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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Pew: Broad Obama Gains

The new Pew Research poll I wrote about last night has some pretty interesting internal findings.
Comparing the two candidates’ standing in this poll to a mid-September Pew poll in which they were basically tied, the trends are clear and broad. In September McCain led among white voters 52-38. Now they’re tied at 45%. Obama’s gained 8% among men, 5% among women. Among white men and white women alike, Obama gained 7%. Most strikingly, Obama was down 50-36 among white non-college-educated voters in September. He’s closed the gap to 45-42.
Looking at the electorate from a religious-affiliation point of view, Obama made high single-digit gains between the September and October polls among mainline Protestants, Catholics (both weekly attendees and those who are less observant), and less-observant white evangelical Protestants. (McCain still leads among white evangelicals overall by a 67-24 margin).
Obama leads significantly among voters who are “strong” supporters of one candidate or the other (36-21). And in a question that got a lot of attention in the last presidential cycle, 77% of Obama supporters say they’re voting for him instead of voting against McCain. In the 2004 exit polls, only 43% of Kerry voters said that.
Pew rates 23% of voters as “swing” in the sense of not being completely certain of how they will vote. Of those, 8% lean to Obama, 6% to McCain, while 9% claim to be purely undecided.
Any way you slice it, Obama’s lead over McCain is exceptionally broad-based and doesn’t seem to depend on any particular demographic group. And with under two weeks left, that doesn’t offer much of a strategic target for John McCain.

2 comments on “Pew: Broad Obama Gains

  1. edkilgore on

    This poll looks like an outlier, and also has a small sample. But more importantly (Nate Silver goes into this at 538.com today) it has a very suspect “likely voter” screen, based on past voting behavior rather than current intentions, as though this is just 2004 all over again.
    That’s why it has Obama up 10 among adults, up 5 among registered voters, and up only 1 among “likelies.” It’s screening out a lot of very likely Obama voters.
    Ed Kilgore

  2. ThinkingGuy on

    what about the AP poll that has it dead even nationally and in all battle ground states, citing the debate performance of McCain?


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