Washington Post-ABC News Poll

This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone October 18-21, 2008, among a random national sample of 1,536 registered voters, including 1,330 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 2.5 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
10/21/08 RV   90     58     32     10        6        4        *
10/20/08 RV   90     57     34     10        6        4        *
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        *
---- Closely -----   ---- Not closely -----     No
              NET   Very   Smwt.   NET   Not too   At all   opinion
10/21/08 RV   90     58     32     10        6        4        *
10/20/08 RV   90     57     34     10        6        4        *
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        *

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.
10/21/08 RV     82         6        5        2           1           4      *
10/20/08 RV     81         6        5        3           1           4      *
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
10/21/08     54      43       1         1         1
10/20/08     53      44       1         1         1
10/19/08     53      44       1         1         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
10/21/08     53      41       1         1          1            3
10/20/08     52      42       1         1          1            3
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
10/21/08 LV       89       10      5        5         1
10/20/08 LV       89       10      4        6         1
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
10/21/08 LV       89        9      4        6         1
10/20/08 LV       90        9      3        6         1
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
10/21/08 LV       89       11      5        5         1
10/20/08 LV       89       11      5        5         1
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
10/21/08 LV        87            12            *
10/20/08 LV        88            11            *
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            *

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
10/21/08 LV        87            12            *
10/20/08 LV        88            11            *
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.
10/21/08 LV     51         9         5          4       10         20       1
10/20/08 LV     52         8         6          5        9         19       1
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)?

10/21/08 - Summary Table* 
                                           Both    Neither     No
                         Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
a. The economy            55       38        1        4         2
b. Taxes                  51       43        1        3         2
c. Helping the middle
   class (10/20-21)       62       31        1        4         2
d. Health care (10/20-21) 60       33        1        3         3
e. International
   affairs (10/20-21)     46       49        1        1         2
*Full sample asked item a and item e on 10/21, half sample asked item b-d and item e on 10/20.

Trend:

a. The economy

                                Both    Neither     No 
              Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
10/21/08 LV    55       38        1        4         2
10/20/08 LV    55       38        1        4         2
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. Taxes

10/21/08 LV    51       43        1        3         2
10/20/08 LV    50       43        1        4         2
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

c. Helping the middle class

10/21/08 LV    62       31        1        4         2
10/11/08 LV    60       32        1        5         2

d. Health care

10/21/08 LV    60       33        1        3         3
10/11/08 LV    61       32        1        3         3
6/15/08  RV    52       35        1        6         6
5/11/08  RV    55       31        2        7         5
3/2/08   RV    58       28        1        8         5

e. International affairs

10/21/08 LV    46       49        1        1         2
9/29/08  LV    45       51        1        1         2
9/22/08  LV    48       48        0        2         2
9/7/08   LV    39       53        1        3         4
8/22/08  RV    43       51        1        2         3
7/13/08  RV    45       47        2        2         4
6/15/08  RV    41       50        3        3         3

7a. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS, 10/20-21 ONLY) Regardless of who you may support, who do you think [ITEM] - (Obama) or (McCain)?

10/21/08 - Summary Table

                                                    Both     Neither     No 
                                  Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
a. has higher personal and
   ethical standards               49       39       8        2          2
b. would be a better commander-    
   in-chief of the military        38       57       1        1          3

Trend:

a. has higher personal and ethical standards              

                               Both     Neither     No 
              Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
10/21/08 LV    49       39       8        2          2
5/11/08  RV    41       41      11        3          5
3/2/08   RV    44       31      10        4         11

b. would be a better commander-in-chief of the military

10/21/08 LV    38       57       1        1          3
9/7/08   LV    26       69       1        2          2
8/22/08  RV    29       61       2        3          4

7. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS, 10/20-21 ONLY) Regardless of who you may support, who do you think [ITEM] - (Obama) or (McCain)?

10/21/08 - Summary Table

                                                    Both     Neither     No 
                                  Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
a. has higher personal and
   ethical standards               49       39       8        2          2

Trend:

a. has higher personal and ethical standards              

                               Both     Neither     No 
              Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
10/21/08 LV    49       39       8        2          2
5/11/08  RV    41       41      11        3          5
3/2/08   RV    44       31      10        4         11

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?

10/21/08 - Summary Table - Among Likely Leaned Obama/McCain Supporters

            --- Enthusiastic --   ---- Not enthusiastic ----     No
            NET   Very   Fairly   NET   Not too   Not at all   opinion
a. Obama    95     64      31      5        4          1          *
b. McCain   88     37      51     11       10          1          *

Trend:

a. Obama

              --- Enthusiastic --   ---- Not enthusiastic ----     No
              NET   Very   Fairly   NET   Not too   Not at all   opinion
10/21/08 LV   95     64      31      5        4          1          *
10/20/08 LV   95     65      31      5        4          1          *
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

10/21/08 LV   88     37      51     11       10          1          *
10/20/08 LV   88     38      50     12       11          2          *
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

Compare to:

10/26/04 - Summary Table - Among Likely Voters, Leaned Bush/Kerry Supporters

              --- Enthusiastic --    ---- Not Enthusiastic ----     No
              NET   Very   Fairly    NET   Not too   Not at all   opinion
a. Bush       91     55      36       9       8          1          *
b. Kerry      92     46      47       7       6          1          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
10/21/08 LV      46          51          3
10/20/08 LV      47          50          3
10/19/08 LV      48          49          4
10/11/08 LV      45          52          3
10/11/08 RV      46          51          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
10/21/08 LV    56       42           2
10/20/08 LV    54       43           2
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, 10/20-21 ONLY) Do you think [NAME]'s views on most issues are too (liberal) for you, too (conservative) for you, or just about right?

a. Obama

                Too         Too        About     No
              liberal   conservative   right   opinion
10/21/08 LV     40            2         55        4
10/11/08 LV     38            3         57        2
6/15/08  RV     39            5         50        6
3/2/08   RV     33            5         55        7

b. McCain
10/21/08 LV     15           38         42        5
10/11/08 LV     15           43         38        3
6/15/08  RV     18           35         41        6
3/2/08   RV     17           34         40        8
2/27/00         16           19         55       11
2/24/00         20           16         49       15
2/6/00          15           22         46       16

12. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS, 10/20-21 ONLY) Does Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama make you (more) likely to support Obama, (less) likely to support him, or won't it make any difference in your vote?

              More likely   Less likely   No difference   No opinion
10/21/08 LV       19             4             77              1

Compare to:
If Powell endorsed one of the candidates running for president, would that make you more inclined or less inclined to support that candidate? IF MORE/LESS inclined: Would Powell's endorsement mean you definitely would vote for/against that candidate?                              

         -- More inclined --    -- Less inclined --     No diff.     No         
         NET   Def.  Not def.   NET   Def.  Not def.    (vol).     opinion       
11/8/95  39     15      23      16      9      7          40          7

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
10/21/08 LV      36        29            31         3       1       15     12      
8 10/20/08 LV    36        29            31         3       1       15     12      
8 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.
10/21/08 LV    20         43            34                  2             2
10/20/08 LV    21         41            35                  1             1
10/19/08 LV    21         41            35                  2             2

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