Greenberg Quinlan Rosner / Public Opinion Strategies
National Public Radio


NPR Survey Results (PDF - 9 K)

NPR PowerPoint Presentation (PDF - 28 K)


Executive Summary

In their latest research for National Public Radio, GQR and POS conducted a survey of 1,124 ‘likely voters’ in 19 presidential battleground states. This represents a battleground that has been greatly expanded as a result of the close contest in many states across the country and by the campaigns themselves advertising in states as diverse as Georgia and Alaska.

The good news for Barack Obama is that he runs 1 point ahead of John McCain (46 to 45 percent) in this Republican-tilted battlefield that supported George Bush by 5 points over John Kerry in 2004. This represents a 6-point swing and thus consistent with Obama’s 3-point lead nationally shown by the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.


Key Findings

While the race is still relatively close, Obama seems to be holding all the states Kerry held and has a 3-point lead in a large number of states carried by Bush.

 Obama’s lead is grounded on bringing the right kind of change, being on voters’ side and restoring respect for America in the world.

The two candidates are contesting who is more independent and more able to work across party lines. Indeed, they are splitting independents - something congressional Republicans failed to do in 2006.

But McCain has a clear advantage on being a strong leader, having what it takes to be president and on authenticity as he is less likely to be seen as someone who has flip-flopped and says what people want to hear, not what he believes in.

The engagement over the issues in the lead up to the convention has not broken for Obama. While the Democratic candidate has a small advantage on the economy (5 points), he is splitting the energy issue with McCain and the Republican candidate is preferred on handling the situation in Iraq.

In the media war, people say they are getting more information from Obama, but on advertising, they are much more likely to have heard negative ads about Obama than about McCain.

Television remains the dominant source for information, but a quarter have visited a candidates’ website or been part of a candidate’s chain email. Among those under 40 years of age, 40 percent have gotten information in this way.



The survey fielded August 12-14, 2008 among 1,124 likely voters in the 19 presidential battleground states and has a margin of error of +/- 3%. The battleground states included in this sample are Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.