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Obama 48%, McCain 46% as Race Tightens in Wisconsin

The presidential race continues to tighten in Wisconsin, where Barack Obama now leads John McCain by just two percentage points, 48% to 46%, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of voters in the state.

Last month, it was a four-point race. A month earlier, in the first poll in the state since Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, Obama had an 11-point lead over McCain 50% to 39%.

Indicative of the new closeness of the race here are the nearly identical favorables and unfavorables for the two presidential candidates—58% favorable for McCain, 55% for Obama.

But in the first Rasmussen reports poll in the state since Obama and McCain selected their running mates, voters feel more strongly about Sarah Palin, with 39% rating their view of her Very Favorable versus 24% who say the same of Joseph Biden. But 31% have a Very Unfavorable view of Palin, while only 24% feel that way about the Democrat.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Wisconsin voters say McCain made the right choice in selecting Palin to be his vice president, and 37% believe that of Obama’s choice of Biden.

Unlike in many other states, women voters in Wisconsin feel as favorably as male voters about Palin and McCain’s selection of her.

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McCain and Obama remain very close in both the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and Electoral College projections.

No Republican presidential candidate has carried Wisconsin since 1984, but the last two elections were particularly close. In 2000, Al Gore won the state by only 5,000 votes, and four years later John Kerry carried Wisconsin by just 10,000 votes out of three million cast.

Forty-six percent (46%) of Wisconsin voters say economic issues are the most important in this election, while 19% rate national security as their number one concern.

Voters in the state have bad news for the campaigns who spend big money on television advertising. While 11% say the commercials make them more likely to vote for a candidate, 20% say the ads make them less likely to do so, and two-thirds (66%) say they have no impact at all.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters also say they are not influenced by the number of visits a presidential candidate makes to the state.

Rasmussen Markets data shows that Democrats are currently given a % chance of winning Wisconsin’s 10 Electoral College votes in November. At the time this poll was released, Wisconsin was rated “Likely 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.

Rasmussen Reports has released polls on the presidential race this week for Colorado, Florida, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Utah and Delaware. Additional state poll results will be released at RasmussenReports.com each Monday at 6:00 p.m. Eastern and Tuesday-Friday at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll is released each morning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. Other polling is released at 7:00 a.m., Noon, and 3:00 p.m. Eastern weekdays along with other updates as needed. Premium Members can review full demographic crosstabs for all state polls and get the first look at all Rasmussen Reports polling data. Learn More .

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Wisconsin voters say Governor Jim Doyle, a Democrat, is doing a good or excellent job, but 31% rate his performance as poor.

President Bush’s job performance gets good or excellent marks from 34%, but almost half (49%) say his job record is poor.

See survey questions and toplines. Crosstabs are available to Premium Members only.

Wisconsin Likely Democratic

Latest RR Poll

RR P oll Avg.

"538" Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

McCain (R)

44%

45%

41%

Obama (D)

51%

51%

51%

This telephone survey of 700 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on September 15, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Wisconsin Trends: McCain vs. Obama

Date

McCain

Obama

10/23/2008

44%

51%

10/06/2008

44%

54%

09/15/2008

46%

48%

08/05/2008

43%

47%

07/08/2008

39%

50%

06/05/2008

43%

45%

05/05/2008

47%

43%

03/26/2008

48%

46%

02/21/2008

43%

44%


Favorable Ratings For Presidential Candidates in Wisconsin

 

McCain

Obama

Very Favorable

28%

41%

Somewhat Favorable

23%

16%

Somewhat Unfavorable

21%

12%

Very Unfavorable

27%

30%

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.