Washington Post-ABC News Poll

This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 21-24, 2012, among a random national sample of 1,773 adults, including landline and cell phone-only respondents. Results for the sample of 1,386 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
10/24/12 LV   94     63     32      5       3         2        *
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.
10/24/12 RV     79         7        6        2           1           6      *
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
10/24/12 RV      62             29              8              1
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 

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
10/24/12 LV    47       50        1        1         1
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"

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
Obama:
10/24/12 LV   96     60       35       4       3          1          *
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:
10/24/12 LV   93     60       33       7       5          2          1
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
10/24/12 LV   49       30         18      50        9         41         1
10/24/12 RV   50       29         21      48       10         38         3
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

8. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) Regardless of who you support, which candidate do you trust to do a better job [ITEM] - (Obama) or (Romney)?

10/24/12 - Summary Table (among likely voters)* 

                                                      Both    Neither     No
                                    Obama   Romney   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
a. Handling the economy              43       52        1        3         2
f. Handling international affairs    48       47        1        2         2
h. Advancing the interest of 
   the middle class                  50       45        *        4         2 
*Results for items f and h based on two-night data, 10/23-24. 

Trend:

a. Handling the economy

                                Both    Neither     No
              Obama   Romney   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
10/24/12 LV    43       52        1        3         2
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

f. Handling international affairs       

                                Both    Neither     No
              Obama   Romney   (vol.)   (vol.)    opinion
10/24/12 LV    48       47        1        2         2
10/21/12 LV    49       46        1         1        3
10/13/12 LV    50       43        1        3         2
10/13/12 RV    50       40        1        5         3
9/29/12  RV    49       44        *        2         4
9/9/12   RV    51       38        *        2         9
8/25/12  RV    46       41        1        6         5
4/8/12   RV    56       37        *        3         4
2/4/12   RV    55       38        1        3         4

h. Advancing the interests of the middle class

                                Both    Neither     No
              Obama   Romney   (vol.)    (vol.)   opinion
10/24/12 LV    50       45        *        4         2
9/9/12   RV    53       38        1        4         4
5/20/12* RV    50       44        1        4         2       
*"advance the economic interest of middle class Americans"

9. (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
10/24/12 LV    48       46        2        3         1
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

10. (ASKED OF LIKELY VOTERS) Just your best guess, who do you think will win the presidential election this year - (Obama) or (Romney)?

                               Other      No
              Obama   Romney   (vol.)   opinion
10/24/12 LV*   52       40        *        8
10/13/12 LV    56       35        *        8
10/13/12 RV    57       33        *       10
9/29/12  RV    63       31        *        6
8/25/12  RV    56       37        *        8
7/8/12   RV    58       33        1        8
*Based on two-night data, 10/23-24.

Compare to: Just your best guess, who do you think will win the presidential election this year - (Obama) or (the Republican candidate)?

           Obama   Rep. candidate   No opinion
3/10/12     54           40              6
1/15/12     46           49              5
12/18/11    46           49              5
10/2/11     37           55              8

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
10/24/12 LV     34          30           31              3             2
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

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