WISCONSINREPORT.COM (10/15/08) - Boosted by the economic crisis and a strong second debate performance, Democrat Barack Obama is over the 50 percent mark in the key battleground states of Wisconsin, Colorado, Michigan, and Minnesota, and for the first time leads or ties Republican John McCain among white voters in all four states. The four simultaneous Quinnipiac University polls of likely voters released yesterday also shows by wide margins, voters in each state say Senator Obama understands the economy better than Senator McCain. By bigger margins, voters say McCain better understands foreign policy.
While voters in each state say Obama won last week’s second debate, there was little post debate movement except in Wisconsin.
Obama also has caught or passed McCain among men voters in all four states for the first time.
Overall results show:
- Wisconsin: Obama leads 51 – 43 percent pre-debate and 54 – 37 percent post debate.
- Colorado: Obama leads 52 – 43 percent pre-debate and 52 – 43 percent post debate.
- Michigan: Obama is up 55 – 37 percent pre debate and 54 – 38 percent post debate.
- Minnesota: Obama leads 51 – 43 percent pre-debate and 51 – 40 percent post debate.
"Senator Obama’s leads in these four battleground states are as large as they have been the entire campaign," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"Those margins may be insurmountable barring a reversal that has never been seen before in the modern era in which polling monitors public opinion throughout the campaign," Brown added.
"The only possible bright spot for Sen. McCain, and you would need Mary Poppins to find it in these numbers, is that he is holding roughly the same portion of the Republican vote," Brown continued.
"But McCain’s support among independent voters, a group he says are key to winning the White House, has collapsed," Brown said.
"Any realistic chance of McCain coming from behind depends on scoring a knockout in this week’s last debate. But given that he has been judged by the electorate to have lost both of the previous face-offs, that would seem to be a very tall order," said Brown.
"Obama’s surge comes from voters saying by wide margins that he better understands the economy," Brown said about the Democratic hopeful. "Moreover, about that many more say McCain has not shown effective leadership on the economy," Brown pointed out.
President Bush’s approval ratings are:
- 27 approve, while 68 percent do not in Colorado.
- 23 approval compared to 69 percent dissapproval in Michigan.
- 21 approve in Minnesota while 73 percent do not approve of President Bush.
- In Wisconsin, 21 percent approval of Bush, and 73 percent in the poll dissapprove of President Bush's performance.
Post second debate, Obama leads 59 – 33 percent among Wisconsin women voters and 49 – 41 percent among men. He leads McCain 52 – 39 among white voters and 52 – 36 percent among independent voters.
Biden is qualified to be Vice President, Wisconsin voters say 74 – 13 percent, while Palin is not qualified, voters say 47 – 43 percent, including 49 – 40 percent among women.
The economy is the biggest issue, 55 percent of Wisconsin voters who were polled say, and Obama understands it better, voters say 53 – 32 percent. McCain understands foreign policy better, voters say 57 – 32 percent.
Obama did a better job on the second debate than McCain, Wisconsin voters who watched say 58 – 21 percent.
"Even white men favor Barack Obama in Wisconsin where his debate performance and the crumbling economy sparked a doubling of his lead over John McCain," Richards pointed out.
"It (Wisconsin) is one of the few battleground states where Obama has a substantial lead among blue collar voters and Catholics as well as white men and women," Richards said.
Post second debate, Obama leads 54 – 38 percent among Colorado women voters, and inches ahead of McCain 49 – 47 percent among men. White voters go 48 percent for Obama and 47 percent for McCain. Independent voters back the Democrat 51 – 40 percent.
Voters say 82 – 11 that Democratic running mate Sen. Joe Biden is qualified to be Vice President.
Voters say 51 – 44 that Republican Gov. Sarah Palin is not qualified. Women voters say 52 – 42 percent that she is not qualified.
The economy is the most important issue in the election, 54 percent of Colorado voters say. Obama better understands the economy, voters say 51 – 39 percent, while McCain better understands foreign policy, voters say 58 – 34 percent.
Voters who watched the October 7 debate say 56 – 24 percent that Obama did a better job.
In the U.S. Senate race, U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, the Democrat, leads Republican Robert Schaffer 54 – 40 percent, compared to 48 – 40 percent September 23.
Colorado voters support 63 – 21 percent a state constitutional amendment outlawing discrimination or preferential treatment in public employment, contracting or education.
"The key to winning elections in Colorado is independent voters and Sen. Obama has blown open the race there with his 11-point lead among them," Brown said. "These same voters say 3-1 that the Democrat won the last debate, which drives one more nail into McCain’s coffin," Brown explained.
Post second debate, Michigan women voters back Obama 60 – 32 percent, and men back Obama 48 – 44 percent. White voters back Obama 48 – 43 percent and independent voters go with the Democrat 52 – 35 percent.
Senator Biden is qualified to be Vice President, voters say 76 – 12 percent, while Gov. Palin is not qualified, voters say 47 – 41 percent, including 50 – 34 percent among women.
The economy is the most important issue, 64 percent of Michigan voters say, and Obama understands it better, voters say 52 – 35 percent.
Obama did a better job in the second debate, voters who watched the debate say 56 – 22 percent.
"McCain obviously knew what he was doing when he decided to stop campaigning in the state," Brown said. "Of course, his public announcement about it didn’t help his numbers, but it’s obvious he was way behind even before that decision was made. McCain’s strategy in Michigan was always tied to winning the independent vote and Obama is killing him there,” Brown continued.
Post SECOND debate, Obama leads McCain 57 – 34 percent with women, while men tie 46 – 46 percent. White voters back Obama 49 – 43 percent and independent voters go with the Democrat 51 – 38 percent.
Biden is qualified to be Vice President, Minnesota voters say 80 – 10 percent, but Palin is not qualified, voters say 47 – 43 percent, including 49 – 40 percent among women.
The economy is the biggest issue, 58 percent of voters say. Voters say 49 – 34 percent that Obama better understands the economy, and say 58 – 30 percent that McCain understands foreign policy better.
Minnesota voters who watched last week’s second debate say 57 – 22 percent that Obama did a better job.
In the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Al Franken has 38 percent to Republican Sen. Norm Coleman’s 36 percent, with 18 percent for Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley.
"Sen. Obama’s debate performance pushed him into a double-digit lead and made him competitive, but not yet the leader, among blue collar workers, white men and Catholics," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
"Obama may be exhibiting some coattail power as Democratic challenger Al Franken now has a narrow two-point lead over Republican Sen. Norm Coleman,” Richards said.
From October 3 – 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed:
- 997 Colorado likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
- 1,122 Michigan likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percent.
- 1,076 Minnesota likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
- 1,081 Wisconsin likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
From October 8 – 12, Quinnipiac University surveyed:
- 1,088 Colorado likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
- 1,043 Michigan likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.
- 1,019 Minnesota likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
- 1,201 Wisconsin likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.
The Quinnipiac University Poll is directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D. These surveys of Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are conducted in partnership with The Wall Street Journal and washingtonpost.com.