Washington Post-ABC News Poll

This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone October 16-19, 2008, among a random national sample of 1,531 registered voters, including 1,336 likely voters. Interviews were conducted on both landline and cellular telephones. The results from the full survey have margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. Error margins for subgroups are larger. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

*= less than 0.5 percent

1. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) How closely are you following the presidential race: very closely, somewhat closely, not too closely, or not closely at all?

                 ---- Closely -----   ---- Not closely -----     No
              NET   Very   Smwt.   NET   Not too   At all   opinion
10/19/08 RV   90     57     33     10        6        3        *  
10/11/08 RV   92     59     33      8        4        4        *
9/29/08  RV   89     58     31     11        7        5        * 
9/22/08  RV   91     55     36      9        5        4        0
9/7/08   RV   89     51     38     10        6        5        *
8/22/08  RV   84     42     42     16       11        5        *
7/13/08  RV   79     36     42     21       12        9        1
6/15/08       75     34     41     25       12       13        *
5/11/08       83     39     44     17       13        5        0  
4/13/08       84     37     47     16       11        5        *  
3/2/08        84     42     42     15       11        4        * 
2/1/08        81     35     46     19       12        7        *
1/12/08       79     32     47     21       15        6        *  
12/9/07       72     21     51     28       19        8        *
11/1/07       67     21     46     33       22       12        0  
9/30/07       69     21     48     30       21       10        * 
7/21/07       70     22     48     30       20       10        *  
6/1/07        66     18     48     34       22       13        *  
4/15/07       66     20     45     34       20       14        *  
2/25/07       65     20     44     35       25       10        *
10/19/04 RV   87     54     33     12        8        4        1
10/15/00 RV   77     33     44     23       15        8        *

2. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) I'd like you to rate the chances that you will vote in the presidential election in November: Are you absolutely certain to vote, will you probably vote, are the chances 50-50, or less than that?

                                                      Don't think  Already 
              Certain  Probably  Chances  Less than   will vote    voted   No    
              to vote    vote     50/50     that       (vol.)     (vol.)   op.
10/19/08 RV     83         6        5        3           1           4      *
10/11/08 RV     87         5        4        1           *           2      0
9/29/08  RV     87         6        5        1           1                  *
9/22/08  RV     89         6        4        1           *                  *
9/7/08   RV     85         7        5        1           1                  *     
8/22/08  RV     84        10        4        2           *                  *
7/13/08  RV     79        10        7        3           2                  0
6/15/08         71         9        8        7           4                  *
3/2/08          78         9        7        4           2                  *

3. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) If the 2008 presidential election were being held today and the candidates were (Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democrats) and (John McCain and Sarah Palin, the Republicans), for whom would you vote? (ASKED IF ALREADY VOTED) For whom did you vote?

NET LEANED VOTE - LIKELY VOTERS

                            Other    Neither     No
           Obama   McCain   (vol.)    (vol.)   opinion
10/19/08     53      44       1         2         2
10/11/08     53      43       1         1         2
9/29/08      50      46       *         2         2 
9/22/08      52      43       *         1         3
9/7/08       47      49       1         1         3
8/22/08      49      45       *         2         4
7/13/08      49      46       1         2         2
6/15/08      47      48       1         2         2

NET LEANED VOTE - REGISTERED VOTERS

                            Other    Neither   Would not       No
           Obama   McCain   (vol.)    (vol.)   vote (vol.)   opinion
10/19/08     52      42       1         1          1            3 
10/11/08     54      41       1         2          *            2
9/29/08      49      45       1         2          *            3
9/22/08      52      42       1         1          *            4
9/7/08       47      46       1         1          1            4
8/22/08      49      43       *         3          2            3
7/13/08      50      42       1         3          1            2
6/15/08      49      45       1         3          1            3
5/11/08      51      44       *         2          1            1
4/13/08      49      44       *         3          3            2
3/2/08       53      40       *         2          1            3 
2/1/08       47      48       1         1          1            2
1/19/07      47      45       *         3          1            4

3b. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS IF NAMED CANDIDATE) Would you definitely vote for (CANDIDATE), or is there a chance you could change your mind and vote for someone else? (IF CHANCE CHANGE MIND) Is there a GOOD CHANCE you'll change your mind, or would you say it's PRETTY UNLIKELY?


              Definitely   -Chance change mind -     No
               vote for    NET   Good   Unlikely   opinion
10/19/08 LV      88        10      5        6         1 
10/11/08 LV      88        11      4        7         1
9/29/08  RV      82        17      8        9         1 
9/22/08  RV      83        16      8        8         1
9/7/08   RV      79        20      8       12         1
8/22/08  RV      73        24     11       13         3
7/13/08  RV      72        25     10       15         3
6/15/08  RV      72        26     11       16         2
5/11/08  RV      69        28     15       14         3
9/26/04  RV      82        16      4       12         2
9/8/04   RV      84        14      6        8         2
8/29/04  RV      81        18      7       11         1
8/1/04   RV      80        19      7       12         1
7/25/04  RV      78        20      7       13         2
7/11/04  RV      79        21      7       13         1
6/20/04  RV      73        26     12       14         *

Barack Obama:

              Definitely   -Chance change mind -     No 
               vote for    NET   Good   Unlikely   opinion
10/19/08 LV       91        9      3        5         1 
10/11/08 LV       90        9      3        6         1
9/29/08  RV       83       16      7        9         1 
9/22/08  RV       85       14      8        7         1
9/7/08   RV       78       21      9       12         1
8/22/08  RV       74       23      7       15         4
7/13/08  RV       72       23      9       14         5
6/15/08  RV       71       26      7       19         3
5/11/08  RV       71       25     13       13         4

John McCain: 

              Definitely   -Chance change mind -     No 
               vote for    NET   Good   Unlikely   opinion
10/19/08 LV       86       12      6        6         1
10/11/08 LV       86       14      4        9         *
9/29/08  RV       81       18      9        9         1
9/22/08  RV       81       18      9        9         2
9/7/08   RV       80       19      8       11         2
8/22/08  RV       72       25     14       11         2
7/13/08  RV       71       28     12       17         1
6/15/08  RV       72       27     14       12         1
5/11/08  RV       66       32     17       15         2

4. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) Have you voted for president in any year before this 2008 election, or is this the first year you'll be voting for president?

              Voted before   First time   No opinion
10/19/08 LV        89            11            *
10/11/08 LV        90            10            0
9/29/08* RV        92             8            *
9/22/08  RV        92             8            0

10/31/04 RV        90            10            *
*9/29/08 and previous: "(Was this/will this be) the first time you've voted in a presidential election, or have you voted in previous presidential elections?"

5. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) What [was/is] the SINGLE most important issue in your choice for president: (The economy), (the war in Iraq), (terrorism), (energy policy), (health care), or something else?

                            
          
                                             Energy   Health   Something   No 
              Economy    Iraq    Terrorism   policy    care       else     op.
10/19/08 LV     53         7         6          4        9         19       2   


6. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) Regardless of who you may support, who do you trust more to handle [ITEM] - (Obama) or (McCain)?  

10/19/08 - Summary Table* 
                                           Both    Neither     No
                         Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
a. The economy            55       39        1        4         1
b. An unexpected major 
   crisis                 49       45        1        2         2
c. Taxes                  52       42        1        4         2
*Full sample asked item a, half sample asked item b, other half sample asked item c.

6. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Do you think things in this country (are generally going in the right direction) or do you feel things (have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track)?

Trend:

a. The economy

                                Both    Neither     No 
              Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
10/19/08 LV    55       39        1        4         1
10/11/08 LV    54       37        1        6         2
9/29/08  RV    50       43        1        3         2
9/22/08  RV    53       39        1        4         3
9/7/08   RV    47       42        1        4         6
8/22/08  RV    50       39        2        5         4
7/13/08  RV    54       37        2        6         3
6/15/08  RV    52       37        2        5         4 
5/11/08  RV    48       38        2        8         4
3/2/08   RV    50       37        2        6         5

b. An unexpected major crisis

10/19/08 LV    49       45        1        2         2
10/11/08 LV    52       43        1        3         1
9/29/08  RV    44       50        1        2         3
9/22/08  RV    46       47        2        2         3
9/7/08   RV    37       54        2        3         3
8/22/08  RV    41       52        2        2         3
7/13/08  RV    42       51        3        2         3

c. Taxes

10/19/08 LV    52       42        1        4         2
10/11/08 LV    52       42        1        5         1
9/29/08  RV    48       46        *        3         3
9/7/08   RV    45       44        *        4         7
8/22/08  RV    44       45        1        5         5
6/15/08  RV    47       42        1        6         5

7. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) Regardless of who you may support, who do you think [ITEM] - (Obama) or (McCain)?

         10/19/08 - Summary Table*

                                                    Both     Neither     No 
                                   Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
a. better understands the
   economic problems people in
   this country are having          55       36       2        6          2
b. would do more to bring needed
   change to Washington             56       35       1        4          2
c. is the stronger leader           51       43       2        2          2 
d. is more optimistic               62       30       4        2          2
e. has presented a clearer plan
   for dealing with the economic
   situation                        50       32       2       13          3
f. better represents your own
   personal values                  53       43       1        2          1
g. is more honest and
   trustworthy                      48       40       5        5          2
h. has a better personality and
   temperament to be president      54       37       6        2          1
*Half sample asked items a-d, other half sample asked items e-h.

Trend:

a. better understands the economic problems people in this country are having

                                Both    Neither     No 
              Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
10/19/08 LV    55       36       2        6          2
10/11/08 LV    59       28       3        9          1
9/29/08  RV    55       36       3        5          1
9/22/08  RV    57       33       2        7          2

b. would do more to bring needed change to Washington         

10/19/08 LV    56       35       1        4          2
10/11/08 LV    62       28       2        6          2
9/29/08  RV    61       33       1        3          2
9/22/08  RV    58       33       1        5          3
9/7/08   RV    51       39       *        5          5
6/15/08  RV    59       27       2        8          4
5/11/08  RV    60       28       3        6          4
3/2/08   RV    58       31       2        6          5

c. is the stronger leader

10/19/08 LV    51       43       2        2          2
10/11/08 LV    56       39       1        2          2
9/29/08  RV    49       45       1        2          2
9/22/08  RV    47       46       2        1          4
9/7/08   RV    44       48       2        1          5
8/22/08  RV    49       44       3        2          2
6/15/08  RV    44       47       3        1          4
5/11/08  RV    42       47       3        2          5
3/2/08   RV    40       53       1        1          5 

d. is more optimistic            

10/19/08 LV    62       30       4        2          2
8/22/08  LV    65       27       4        1          2

e. No trend.

f. better represents your own personal values

10/19/08 LV    53       43       1        2          1
9/7/08   LV    51       43       2        3          1
8/22/08  RV    50       43       2        3          2
6/15/08  RV    49       41       1        6          2

g. is more honest and trustworthy

10/19/08 LV    48       40       5        5          2
10/11/08 LV    45       41       5        7          2
9/22/08  RV    47       36       7        7          3
9/7/08   RV    38       44       5        7          6
8/22/08  RV    39       38      10        9          4
7/13/08  RV    43       40       7        6          4

h. has a better personality and temperament to be president

10/19/08 LV    54       37       6        2          1
9/29/08  LV    57       37       2        2          1
9/7/08   RV    57       35       3        2          3
5/11/08  RV    55       34       4        3          4
3/2/08   RV    59       29       2        4          7

8. (ASKED OF LIKELY LEANED OBAMA/MCCAIN SUPPORTERS) Thinking about his candidacy for president so far, how enthusiastic are you about [NAME] - very enthusiastic, fairly enthusiastic, not too enthusiastic, or not enthusiastic at all?

          10/19/08 - Summary Table - Among Likely Leaned Obama/McCain Supporters

            --- Enthusiastic --   ---- Not enthusiastic ----     No
            NET   Very   Fairly   NET   Not too   Not at all   opinion
a. Obama    96     64      32      4        3          1          *
b. McCain   87     40      47     13       11          2          *

Trend:

a. Obama

              --- Enthusiastic --   ---- Not enthusiastic ----     No
              NET   Very   Fairly   NET   Not too   Not at all   opinion
10/19/08 LV   96     64      32      4        3          1          *
10/11/08 LV   96     66      30      4        3          1          *
9/29/08  RV   95     61      34      4        4          *          1
9/22/08  RV   94     62      32      6        4          1          *
9/7/08   RV   96     64      32      4        3          1          0
8/22/08  RV   95     52      43      5        2          3          *
6/15/08  RV   91     52      39      9        7          2          *

b. McCain

10/19/08 LV   87     40      47     13       11          2          *
10/11/08 LV   87     31      57     13       10          2          0
9/29/08  RV   90     38      52     10        7          2          *
9/22/08  RV   89     34      55     10        8          2          1
9/7/08   RV   92     46      46      8        6          2          0
8/22/08  RV   86     28      58     13       11          2          1
6/15/08  RV   74     19      55     25       19          6          1

9. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) If McCain were elected president, do you think he'd (mainly lead the country in a new direction), or (mainly continue in George W. Bush's direction)?

                 New        Same        No
              direction   direction   opinion
10/19/08 LV      48          49          4
10/11/08 LV      45          52          3
9/29/08  RV      46          53          2
9/7/08   RV      46          50          4
8/22/08  RV      40          57          4
6/15/08  RV      41          55          5

10. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) Regardless of who you may support, do you think Obama does or does not have the kind of experience it takes to serve effectively as president?

              Does     Does not   No opinion
10/19/08 LV    54       44           2
10/11/08 LV    56       42           2
10/11/08 RV    54       45           2
9/29/08  RV    52       45           2
9/7/08   RV    48       48           4
8/22/08  RV    50       47           3
6/15/08  RV    48       48           4
3/2/08   RV    49       46           5

11. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS, 10/16-17) As a result of the presidential debates, do you have a better opinion of [NAME], a worse opinion of him, or haven't the debates changed your opinion of [NAME] one way or the other?

10/17/08 - Summary Table

                             Has not  
            Better   Worse   changed   No opinion 
a. Obama      36      12       51           1 
b. McCain     20      26       53           2 

Trend: 

a. Obama 
                                Has not  
               Better   Worse   changed   No opinion 
10/17/08  LV     36      12       51           1 
10/11/08* LV     33       8       58           1 
9/29/08*  RV     19       7       68           7 

b. McCain 

10/17/08  LV     20      26       53           2 
10/11/08* LV     12      28       59           1 
9/29/08*  RV     14      11       68           7 
*10/11/08: "As a result of the two presidential debates..."; 9/29/08: "As a result of the debate..." 

12. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS, 10/16-18) Regardless of your vote preference, does Obama's choice of Biden as his running mate make you more confident or less confident in the kind of decisions Obama would make as president?

                More        Less           No           No 
              confident   confident   effect (vol.)   opinion 
10/18/08 LV      56          31            11            3 
9/7/08   LV      55          29            12            5 

13. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS, 10/16-18) Regardless of your vote preference, does McCain's choice of Palin as his running mate make you more confident or less confident in the kind of decisions McCain would make as president?

                More        Less           No           No 
              confident   confident   effect (vol.)   opinion 
10/18/08 LV      38          52             8            2 
9/7/08   LV      50          39             6            4 
9/4/08   RV      43          39            14            4 

14.(ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS, 10/16-18) Do you think [ITEM] is or is not a legitimate issue in this year's presidential election?

 a. Obama's past relationship with 1960s radical William Ayres

              Legitimate        Not a           No 
                issue      legitimate issue   opinion 
10/18/08 LV       37              60             3


b. The Obama campaign's association with the community group ACORN

10/18/08 LV       40              49             11

Question 15 held for release.

901. Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as (a Democrat), (a Republican), an independent or what? IF NOT DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN: Do you lean more towards the (Democratic Party) or (Republican Party)?

                                                                    ---Non-Partisans--
                                                                   Lean   Lean    No
            Democrat   Republican   Independent   Other   No op.   Dem.   Rep.   Lean
10/19/08 LV    35          28            33         3       1       15     13      9 
10/11/08 LV    39          30            27         3       1       12     12      7

908a. Would you say your views on most political matters are liberal, moderate, or conservative?

                                                     Don't think in      No
	    Liberal    Moderate    Conservative    those terms (vol.)   op.
10/19/08 LV    21         41            35                  2             2
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