Tim Pawlenty is McCain's running mate," Richards added.
Wisconsin women likely voters back Obama 53 - 37 percent while men back the Democrat 51 - 40 percent. White voters back Obama 49 - 42 percent. He leads 61 - 35 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old, 52 - 39 percent among voters 35 to 54 years old and 47 - 41 percent among voters over 55.
Obama's favorability is 54 - 27 percent, with 48 - 30 percent for McCain.
McCain's age won't affect their vote, 77 percent say, while 20 percent are less likely to vote for him because of his age. Obama's race doesn't matter, 91 percent say.
The economy is the most important issue in their vote, 47 percent of Wisconsin voters say, while 20 percent cite the war in Iraq and 14 percent list health care.
By a 7 - 4 percent margin, Wisconsin voters are less likely to vote Republican if Gov. Pawlenty is the vice presidential candidate, while 81 percent say it won't affect their vote.
"Winning a majority of the white vote and leading among blue collar workers, Obama leads by 13 points with eight in 10 voters saying their mind is made up in this campaign," Richards said.
"While reports suggest having Gov. Pawlenty from neighboring Minnesota as a running mate would give Sen. McCain an edge in Wisconsin, Badger State voters say having him on the ticket would make little difference in how they vote."
From June 17 - 24, Quinnipiac University surveyed:
- 1,351 Colorado likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent;
- 1,411 Michigan likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent;
- 1,572 Minnesota likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent;
- 1,537 Wisconsin likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent.
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.