Washington Post-ABC News Poll

This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 20-23, 2012, among a random national sample of 1,773 adults, including landline and cell phone-only respondents. Results for the sample of 1,394 likely voters have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York.

RV = registered voters; LV=likely voters

*= less than 0.5 percent

1. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) How closely are you following the 2012 presidential race: very closely, somewhat closely, not so closely, or not closely at all?

              ---- Closely -----   ---- Not closely -----     No
              NET   Very   Smwt    NET   Not so    At all   opinion
10/23/12 LV   93     63     31      6       4         2        *
10/23/12 RV   88     56     32     12       6         6        *
10/22/12 LV   92     64     28      8       5         3        *
10/22/12 RV   87     57     30     12       7         6        1
10/21/12 LV   92     64     28      8       5         3        *
10/21/12 RV   87     58     29      8       7         6        1
10/13/12 LV   93     60     33      6       4         2        *
10/13/12 RV   88     54     34     11       6         5        1
9/29/12  RV   86     47     39     14       8         6        0
9/9/12   RV   80     44     36     19      11         9        *
5/20/12  RV   82     38     44     18       9         8        *
2/4/12*  RV   79     37     43     20      12         8        *
1/15/12  RV   76     33     43     24      14        10        *
12/18/11      69     26     43     31      18        13        *
11/3/11       65     24     41     34      17        17        *
10/2/11       64     24     40     36      23        13        0
9/1/11        66     25     40     34      20        14        *
7/17/11       61     18     43     39      23        15        *
6/5/11        61     22     39     38      23        15        *
*2/4/12 and previous "not too closely" instead of "not so closely"

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.
10/23/12 RV     80         6        6        2           1           5      *
10/22/12 RV     82         5        6        2           1           4      *
10/21/12 RV     84         6        4        2           *           4      * 
10/13/12 RV     85         7        4        1           1           1      1
9/29/12  RV     84         7        7        2           *           0      *
9/9/12   RV     83         7        6        4           *          NA      0
8/25/12  RV     81         8        6        3           1          NA      *
7/8/12   RV     81         9        8        2           *          NA      *

11/3/08  RV     68         4        3        2           1          22      *
11/2/08  RV     69         4        3        2           1          20      *
11/1/08  RV     71         5        3        2           *          19      *
10/31/08 RV     73         5        3        1           1          16      *
10/30/08 RV     74         6        4        1           *          15      *
10/29/08 RV     76         5        4        1           1          13      1
10/28/08 RV     77         6        4        1           1          11      1
10/27/08 RV     76         6        4        1           1          11      1
10/26/08 RV     78         6        4        1           1          10      *
10/25/08 RV     78         5        5        2           1          10      *
10/24/08 RV     79         5        5        2           1           8      *
10/23/08 RV     80         5        5        2           1           6      *
10/22/08 RV     81         5        5        2           1           5      *
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          NA      *
9/22/08  RV     89         6        4        1           *          NA      *
9/7/08   RV     85         7        5        1           1          NA      *
8/22/08  RV     84        10        4        2           *          NA      *
7/13/08  RV     79        10        7        3           2          NA      0

3. (IF CERTAIN TO VOTE) Do you think you'll (vote in person at your polling place on Election Day), or (vote before Election Day by early voting or mail-in ballot)?

                Vote      Early voting/      Already
              in person   mail-in ballot   voted (vol.)   No opinion
10/23/12 RV      62             28              7              2
10/22/12 RV      64             27              6              2
10/21/12 RV      66             27              5              2
10/13/12 RV      67             30              2              1 

11/2/08  RV      63             11             25              * 
11/1/08  RV      63             13             23              * 
10/31/08 RV      63             16             20              1 
10/30/08 RV      64             17             18              1 
10/29/08 RV      65             18             16              1 
10/28/08 RV      65             19             15              1 
10/27/08 RV      66             18             15              1 
10/26/08 RV      67             18             14              1 
10/25/08 RV      68             18             13              1 
10/24/08 RV      69             19             11              1 
10/23/08 RV      68             20             11              1 
10/22/08 RV      66             20             13              1

4. (IF CERTAIN TO VOTE) If the presidential election were being held today and the candidates were (Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democrats) and (Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the Republicans), for whom would you vote? Which candidates are you leaning toward, (Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the Democrats) or (Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the Republicans)? (ASKED IF ALREADY VOTED) For whom did you vote?

NET LEANED VOTE PREFERENCE - among likely voters 

                               Other    Neither     No
              Obama   Romney   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
10/23/12 LV    48       49        *        1         1
10/22/12 LV    48       49        *        2         1
10/21/12 LV    49       48        *        2         1
10/13/12 LV    49       46        1        1         2
9/29/12  LV    49       47        *        2         1
9/9/12   LV    49       48        *        1         2
8/25/12  LV    47       49        1        1         1
7/8/12*  LV    50       47        *        2         2
*7/18/12: "Barack Obama, the Democrat" and "Mitt Romney, the Republican"

5. (IF SUPPORT OBAMA OR ROMNEY) Will you definitely vote for (NAMED CANDIDATE – OBAMA/ROMNEY), or just probably?

              Definitely   Probably     No
               vote for    vote for   opinion
10/23/12 LV       92          8          *
10/22/12 LV       91          8          *
10/21/12 LV       91          9          *

Compare to: (IF SUPPORT OBAMA OR ROMNEY) Will you definitely vote for (OBAMA/ROMNEY), 
or is there a chance you could change your mind and vote for (CANDIDATE NOT NAMED)? 
(IF CHANCE CHANGE MIND) Would you say (there's 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
10/13/12 LV       90        9      2        7          1
10/13/12 RV       89       10      2        8          1
9/29/12  RV       86       13      3       10          1
9/9/12   RV       85       13      4        8          2
8/25/12  RV       83       15      6        9          2
7/8/12*  RV       79       19      6       13          2

2012 election:

Obama:
              Definitely   Probably     No
               vote for    vote for   opinion
10/23/12 LV       91          9          *
10/22/12 LV       91          8         *
10/21/12 LV       91          8         *

Compare to:
              Definitely   - Chance change mind -     No 
               vote for    NET   Good   Unlikely    opinion
10/13/12 LV       89       10      1        9          1
10/13/12 RV       87       12      2       10          1
9/29/12  RV       84       15      5       10          1
9/9/12   RV       86       11      4        7          3
8/25/12  RV       84       14      6        8          2
7/8/12   RV       81       17      4       13          2

Romney:
              Definitely   Probably     No
               vote for    vote for   opinion
10/23/12 LV       92          7          1
10/22/12 LV       92          8         1
10/21/12 LV       90          9         *

Compare to: 

              Definitely   - Chance change mind -     No 
               vote for    NET   Good   Unlikely    opinion
10/13/12 LV       91        7      2        6          1
10/13/12 RV       90        8      2        6          1
9/29/12  RV       88       12      1       10          1
9/9/12   RV       85       14      5        9          *
8/25/12  RV       82       16      5       10          3
7/8/12   RV       77       21      8       13          2

2008 election:

              Definitely   - Chance change mind -     No 
               vote for    NET   Good   Unlikely    opinion
Obama:
11/3/08  LV       95        5      2        3          *
11/2/08  LV       94        5      2        3          1
11/1/08  LV       95        5      2        3          *
10/31/08 LV       94        6      2        4          *
10/30/08 LV       94        6      1        4          1
10/29/08 LV       94        6      1        5          *
10/28/08 LV       92        7      2        5          *
10/27/08 LV       92        7      2        5          *
10/26/08 LV       92        8      3        5          *
10/25/08 LV       93        7      3        4          *
10/24/08 LV       92        7      3        4          *
10/23/08 LV       91        8      4        4          1
10/22/08 LV       90        8      3        5          1
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

McCain:
11/3/08  LV       94        5      3        3          1
11/2/08  LV       93        6      3        3          1
11/1/08  LV       93        7      3        3          1
10/31/08 LV       91        8      4        4          1
10/30/08 LV       91        8      3        5          1
10/29/08 LV       90        9      4        5          1
10/28/08 LV       89       10      4        6          1
10/27/08 LV       90       10      4        6          *
10/26/08 LV       89       11      4        7          *
10/25/08 LV       88       11      3        8          1
10/24/08 LV       89       10      4        6          1
10/23/08 LV       90       10      4        5          1
10/22/08 LV       90        9      4        5          1
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

6. (IF SUPPORT/VOTED OBAMA OR ROMNEY) Would you say you are very enthusiastic about supporting (Obama/Romney), somewhat enthusiastic, not so enthusiastic, or not enthusiastic at all?

              ---- Enthusiastic ---   --- Not enthusiastic ----     No
              NET   Very   Somewhat   NET   Not so   Not at all   opinion
10/23/12 LV   94     61       33       5       4          1          1
10/22/12 LV   95     62       33       5       3          1          1
10/21/12 LV   95     61       33       5       4          1          *
10/13/12 LV   94     61       33       5       4          1          1
10/13/12 RV   93     57       36       6       5          2          1
9/29/12  RV   89     49       40      11       6          4          *
9/9/12   RV   90     51       39       9       5          5          *
8/25/12  RV   85     45       40      14      10          4          1
7/8/12   RV   88     44       44      12       8          4          *
5/20/12  RV   84     39       45      16       9          6          *

Obama:
10/23/12 LV   95     60       35       4       3          1          *
10/22/12 LV   96     62       34       4       3          1          *
10/21/12 LV   96     64       32       4       3          1          *
10/13/12 LV   95     60       35       4       4          1          *
10/13/12 RV   94     55       40       5       4          1          1
9/29/12  RV   91     51       40       9       7          2          0
9/9/12   RV   93     56       38       7       3          3          0
8/25/12  RV   88     48       39      11       7          4          1
7/8/12   RV   91     51       40       8       5          3          1
5/20/12  RV   93     51       41       7       4          4          0

Romney:
10/23/12 LV   93     62       31       6       5          1          1
10/22/12 LV   93     62       32       6       4          2          1
10/21/12 LV   93     58       35       6       5          1          1
10/13/12 LV   93     62       31       7       4          2          1
10/13/12 RV   92     59       33       8       5          2          1
9/29/12  RV   87     48       39      13       6          7          *
9/9/12   RV   87     46       40      13       7          6          1
8/25/12  RV   83     42       41      17      12          4          *
7/8/12   RV   85     38       47      15      11          4          *
5/20/12  RV   75     26       48      25      15          9          1

Compare to: 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?

2008 election:

              --- Enthusiastic --   ---- Not enthusiastic ----     No
              NET   Very   Fairly   NET   Not too   Not at all   opinion
Obama:
11/3/08  LV   97     68      29      2        1          1          *
11/2/08  LV   96     67      29      4        2          1          *
11/1/08  LV   96     67      29      4        3          1          *
10/31/08 LV   96     68      29      4        2          1          0
10/30/08 LV   96     68      28      4        3          1          *
10/29/08 LV   96     68      28      3        2          1          1
10/28/08 LV   96     65      31      3        2          1          1
10/27/08 LV   96     65      31      3        3          1          1
10/26/08 LV   96     66      30      3        2          1          1
10/25/08 LV   97     68      29      3        3          1          *
10/24/08 LV   97     71      26      3        3          1          0
10/23/08 LV   95     70      25      5        4          1          0
10/22/08 LV   94     67      28      5        5          1          *
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          *

McCain:
11/3/08  LV   88     41      47     11        9          2          1
11/2/08  LV   90     41      48     10        8          2          1
11/1/08  LV   89     41      47     11        8          2          1
10/31/08 LV   88     41      46     12        9          3          1
10/30/08 LV   87     39      47     13        9          4          1
10/29/08 LV   86     39      47     13       10          3          1
10/28/08 LV   85     37      48     15       12          3          1
10/27/08 LV   83     35      49     16       13          3          * 
10/26/08 LV   87     36      51     13       11          2          *
10/25/08 LV   86     38      48     14       11          3          *
10/24/08 LV   88     39      49     11        9          2          1
10/23/08 LV   89     39      50     10        8          2          1
10/22/08 LV   88     40      48     12       10          2          1
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

7. (ASKED OF REGISTERED VOTERS) Do you approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job as president? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?

              -------- Approve --------   ------- Disapprove ------     No
              NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion
10/23/12 LV   50       30         19      49        9         40         2
10/23/12 RV   50       29         21      47        9         37         3
10/22/12 LV   49       31         18      49        9         40         2
10/22/12 RV   50       30         20      47       10         38         3
10/21/12 LV   50       31         19      48        8         40         2
10/21/12 RV   51       31         20      47       10         37         2
10/13/12 LV   50       32         18      48        9         40         2
10/13/12 RV   51       30         21      47       10         37         2
10/13/12      50       30         21      44       10         34         6
9/29/12  RV   49       25         24      49       12         37         2
9/29/12       50       26         24      46       12         34         4
9/9/12   RV   48       27         21      50       10         39         2
9/9/12        49       29         20      45       11         35         6
8/25/12  RV   47       26         21      50       13         37         3
8/25/12       50       27         23      46       13         33         4
7/8/12        47       24         24      49       15         34         4
5/20/12       47       26         21      49       13         36         3
4/8/12        50       30         20      45       10         35         6
3/10/12       46       28         18      50       11         39         4
2/4/12        50       29         22      46       11         36         3
1/15/12       48       25         23      48       11         37         4
12/18/11      49       25         24      47       13         34         4
11/3/11       44       22         22      53       15         37         3
10/2/11       42       21         21      54       14         40         4
9/1/11        43       21         22      53       16         38         3
8/9/11*       44       18         26      46        9         37        10
7/17/11       47       25         22      48       14         35         5
6/5/11        47       27         20      49       13         37         4
5/2/11**      56       29         27      38       14         24         6
4/17/11       47       27         21      50       12         37         3
3/13/11       51       27         24      45       12         33         4
1/16/11       54       30         23      43       15         28         3
12/12/10      49       24         25      47       15         32         4
10/28/10      50       27         23      45       11         34         5
10/3/10       50       26         24      47       13         34         3
9/2/10        46       24         22      52       14         38         3
7/11/10       50       28         22      47       12         35         3
6/6/10        52       30         22      45       12         33         4
4/25/10       54       31         23      44       11         33         3
3/26/10       53       34         20      43        8         35         3
2/8/10        51       29         22      46       12         33         3
1/15/10       53       30         24      44       13         32         2
12/13/09      50       31         18      46       13         33         4
11/15/09      56       32         23      42       13         29         2
10/18/09      57       33         23      40       11         29         3
9/12/09       54       35         19      43       12         31         3
8/17/09       57       35         21      40       11         29         3
7/18/09       59       38         22      37        9         28         4
6/21/09       65       36         29      31       10         22         4
4/24/09       69       42         27      26        8         18         4
3/29/09       66       40         26      29        9         20         5
2/22/09       68       43         25      25        8         17         7
*Washington Post
**Washington Post/Pew Research Center

10. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) Regardless of who you support, which candidate do you trust to do a better job handling the economy - (Obama) or (Romney)?

                                Both    Neither     No
              Obama   Romney   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
10/23/12 LV    44       50        1        3         2
10/22/12 LV    45       50        1        2         2        
10/21/12 LV    46       48        1        3         2
10/13/12 LV    48       47        *        2         3
10/13/12 RV    48       44        *        4         4
9/29/12  RV    47       47        *        4         2
9/9/12   RV    47       45        *        3         4
8/25/12  RV    43       50        *        4         3
7/8/12   RV    45       48        1        3         3
5/20/12  RV    47       47        *        3         3
4/8/12   RV    44       48        1        4         3
2/4/12   RV    44       50        1        3         2

11. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) Regardless of who you may support, who do you think better understands the economic problems people in this country are having - (Obama) or (Romney)?

                                Both    Neither     No
              Obama   Romney   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
10/23/12 LV    50       45        2        2         1
10/22/12 LV    51       44        2        2         1
10/21/12 LV    51       44        2        3         1
10/13/12 LV    51       42        2        4         1
10/13/12 RV    51       40        2        5         2
9/29/12  RV    52       39        2        6         1
9/9/12   RV    50       40        3        4         3
8/25/12  RV    47       40        1        9         2 
7/8/12   RV    51       40        2        5         2
5/20/12  RV    48       40        2        8         2
4/8/12   RV    49       38        2        8         2
2/4/12   RV    52       37        2        7         2

12. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) I have a question about the presidential debate between (Obama) and (Romney) Monday night. From what you've seen, heard or read about it - who, in your opinion, won the debate?

                                 Neither/a draw     No
                Obama   Romney    a tie (vol.)    opinion
10/23/12 LV*     48       24          18            10
10/21/12 LV**    48       29          16             8
10/13/12 LV***   17       71           7             4
10/13/12 RV      18       69           7             6

*One-night interviews (10/23)
**10/21 asked about second presidential debate Oct. 16
***10/13 asked about first debate Oct. 3

Compare to: 
                               Neither/a draw     No
              Obama   McCain    a tie (vol.)    opinion
9/29/08  RV     38      24           22           16

13. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) As a result of the three presidential debates that have been held, do you have a better opinion of (Obama/Romney), a worse opinion of him, or haven’t the debates changed your opinion of (Obama/Romney) one way or the other?

10/23/12 - Summary Table (among likely voters) – One-night interviews (10/23)

                             Has not  
            Better   Worse   changed   No opinion
a. Obama      16      18       63           3
b. Romney     37      16       44           3

Trend:

a. Obama
                               Has not  
              Better   Worse   changed   No opinion
10/23/12 LV     16      18       63           3
10/21/12 LV*    15      18       65           1
10/13/12 LV*     8      19       72           1

b. Romney  
                               Has not  
              Better   Worse   changed   No opinion
10/23/12 LV     37      16       44           3
10/21/12 LV*    37      19       43           1
10/13/12 LV*    37      14       47           2
*10/21 “As a result of the two presidential debates…”; 10/13 “As a result of the debate…”

901. Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as (a Democrat), (a Republican), an independent or what?

             Democrat   Republican   Independent   Other (vol.)   No opinion
10/23/12 LV     34          30           32              3             1
10/22/12 LV     34          29           32              3             1
10/21/12 LV     34          29           33              3             1  
10/13/12 LV     35          26           33              3             2
9/29/12  LV     33          30           33              3             1

10/13/12 RV     34          25           36              3             2
9/29/12  RV     33          28           34              4             1
9/9/12   RV     32          26           37              4             1
8/25/12  RV     32          25           36              6             2
7/8/12   RV     36          27           33              3             1
5/20/12  RV     34          25           34              6             1
4/8/12   RV     37          24           33              4             1
3/10/12  RV     31          29           36              3             2
2/12/12  RV     36          25           34              5             1
1/15/12  RV     32          27           35              5             1

***END***

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