MEMORANDUM

 

To:       All National Omnibus Poll Subscribers

From:   McLaughlin & Associates

Re:       National Survey Results – Presidential Analysis

Date:    July 1, 2008

 

Methodology: 

 

This National survey of 1,000 likely General Election voters was conducted on June 26th – 29th, 2008.  All interviews were conducted via telephone by professional interviewers.  Interview selection was random within predetermined election units.  These units were structured to correlate with actual national turnout in a General Presidential Election. This survey of 1,000 likely General Election voters has an accuracy of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence interval.

 

Overview:

 

Currently, voters are voting for Senator Barack Obama over Senator John McCain, 46% to 38% respectively.  Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided.  This vote is being driven largely by President George W. Bush’s low opinion ratings.  Those favorable to President Bush (37% total) are voting for Senator McCain 74% to 15% for Senator Obama.  Those unfavorable to President Bush (54% total) are voting for Senator Obama 69% to 14% for Senator McCain.  

 

If the election for President were held today, and the candidates were John McCain, the Republican candidate, and Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, for whom would you vote?

 

 

Party

Ideology

Race

Opinion Bush

 

Total

GOP

Dem

Ind.

Lib.

Mod.

Cons.

White

African Amer.

Hispanic

Fav

Unfav

John McCain

38

74

13

30

14

28

67

43

12

37

74

14

  Vote

35

70

11

25

12

26

63

41

11

27

70

11

  Lean

3

4

2

4

1

3

4

3

2

10

4

3

Barack Obama

46

17

73

43

73

53

21

40

74

56

15

69

  Vote

43

15

71

33

68

48

19

37

72

46

14

65

  Lean

4

1

3

9

5

5

1

3

3

10

2

4

Undecided

16

10

14

28

14

19

13

17

13

7

11

17

 

On the generic ballot for Congress, the generic Democrat has a 9-point lead over the generic Republican: 34% vote Republican, 43% vote Democrat and 23% are undecided.  Democrats are slightly more energized, as 81% of the partisan Democrats vote for the generic Democrat; while 77% of the partisan Republicans vote for the generic Republican.  Fifty-five percent (55%) of independents are undecided in the generic ballot.

 

Voters unfavorable to President Bush are just as likely to vote for the Democrat (65%) as voters favorable to President Bush are likely to vote for the Republican (68%).  The difference is, voters who are unfavorable to President Bush represent 54% of the sample, while voters who are favorable to him represent only 37%. 

 

If the election for U.S. Congress in your district were held today, would you be more likely to vote for the Republican candidate, or the Democratic candidate?

 

 

Party

Ideology

Race

Opinion Bush

 

Total

GOP

Dem

Ind.

Lib.

Mod.

Cons.

White

African Amer.

Hispanic

Fav

Unfav

Republican

34

77

6

21

12

22

65

39

12

29

68

12

Democrat

43

9

81

25

70

51

16

38

73

42

15

65

Undecided

23

14

13

55

18

27

20

23

16

29

18

24


 

 

President Bush’s unfavorable rating rises to 59% among independents and 63% among moderates.  These two voter segments are crucial for Senator McCain and the Congressional Republicans.

                                       

Now, I am going to read you a list of names.  Will you please tell me if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of each person?  If you have no opinion or have never heard of the person, just say so.

- George W. Bush -

 

Party

Ideology

Race

 

Total

GOP

Dem

Ind.

Lib.

Mod.

Cons.

White

African Amer.

Hispanic

FAVORABLE

37

69

16

26

19

26

61

39

20

42

   Strongly Favorable

17

35

5

12

10

11

30

19

9

10

   Smwt. Favorable

20

33

11

15

9

15

31

20

11

32

UNFAVORABLE

54

22

78

59

75

63

30

52

72

49

   Smwt. Unfavorable

12

9

13

15

11

15

10

12

14

12

   Strongly Unfavorable

42

14

65

44

64

48

19

40

58

37

NO OPINION

9

9

6

15

6

11

9

9

9

10

 

Voters who are undecided in their vote for President are unfavorable to President Bush by a greater than 2:1 margin; or 26% favorable to 60% unfavorable.   Voters who are undecided in the generic ballot for Congress also have a majority unfavorable opinion of President Bush – 29% favorable / 56% unfavorable. 

 

- George W. Bush –  

 

Vote President

Generic Ballot for Congress

 

Total

McCain

Obama

Und.

GOP

Dem

Und.

FAVORABLE

37

71

12

26

73

13

29

   Strongly Favorable

17

35

5

11

38

4

11

   Smwt. Favorable

20

36

7

15

34

9

18

UNFAVORABLE

54

19

81

60

18

82

56

   Smwt. Unfavorable

12

9

13

18

7

14

17

   Strongly Unfavorable

42

10

68

42

11

68

39

NO OPINION

9

10

7

14

9

6

16

 

Senator McCain’s majority favorable rating of 55% is significant, but it should be noted that the plurality, 32%, are only “somewhat favorable” to Senator McCain.  This signifies soft support.  Among independents, Senator McCain has a better than 2:1 favorable to unfavorable rating – 56% favorable / 26% unfavorable.  Among moderates, Senator McCain’s ratings slip, as he is 49% favorable and 37% unfavorable.  Those who are unfavorable to President Bush are also unfavorable to Senator McCain, 32% favorable to 54% unfavorable. 

 

- John McCain -

 

 

Party

Ideology

Race

Opinion Bush

 

Total

GOP

Dem

Ind.

Lib.

Mod.

Cons.

White

African Amer.

Hispanic

Fav

Unfav

FAVORABLE

53

79

30

56

34

49

73

54

35

73

85

32

   Strongly Fav.

21

40

6

18

8

16

37

23

12

20

43

6

   Smwt. Favorable

32

39

25

38

25

33

36

32

24

54

42

26

UNFAVORABLE

33

11

55

26

48

37

17

32

44

22

9

54

   Smwt. Unfav.

16

7

26

13

22

21

8

16

20

17

7

25

   Strongly Unfav.

16

4

29

13

26

16

8

16

25

5

2

28

NO OPINION

14

10

15

18

18

15

11

14

20

5

6

15


 

Again, Senator McCain must improve his standing with independents and moderates.  Come November, these two voter segments will determine the outcome of the election.  Interestingly, Senator McCain receives a 56% favorable rating among independents compared to Senator Obama who receives a 55% favorable rating among independents.  The difference is that, Senator Obama has a 13-point advantage among these independent voters – 30% Senator McCain / 43% Senator Obama / 28% undecided.   Again, Senator McCain needs a strong message to bring these voters back into the fold.  Although Senator McCain has a good rating with Independents, he loses their vote as they still link their votes for President to President Bush's unfavorable rating - not their opinion of Senator John McCain.

 

Senator Barack Obama has a 55% favorable rating and a 33% unfavorable rating.  Like Senator McCain, Senator Obama also has good ratings with independent voters – 55% favorable / 28% unfavorable.  Unlike Senator McCain though, Senator Obama has strong favorable ratings among moderates – 66% favorable to 22% unfavorable.  Also, Senator Obama has a 74% favorable rating among voters who are unfavorable to President Bush.

 

- Barack Obama -

 

 

Party

Ideology

Race

Opinion Bush

 

Total

GOP

Dem

Ind.

Lib.

Mod.

Cons.

White

African Amer.

Hispanic

Fav

Unfav

FAVORABLE

55

31

76

55

74

66

31

49

81

63

31

74

   Strongly Fav.

31

13

48

28

46

34

18

25

67

34

13

45

   Smwt. Favorable

24

18

28

27

28

32

13

25

14

29

18

29

UNFAVORABLE

33

57

15

28

13

22

57

38

8

24

60

15

   Smwt. Unfav.

11

15

7

13

7

10

15

12

7

7

18

6

   Strongly Unfav.

21

42

8

16

6

12

42

25

1

17

42

9

NO OPINION

13

13

10

17

13

12

12

13

11

12

9

11

 

One bright spot for Republican Congressional candidates is on the choice-model pitting a generic Democrat against a generic Republican IF Senator Barack Obama wins the Presidency.  When asked who they would prefer to see in Congress if Senator Obama wins the Presidency, 46% said they would prefer a “Democrat Congressman who will help Barack Obama pass his agenda”, compared to 45% who said they would prefer a “Republican congressman who will be a check and balance to Barack Obama”.  This one-to-one ratio is significantly better than the generic ballot where the Democrat leads the Republican by 9 points - 43% to 34%.

 

If Barack Obama were to win the election for President, who would you prefer to see in Congress? A Democrat congressman who will help Barack Obama pass his agenda.  OR, A Republican congressman who will be a check and balance to Barack Obama.

 

 

Party

Ideology

Race

Opinion Bush

 

Total

GOP

Dem

Ind.

Lib.

Mod.

Cons.

White

African Amer.

Hispanic

Fav

Unfav

Democrat

46

12

78

41

75

51

20

41

73

56

14

70

Republican

45

81

14

44

19

35

74

49

20

37

79

20

DK/Refused

10

7

8

16

6

13

6

10

7

7

7

10

 

Again, independents are split, 41% Democrat to 44% Republican, while the partisan Republicans and Democrats vote overwhelmingly for their own party.  Moderates are more inclined to prefer a “Democrat who will help Barack Obama pass his agenda” – 51% to 35%.

 

The plurality of voters who are undecided in their vote for President would prefer to see a “Republican congressman who will be a check and balance to Barack Obama”, 41%, compared to 33% of undecided Presidential voters who would prefer a “Democrat Congressman who will help Barack Obama pass his agenda”.   We see slightly better ratings for the Republican by the generic ballot for Congress.  See the following table.


 

 

Vote President

Generic Ballot for Congress

 

Total

McCain

Obama

Und.

GOP

Dem

Und.

Democrat

46

8

83

33

10

82

33

Republican

45

86

12

41

85

13

43

DK/Refused

10

7

6

27

6

5

24

 

Conclusion:

 

At this time Senator John McCain and the Congressional Republicans are losing because they have yet to develop a unique message to vote for them separate and apart from President Bush. Their challenge will be to maximize their potential strength among conservatives and Republicans and then win among Independents and moderates. As much as Senator McCain needs to win among moderates and Independents, he needs to win more support from conservatives and Republicans than Senator Obama wins among Democrats and liberals.

Ironically Senator John McCain is already better liked among both conservatives and Republicans than President Bush, while the President now has significant negatives among both his ideological and party bases. It's time for Republicans to develop a new brand of conservatism that directly contrasts on the issues to Senator Obama and the Democratic Party.