June 20, 2008 06:13 ET

The Race for the White House and Momentum

Obama (50%) Leads McCain (43%) as Current Choice for President among Likely U.S. Voters

Attention: News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA/ON--(Marketwire - June 20, 2008) - A new Ipsos poll of Americans provided exclusively to the CanWest News Service and Global Television shows that presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama enjoys a 7-point lead among likely voters (50% vs. 43%) and a 10-point lead among all U.S. adults aged 18 and over (49% vs. 39%) in terms of voting intentions in the upcoming November U.S. presidential election over apparent Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. The survey also shows that Obama is ahead by six points among Independents (36% vs. 30%).

Further, the poll found that when considering the "advocacy momentum factor" at this point in the race for the White House, 43% of Americans say they would speak highly of Barack Obama (22% if someone asked their opinion and 21% without being asked) while only 30% say they would speak highly of John McCain (19% if someone asked their opinion and 11% without being asked). Concurrently, fewer Americans are neutral about Mr. Obama (30%) than are about Mr. McCain (40%).

And, as a backdrop with the Bush Presidency winding down, a mere 21% of Americans believe the nation is heading in the "right direction".

The poll comes as Mr. McCain plans to visit Ottawa, Canada's capital to speak on issues related to free trade.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted June 5-11, 2008. For the survey, a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of exactly 1,000 adults across the United States was interviewed by Ipsos. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Demographic Factor…

Support for Obama is particularly high over McCain among those aged 18-34 (63% vs. 29% -- a 34-point difference). Among self-identified Democrats, his support is higher among females (78% vs. 13% -- a 65-point difference) than it is among males (75% vs. 20% -- a difference of 55 points). Among Republicans, McCain's lead is higher among males (74% vs. 13% -- 61 points) than it is among females (73% vs. 21% -- a 52 point difference).

The "Advocate Momentum" Factor…

Ipsos' new poll indicates that Obama's pool of "active advocates"-those who would speak highly of him of without being asked is nearly twice as large as McCain's among the U.S. public at large - 21% vs. 11%.

Furthermore, while 34% of all Democrats would praise Obama spontaneously, only 19% of all Republicans would do so of McCain. Nearly three in ten adults aged 18-34 (28%) are also "active advocates" of Obama. However, Obama and McCain enjoy similar proportions of "passive advocates" who would speak highly of them only if asked - 22% and 19%, respectively among the general public.

The two presumptive presidential nominees also face similar proportions of critics: both "active" and "passive", as 22% of Americans say they would be critical of Obama (12% if asked and 10% without being asked) and 24% say they would be critical of McCain (12% if asked and 12% without being asked).

Among the U.S. public, Obama's net "advocacy score" (the percentage of "advocates" who would speak highly of him minus the percentage of "critics" who would be critical of him) is noticeably larger (+21) than McCain's (+6 points). Among likely voters, the gap between Obama's (+25) and McCain's (+11 points) net advocacy scores is comparable.

Obama's net advocacy score among Democrats (+51) is also higher than McCain's among Republicans (+45). Among Independents, Obama's net advocacy score is positive (+16 points) whereas McCain's is negative (-5).

The traditional gender gap separating Democratic and Republican presidential candidates is evident in the current race: Obama's advocacy score is 27 points higher than McCain's among women (+28 vs. +1), but only two points higher among men (+13 vs. +11).

The Backdrop Factor: Only 1 in 5 Say U.S. Heading in "Right Direction"…

As a backdrop with the Bush Presidency winding down, 73% of Americans say things in the U.S. are "on the wrong track" compared to a mere 21% who believe the nation is heading in the "right direction". IN: POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Michael Gross, Associate Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
    Primary Phone: 202-463-7300
    E-mail: michael.gross@ipsos.com