Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Obama Leads in Hawkeye Poll

Obama Leads in Hawkeye Poll

Barack Obama has a five percent lead over John McCain among registered voters in the University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll released today. The survey of 709 registered voters was conducted Aug. though 13 and has a 3.9 percent margin of error.

"The race in Iowa, while relatively close, appears to be moving in Obama's direction," said University of Iowa professor David Redlawsk, the Hawkeye Poll director.

Demographic breakdowns show Obama leading McCain among all groups except senior citizens, though Obama's lead with men is less than one percent and within the margin of error.

Both major party candidates seem to have solidified their party bases in Iowa, but Democrats have more confidence that their candidate will win. Three-quarters of Obama supporters think he will win, as opposed to only half of McCain's backers who expect a Republican win. "Confidence in your candidate is another motivator to actually get out and vote," Redlawsk said. "When you believe you will win, it's all the more reason to show up at the polls. When you think you will lose, it's easier to not bother."

Other key findings in the poll:

  • Obama leads among women by nearly 13 percent. That's been harder for him in some states, where disappointed Hillary Clinton supporters still aren't on board.

  • Obama's strongest lead is among young voters under 30, where he as a 62-35 percent edge over McCain.

  • Over a third of respondents think Obama's race could make it more difficult for him to win support. ""We can't directly ask voters if they are unwilling to vote for someone because of race," said Redlawsk, "but we can ask what they think others will do. It seems clear, though, that race is a factor, even if it's hard to quantify."

  • It's lower than the national average, but 8 percent of respondents still identified Obama as Muslim.

    Despite Obama's lead, the state is no sure thing for the Democrats this fall. "It's very clear that voters who continue to support George Bush will vote for John McCain," Redlawsk said. "Not only is this a simple continuation of partisan support, but McCain is clearly associated with supporting much of the Bush agenda, and voters recognize the connection."

    "The challenge for Obama lies with independents who disapprove of Bush," said Redlawsk. "While McCain has the support of more than 8 in 10 Bush supporters, Obama is only picking up 6 in 10 of those who disapprove of Bush. This gap is allowing McCain to claim a plurality of all independent voters at this time."
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