Last DCorps Before Election: Obama Closes Campaign with 7-Point Lead


Stan Greenberg, James Carville, and Ana Iparraguirre
Democracy Corps

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Executive Summary

The final national survey from Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner shows Obama with a stable and decisive lead in the race for president. But there is much more going on that will likely produce an even bigger outcome. The structure of Obama’s support is untouched by the closing campaign, with considerable evidence of rising confidence in Obama over McCain on taxes, the economy and the financial crisis that are themselves growing more central in predicting the vote. With surging enthusiasm and solidity of Obama’s voters and a growing partisan advantage impacting races at all levels, more than a few barriers will likely be broken on November 4th.

Obama is ahead in the race for president in our last poll that was conducted Thursday night, Saturday morning and Sunday night with 1,000 likely voters nationwide by a 7-point margin: 51 to 44 percent, with 3 percent undecided and 3 percent voting for 3rd parties (Nader at 2 percent and Barr at 1 percent).

We project, however, when all is said and done that Obama will lead 53 to 44 percent, with 3 percent for 3rd party candidates. We base this projection on the following adjustments of our poll number.

Key Findings

There is a growing enthusiasm gap. The percentage of Obama supporters who rate their interest level as “10” has increased from 84 to 88 percent, while McCain’s voters remained stuck at 81 percent. Moreover, 94 percent of Obama’s voters give him a “warm” rating on the favorability scale - 7 points above the proportion of McCain’s supporters who give him a warm rating. Evaluating our voter choice scale that uses eight questions to assess the character of support, Obama’s has emerged with 8 percent more “loyalists,” fewer erodible and more “winnable” voters, even as 50 percent of the electorate are totally off limits to McCain.

There is a growing Obama advantage on the key indicators. Obama has emerged with a strong lead on the key issues that are driving this election: the economy, change and trust, a powerful combination. He now has emerged with double-digit leads on change (14 points), being on your side (11 points), handling the economy (13 points), and the financial crisis (12 points) - increasing his advantage on all of these items over the two closing polls.

There is an emerging party image advantage and vote for Democrats for Congress. Compared to party image in previous years, 2008 is very different: the Republican brand has remained in the hole, while the Democrats, no doubt driven by Obama, are viewed much more positively - in this last poll with a 7 degree difference in their mean thermometer rating. While Democrats are viewed more positively by 9 points, Republicans are viewed more negatively by 11 points. That has moved the Democrats into a 10-point lead in the race for Congress - 3 points beyond the margin that gave them the wave election of 2006.

Methodology

Based on Democracy Corps poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner of 1,000 likely voters nationwide on October 30th, the morning of November 1st and November 2nd.