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Election 2008: Virginia Presidential Election
Obama Still Leads by Four in Virginia

Virginia is still Obama country – for the seventh survey in a row.

The last Fox News/Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Virginia voters before Election Day shows Barack Obama leading John McCain 51% to 47%. The numbers are unchanged from last week.

Only one percent (1%) remain undecided.

Among those who have already voted, Obama leads McCain 61% to 37%.

This is the fifth straight weekly poll to show Obama at 50% or 51% in Virginia and enjoying a lead ranging from two to four points. McCain was last ahead in the state in mid-September when he had a two-point lead.

The stability of these results is consistent with national polling over the past month. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll has shown Obama with support from 50% to 52% of voters every single day for 39 consecutive days. In the Electoral College projections, Rasmussen Reports now shows Obama leading 260 to 160. When states that are leaning in one way or the other are included, Obama leads 313 to 160. He needs 270 Electoral College votes to win.

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Virginia was last carried by a Democratic presidential candidate in 1964. But Obama has targeted the state from the beginning, counting on large urban voter turnout in Tidewater and Richmond and most importantly hoping to capitalize on the rapidly growing – and more liberal – northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., to offset conservative voters downstate. Obama’s helped, too, by popular former Democratic Governor Mark Warner’s shoo-in bid for the U.S. Senate this fall.

If McCain fails to hold the Old Dominion State, his bid for the presidency could be in deep, early trouble Election night.

But some warning signs for exit poll watchers: While 44% of Virginia voters say they are Very Likely to take an exit poll if asked, this includes 54% of likely Obama voters versus 34% of those who plan to vote for McCain. By contrast, 15% of likely McCain voters say they are not at all likely to participate in an exit poll compared to just four percent (4%) of potential Obama voters.

Republicans in Virginia are coming home to McCain in the final hours. Last week he had the support of 89% of GOP voters; now 94% of Republicans are with him. Obama now has the backing of 97% of Democrats, up from 94% a week ago.

McCain leads among male voters in Virginia by three but trails by 10 among women. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of white voters prefer the Republican, while more than nine-out-of-ten African-American voters favor the Democrat. Obama’s support is highest among younger voters, McCain’s among older voters.

McCain has substantial leads among both evangelical Christians and Catholics. He’s ahead more narrowly among Protestants.

Rasmussen Markets data currently gives Obama a % chance of carrying Virginia this fall. At the time this poll was released, Virginia is listed as “Leans Democratic” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. NOTE: Factors other than the latest Rasmussen Reports poll impact the Balance of Power ratings. The current status is indicated on the table in the upper right hand corner of this article.

Obama is viewed favorably by 55% and unfavorably by 43%. Fifty-seven percent (57%) have a favorable opinion of McCain, while 43% regard him unfavorably.

Virginia voters are fairly evenly divided over which candidate they trust more and which candidate they would seek advice from if faced with the toughest decision of their lives.

Forty-five percent (45%) rate the economy as the most important issue in the election, while 21% say national security is most important. Obama is trusted more than McCain on the economy by three points, McCain more on national security by six points.

McCain’s electoral fortunes have suffered since the current economic crisis began dominating the news, so it is not surprising to find that among voters for whom the economy is the number one issue, Obama leads McCain in terms of voter trust 70% to 28%.

Among those voters for whom national security is paramount, McCain leads Obama in trust 73% to 25%.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of Virginia voters say they would be very or extremely comfortable with Obama as president, but 40% say they would be not at all comfortable with that outcome. Forty-three percent (43%) would be very or extremely comfortable with McCain in the White House, while 35% wouldn’t be comfortable at all.

A plurality (35%) say the most important quality they seek in a candidate is his ability to bring about needed change. For 25%, having the right experience and sharing voters’ values are most important. Ten percent (10%) say it’s most important that the candidate cares about people like them.

Eighty-seven percent (87%) say they are Extremely Interested in the presidential election.

Rasmussen Reports and Fox News Channel have also released several other battleground state polls today, including final numbers from Florida, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia. Rasmussen Reports also released final results from New Jersey.

Electoral College projections now show Obama leading 260-160. When “leaners” are included, Obama leads 286-160. A total of 270 Electoral Votes are needed to win the White House (Predict how many Electoral College votes Obama will win this year).

 

Recent statewide Presidential polls have been released for Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey , New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Demographic crosstabs for all state polling are available for Premium Members. Learn More.

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Virginia Leans Democratic

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

"538" Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

McCain (R)

47%

46%

45%

Obama (D)

51%

52%

49%

This telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on November 2, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Virginia Trends: McCain vs. Obama

Date

McCain

Obama

11/02/2008

47%

51%

10/26/2008

47%

51%

10/16/2008

44%

54%

10/12/2008

47%

50%

10/05/2008

48%

50%

09/28/2008

47%

50%

09/25/2008

45%

50%

09/21/2008

50%

48%

09/14/2008

48%

48%

09/07/2008

49%

47%

08/12/2008

45%

46%

07/16/2008

44%

44%

06/12/2008

44%

45%

05/08/2008

47%

44%

03/27/2008

52%

41%

02/19/2008

49%

44%

01/03/2008

45%

43%


Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in Virginia

 

McCain

Obama

Very Favorable

36%

46%

Somewhat Favorable

21%

9%

Somewhat Unfavorable

24%

10%

Very Unfavorable

19%

33%

Not Sure

1%

1%


Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary

Republicans

160

Democrats

173

Toss-Ups & Leaners

205


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.