F & M PA Poll Results: Obama by 13%

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Pennsylvania Results
Lancaster, PA

For immediate release Wednesday, 10/29/08

Please find attached and below the results of the October 2008 Franklin and Marshall College Poll of Pennsylvania voters produced at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. Complete results can be found in
the attachment or at http://politics.fandm.edu.

Key Findings:

1) Barack Obama leads John McCain by thirteen points (53% to 40%) among likely voters in Pennsylvania, while two percent are undecided and one percent would vote for another candidate. Among registered voters Obama leads McCain by twelve points (51% to 39%) with nine percent undecided.

2) When considering registered voters Obama holds a sizeable lead among women (53% to 35%), younger residents (61% to 31%), non-whites (91% to 7%), college graduates (54% to 38%), and residents of Philadelphia (75% to 19%). McCain has an advantage among Protestants (46% to 42%), fundamentalist Christians (56% to 34%), and residents in Southwestern Pennsylvania (50% to 42%). Obama holds an advantage among independents (45% to 31%).

3) A substantial majority (81%) of registered Pennsylvanians believe the country is off on the wrong track, and two in five (44%) say they are worse off financially this year than last. Obama is the choice of those who say the country is off on the wrong track (58% to 31%), while McCain has substantial support from those who say the country is moving in the right direction (78% to 15%). Obama leads among those who say their personal finances are worse off compared to last year (64% to 24%), and McCain does well among those whose personal finances are better than last year (56% to 38%).

4) Almost half (47%) of registered Pennsylvanians cite the economy as the most important issue in their vote for president. Only 18 percent of registered Pennsylvanians indicate that President Bush is doing an excellent (2%) or good job (16%), while 81 percent say he is doing only a fair (27%) or poor job (54%). Half of respondents believe that McCain will mostly continue Bush’s economic policies (51%) and a large majority believes he will continue his foreign policies (62%). About half (52%) of respondents say they would be concerned if McCain was elected president, mostly because of his views on policy issues (45%) and the perception that he will carry on the policies of the Bush administration (30%). About half (51%) of respondents also say they would be concerned if Obama was elected president, mostly because of his inexperience (37%) and views on policy issues (36%).

5) Both candidates perform about the same among their own party’s likely voters. McCain draws 80 percent of Republicans while Obama carries 85 percent of Democrats, but Obama has opened up a large lead among independents (49% to 37%).

These results and the attached analyses are based on the results of interviews conducted October 21-26, 2008. The interviews were conducted at the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College under the direction of the poll’s Director, Dr. G. Terry Madonna, Head Methodologist, Berwood Yost, and Project Manager, Brad Nankerville. The data included in this release represent the responses of 790 registered Pennsylvanians (555 likely voters). Telephone numbers for the survey were generated using random digit dialing, and respondents were randomly selected from within each household. Survey results were weighted to adjust for different selection probabilities and non-response. The sample error for registered voters is +/- 3.5 percent and for likely voters +/- 4.2 percent.

Dr. G. Terry Madonna
Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs Director, Franklin and Marshall College Poll Professor of Public Affairs Franklin & Marshall College P.O. Box 3003
Lancaster, Pa. 19604
(717) 291-4052 Office
(717 575-2164 Cell
717 358-4666 Fax
[email protected]