Between January 22-28, 2008 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner interviewed 600 swing voters in swing congressional districts and in swing states. These are the voters who will decide the outcome of the 2008 elections. For the purposes of this study, swing voters are defined as voters who are self-ascribed Independent or lean-Independent or Democrats and Republicans who do not support the Democratic or Republican candidate in a generic trial heat for President or a named trial heat for Congress. The survey geography was limited to swing congressional districts, presidential battleground states and swing Senate states. The survey carries a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percent. This survey was commissioned by USAction and the USAction Education Fund.

Key Findings

  • Not surprisingly, huge numbers of these voters believe the country is off on the wrong track (74 percent). What is interesting is that this number moved a single percentage point since May, 2006 (then 73 percent wrong track).
  • Politically, the swing voters lean Democratic. In a generic contest for President, swing voters break 41 to 34 percent for the Democratic candidate.
  • The economy has emerged as the leading issue of the cycle and concerns about the economy drive much of the response in this survey. By a 2 to 1 margin, these voters believe what many economists and politicians will not say out-loud -- that we are in a recession.
  • By an overwhelming margin, voters support a new program of investment. By a 69 to 25 percent margin, these voters support the Invest in America’s Future Agenda.

This survey follows a similar project in May 2006 that also showed swing voters both angry and supportive of a new program of investments. That sentiment culminated in an 18-point margin for the Democrats in the 2006 elections. The new data shows that the electoral turnover in 2006 did not satisfy this vote’s desire for change or their support for new priorities.


Report: Swing Nation, Revised (PDF - 15 K)

Graphs: Survey of Swing Voters (PDF - 17 K)