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Friday, October 31, 2008                                                                                                              

Contacts: Steve Mitchell



Obama Leads McCain by 14% in Michigan


Obama/Biden 54% - McCain/Palin 40%


EAST LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Barack Obama leads Sen. John McCain by 14% (54%-40%) according to a Mitchell Poll of 600 likely voters in Michigan.  The telephone survey conducted by Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc. of East Lansing, Michigan October 26-30, 2008 has a margin of error of + or – of 4%.   The poll showed Obama 54, McCain, 40, other candidates 2%, and 4% are undecided. 


Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc. was the most accurate media pollster in the last two presidential elections in Michigan.  In its final polling in 2000 it had Gore defeating Bush by 5%, identical to the final margin of 5%.  In 2004, it had Kerry defeating Bush in Michigan by 2%; the final margin was 3%.


            “Although Obama has a huge lead going into the last weekend, the results could be closer.  Just like Michigan gubernatorial candidate Jennifer Granholm in 2002, Obama has the characteristics of an incumbent, even though he is not one.   The general rule is that almost all undecided voters break towards the challenger. If that happens, the margin could drop to around 10%,” Steve Mitchell, president of Mitchell Research & Communications, Inc. said. 


In the 2002 Michigan gubernatorial race, final polling Mitchell Research conduced the week before the general election showed Attorney General Granholm with a 51%-38% lead.  Almost all of the undecided voters went to her opponent, Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus, who lost by only 4% (51%-47%).  Since Obama is getting about 54% of the vote and about 45% said they have a favorable opinion of McCain, the margin could close.


The key issues are obviously the economy and the turmoil on Wall Street.  When asked “which candidate for president, Barack Obama or John McCain, would do the best job solving our current economic problems in the United States,” 55% said Obama and 35% said McCain.  This is almost identical to the head-to-head ballot test between the two candidates.   


“Although it has been a long, winding road to get here, it is clear now that the only issues that are on the minds of Michigan voters are the economy and the financial turmoil in Washington.  Obama is winning about nine of ten voters who said he would do a better job solving our current economic problems, while McCain is winning about nine of ten voters who said he would do a better job,” Mitchell added. 


Eighty-one percent say the economy is the “most important problem facing Michigan at the present time.” 


            Some of the highlights of the poll:


·         Normally, there is a huge gender gap among voters, with men being strongly Republican and women being strongly Democrats.  That gap does not exist this year in the presidential campaign.  In fact, Obama is doing better with men where he leads by 19% (56%-37%) than with women, where he leads by 15% (52%-37%).   


·         Almost all of the African-Americans (95%) are supporting Obama and he has a 7% lead with white voters (50%-43%).    


·         Obama is getting 90% of 2004 Kerry voters while McCain is getting only 70% of Bush 2004 voters.


·         Obama is getting 95% of the Democrats while McCain is getting only 84% of the Republicans.  Independents are voting almost 3:1 for Obama (48%-18%).

·         Obama leads in union households by almost 50% (68%-22%) and in non-union households by about 5% (47%-42%).


·         By age, Obama has a double digit lead with all voters except 50-59 year olds, where he leads by 7% (48%-41%.)  He leads about 2:1 with all voters under the age of 40.


·         Obama leads in the city of Detroit (86%-3%), in the Detroit suburbs (50%-40%), and outstate, where Republican candidates are usually the strongest (52%-40%).


 “Obama seems poised to win by a landslide in Michigan next Tuesday,” Steve Mitchell concluded.  “The only thing we don’t know now is the margin of victory.”   


The company will be conducting its final round of polling in Michigan on Monday night.