Washington Post-ABC News Poll

Sept. 2008 Poll: Presidential Race | Analysis | Full Poll Data

This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone September 18-21, 2008, among a random sample of 1,001 adults in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. Among the 857 registered voters it is three points; it is four points among the sample of 698 likely voters. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

*= less than 0.5 percent

Updated September 23, 2008

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
9/21/08 VA      93     58     35      7        6        1        *  
10/8/07 VA RV   80     35     46     20       13        6        0
10/8/07 VA All  74     30     44     26       16       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   
             Certain   Probably   Chances   Less than    will vote      No    
             to vote     vote      50/50      that        (vol.)      opinion
9/21/08 VA     88          6          5         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?

NET LEANED VOTE - LIKELY VOTERS

                              Other    Neither   Would not       No
             Obama   McCain   (vol.)    (vol.)   vote (vol.)   opinion
9/21/08 VA    49       46       *         2          0            3
9/7/08 NAT    47       49       1         1          0            3

NET LEANED VOTE - REGISTERED VOTERS

                              Other    Neither   Would not       No
             Obama   McCain   (vol.)    (vol.)   vote (vol.)   opinion
9/21/08 VA    50       44       *         2          1            3
9/7/08 NAT    47       46       1         1          1            4

3b. (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
9/21/08 VA       81       18      5       12         2  
9/7/08 NAT       79       20      8       12         1

Barack Obama:

             Definitely   -Chance change mind -     No 
              vote for    NET   Good   Unlikely   opinion
9/21/08 VA       82       17      5       12         1  
9/7/08 NAT       78       21      9       12         1

John McCain:

             Definitely   -Chance change mind -     No 
              vote for    NET   Good   Unlikely   opinion
9/21/08 VA       80       18      5       13         2  
9/7/08 NAT       80       19      8       11         2

4. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) If the 2008 presidential election were being held today and the candidates were {(Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democrats), (John McCain and Sarah Palin, the Republicans)}, {(Bob Barr and Wayne Allen Root, the Libertarian Party candidates), and (Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzales, as independent candidates)}, for whom would you vote?

NET LEANED VOTE - LIKELY VOTERS

                                             Other     None     Would not      No
             Obama   McCain   Barr   Nader   (vol.)   (vol.)   vote (vol.)   opinion
9/21/08 VA     50      45       1      1       *        *          *            2

NET LEANED VOTE - REGISTERED VOTERS

                                             Other     None     Would not      No
             Obama   McCain   Barr   Nader   (vol.)   (vol.)   vote (vol.)   opinion
9/21/08 VA     51      43       2      2       *        *          *            3

5. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Will this be the first time you've voted in a presidential election, or have you voted in previous presidential elections?

             First time   Have voted in previous   No opinion
9/21/08 VA        9                 91                  0 

6. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Now, turning to the U.S. Senate election in Virginia, if the 2008 election for the U.S. Senate were being held today, would you vote for {(Mark Warner, the Democratic candidate), (Jim Gilmore, the Republican candidate)}, {(Gail Parker, the Independent Green candidate), or (William Redpath, the Libertarian candidate)}?

NET LEANED VOTE - LIKELY VOTERS

                                                   Other     None     Would not    No
             Warner   Gilmore   Parker   Redpath   (vol.)   (vol.)   vote (vol.)   op.
9/21/08 VA     61       31        1         1        *         1          1         5

NET LEANED VOTE - REGISTERED VOTERS

                                                   Other     None     Would not    No
             Warner   Gilmore   Parker   Redpath   (vol.)   (vol.)   vote (vol.)   op.
9/21/08 VA     61       29        2         1        *         1          1         5
10/8/07 VA     61       32        NA        NA       *         2          NA        4

7. (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)?

               Right     Wrong     No 
             direction   track   opinion  
9/21/08 VA      15        83        3

8. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Thinking ahead to the November presidential election, what is the single most important issue in your choice for president?

                        
                           9/21/08   9/7/08
                             VA       NAT
Economy/Jobs                 50       37
Iraq/War in Iraq              9       10
Health care                   6        9
Terrorism/National
 security                     6        6
Taxes                         3        4
Change                        3        2
Ethics/Honesty/
 Corruption in
 government                   2        5
Abortion                      2        2
Experience                    2        2
Gas/Oil prices/Energy         2        4
Education                     1        2
Immigration/Illegal
 immigration                  1        1
Morals/Family values          1        1
Foreign policy                1        1
Guns/Gun control              1        *
Federal budget deficit        1        *
Stock market/Wall
 Street                       *        0
Banking/insurance/
 credit problems              *        0
Environment                   *        *
Housing/Mortgages             *        0
Social Security               *        *
Global warming                0        *
None/Nothing                  *        1
Other                         5        7
No opinion                    3        5

9. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Do you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of Sarah Palin? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

             ------- Favorable -------   ------ Unfavorable ------     No
             NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion 
9/21/08 VA   53       33         20      38       13         25         9
9/7/08 NAT   58       35         23      28       11         17        15

10. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Do you approve or disapprove of the way Tim Kaine is handling his job as governor?

                  Approve   Disapprove   No opinion
9/21/08  VA RV      66          25            9
10/8/07  VA RV      65          26            9
10/8/07  VA All     63          25           12
10/12/06 VA LV      77          19            4

11. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Do you approve or disapprove of the way Jim Webb is handling his job as U.S. Senator?

                 Approve   Disapprove   No opinion
9/21/08 VA RV      54          24           21
10/8/07 VA RV      52          28           20
10/8/07 VA All     50          27           22

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

9/21/08 - Summary Table*


                                             Both    Neither     No
                           Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
a. The economy              51       41        1        5         1
b. Fixing the problems 
   with major financial
   institutions             49       39        1        8         3
c. The war in Iraq          46       47        0        4         3
d. International affairs    48       48        *        4         1
e. The U.S. campaign 
   against terrorism        42       52        1        2         2
f. An unexpected major 
   crisis                   42       52        1        2         3
   

*Full sample asked items a-b, half sample asked items c-d, other half sample asked items e-f.

Trend where available:

a. The economy

                               Both    Neither     No 
             Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
9/21/08 VA    51       41        1        5         1
9/7/08 NAT    47       42        1        4         6

b. No trend.

c. The war in Iraq

9/21/08 VA    46       47        0        4         3
9/7/08 NAT    41       51        1        2         4

d. International affairs

9/21/08 VA    48       48        *        4         1
9/7/08 NAT    39       51        2        3         6

e. The U.S. campaign against terrorism

9/21/08 VA    42       52        1        2         2
9/7/08 NAT    36       56        2        2         4

f. An unexpected major crisis

9/21/08 VA    42       52        1        2         3
9/7/08 NAT    37       54        2        3         3

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

9/21/08 - Summary Table*

                                                    Both     Neither     No 
                                   Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
a. would do more to bring needed   
   change to Washington             56       36       1        4          2
b. better understands the
   economic problems people in
   this country are having          56       33       2        8          2
c. is more honest and 
   trustworthy                      43       41       7        6          4
d. is the stronger leader           49       46       2        2          1

*Full sample asked items a-b, half sample asked item c, other half sample asked item d.

Trend where available:

a. would do more to bring needed change to Washington

                               Both    Neither     No 
             Obama   McCain   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
9/21/08 VA    56       36        1        4         2  
9/7/08 NAT    51       39        *        5         5
b. No trend.

c. is more honest and trustworthy

9/21/08 VA    43       41        7        6         4  
9/7/08 NAT    38       44        5        7         6

d. is the stronger leader

9/21/08 VA    49       46        2        2         1  
9/7/08 NAT    44       48        2        1         5

14a. (ASKED OF REGISTERED OBAMA VOTERS) Thinking about his candidacy for president so far, how enthusiastic are you about Obama - very enthusiastic, fairly enthusiastic, not too enthusiastic, or not enthusiastic at all?

             --- Enthusiastic --   ---- Not enthusiastic ----     No
             NET   Very   Fairly   NET   Not too   Not at all   opinion
9/21/08 VA   96     64      32      4        4          0          *  
9/7/08 NAT   96     64      32      4        3          1          0

14b. (ASKED OF REGISTERED MCCAIN VOTERS) Thinking about his candidacy for president so far, how enthusiastic are you about McCain - very enthusiastic, fairly enthusiastic, not too enthusiastic, or not enthusiastic at all?


             --- Enthusiastic --   ---- Not enthusiastic ----     No
             NET   Very   Fairly   NET   Not too   Not at all   opinion
9/21/08 VA   91     45      46      9        8          1          0
9/7/08 NAT   92     46      46      8        6          2          0

15. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Please tell me whether the following statements apply to (Obama/McCain), or not?

9/21/08 - Summary Table

                                   ----- Obama ------    ----- McCain -----
                                   Yes   No   No opin.   Yes   No   No opin.
a. He would be a good commander-
   in-chief of the military        51    45      4       73    25      3
b. He knows enough about world
   affairs to serve effectively
   as president                    55    42      3       74    23      3

16. (ASKED OF REGISTERED 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
9/21/08 VA      44          53          3
9/7/08 NAT      46          50          4

17. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) In your choice for president, how important is the [ITEM] - very important, somewhat important, not so important or not important at all?

9/21/08 - Summary Table

                           --- Important ---    --- Not Important ---     No
                           NET   Very   Smwt.   NET   Not so   At all   opinion 
a. Race of the candidate   18     14      4     82      12       70        *
b. Age of the candidate    43     13     30     57      22       35        *

18. On another subject, how do you feel about [READ ITEM] - very worried, somewhat worried, not too worried or not worried at all? How about [NEXT ITEM]?

9/21/08 - Summary Table


                           ----- Worried ----   ----- Not worried ----     No
                           NET   Very   Smwt.   NET   Not too   At all   opinion
a. The direction of the 
   nation's economy over 
   the next few years      82     45      38    17       11        6        1
b. Your own family's
   financial situation     59     23      35    41       26       15        *
c. The performance of 
   the stock market        74     38      37    24       13       10        2

19. Do you approve or disapprove of the steps the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department have taken to try to deal with the current situation involving the stock market and major financial institutions? Do you approve/disapprove STRONGLY or SOMEWHAT?


             -------- Approve --------   ------ Disapprove -------     No
             NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion 
9/21/08 VA   46       10         36      42       21         21        12

20. Just your best guess - do you think the economy (is in a normal downturn that will correct itself before too long), or do you think the economy (has moved into a serious long-term decline)?


              Normal    Serious   Neither     No
             downturn   decline   (vol.)    opinion
9/21/08 VA      45        50         2         2

21. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Do you think [NAME]'s views on most issues are too (liberal) for you, too (conservative) for you, or just about right?

9/21/08 - Summary Table


                   Too         Too        Just about     No
                 liberal   conservative      right     opinion 
a. Mark Warner     21            5            61         12    
b. Jim Gilmore      9           31            39         21

22. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) On another subject, do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?


             ------ Legal ------   ----- Illegal -----                      
                    All    Most          Most     All      No                 
             NET   cases   cases   NET   cases   cases   opinion  
9/21/08 VA   60     22      38     38     25      12       3
9/7/08 NAT   57     19      38     39     24      15       4
6/3/07 RV    56     19      38     39     25      14       5
9/9/05 RV    55     21      35     43     28      15       2  
10/25/01 LV  57     21      36     39     11      28       4
8/23/01  RV  57     21      37     39     12      27       3
10/26/00 LV  58     18      40     38     12      27       4
8/27/00  LV  57     16      40     38     12      26       5
8/27/00  RV  57     18      39     38     12      26       5

901. Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as:


            Democrat     Republican     Independent     Other     No op.
9/21/08 LV     33            28              34           4         1
9/21/08 RV     34            25              35           6         1

NET LEANED PARTY:

            Democrat     Republican     Independent     Other     No op.
9/21/08 LV     47            44               7           1         *
9/21/08 RV     49            41               8           1         *

905. Are you registered to vote at your present address, or not?


             Yes     No     No opinion
9/21/08      78      21          *

908a. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) 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.
9/21/08 LV     21         46            30                  2             1
9/21/08 RV     22         47            29                  2             1

911. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) What, if anything, is your religion?

                                      Christian       Other Non-         No
           Protestant   Catholic   (Non-Protestant)   Christian   None   op. 
9/21/08 LV     54          15              13              5       11     *
9/21/08 RV     54          13              14              5       12     *

911b. (IF CHRISTIAN) Would you consider yourself a born-again or evangelical Christian, or not?


            Yes     No     No opin.
9/21/08 LV  45      53         3
9/21/08 RV  47      50         3

912. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTER) Are you, or is anyone in your household, a military veteran?

             ------------------ Yes ------------------
                  Resp  Other HH      Both resp and
             NET   is   member is   other HH member are   No   No op. 
9/21/08 LV   38    18      17                2            62     0
9/21/08 RV   35    16      17                2            65     0

914. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Are you:

                                                      Never
             Married  Separated  Divorced   Widowed  Married
9/21/08 LV     67         2          9         5       16
9/21/08 RV     62         2         10         6       20

918. Race

						        Other    DK/
             White   Black   Hispanic   Asian   Race    No op.
9/21/08 LV     75     17        3         *       4       *     
9/21/08 RV     73     18        3         1       5       *     
9/21/08        72     18        4         2       5       *     

INCOME. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Which of the following CATEGORIES best describes your total annual household income before taxes, from all sources?

            -------Less than $50k-------   --------More than $50k--------
            NET   <20k   20-35k   35-50k   NET   50-75k   75-100k   100k+
9/21/08 LV  31      7       8       15     68      19        18       31
9/21/08 RV  36     11       9       16     62      17        17       27
9/21/08     40     13      11       16     58      19        14       25

23. How many years have you lived in Virginia, or have you lived here your whole life?

             5 yrs                                 All your
            or less   6 to 10   11 to 25   26+   life (vol.)   No opinion
9/21/08 LV     12        9         22      30        27             0
9/21/08 RV     11        8         20      28        32             0

Q921. Sex

         All   RV   LV
Male     48    47   45
Female   52    53   55

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