Talking to America – Part 1: In the Eyes of Americans, Obama Leads McCain in the Ability to Manage the Economy (48% to 35%), Seen as the Most Influential Voting Issue

Monday, September 01, 2008

Toronto, ON – With the Democrat National Convention already concluded and the Republican National Convention commencing tonight, a new Global Television poll of Americans conducted by Ipsos Reid finds that ‘improving the economy’ (78%) and ‘keeping America safe from terrorism’ (74%) are tops when it comes to the issues that Americans say will have ‘a great deal’ of influence on who will get their vote for President on November 4, 2008.

The poll of 1,132 Americans also found that other issues that Americans say will influence their decision ‘a great deal’ include ‘the war in Iraq’ (63%), ‘improving education’ (63%), ‘improving access to healthcare’ (59%), ‘gas prices’ (58%), ‘reducing the deficit’ (56%), ‘the environment’ (52%), and finally, ‘lowering taxes’ (50%).

Only three in ten (30%) Americans say they’re better off than they were 4 years ago. In fact, 37% say they’re worse off, and one in three (32%) says they’re about the same.

A recent Ipsos poll conducted in June assessed how Americans thought of Barack Obama and John McCain when it came to the kind of president that is best able to manage the economy. When it comes to this number one issue, Obama leads by 13 points: Obama (48%), McCain (35%).

The "Social" Factor…

  • Given the choice to have drinks and dinner with either Barack Obama or John McCain, one half (50%) of the American public would opt to spend the time with Obama, while one in three (35%) would fraternize with John McCain. One in ten (10%) Americans wouldn’t choose either, while 2% would pick both.
  • And given the chance to have a family BBQ with either the Obamas or the McCains, half (51%) would fire up the grill with the Obamas, while 35% would choose to attend with the McCains. One in ten (9%) wouldn’t pick either, and 3% would be more inclusive and choose both families.

These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Global Television from August 7 to August 12, 2008. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1132 adult Americans was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of the United States of America 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 that the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual American population according to Census data.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Dr. Michael Gross
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid
Public Affairs

About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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About Ipsos
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999.

In 2007, Ipsos generated global revenues of €927.2 million ($1.27 billion U.S.).

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Talking to America – Part 1:
In the Eyes of Americans, Obama Leads McCain in the Ability to Manage the Economy (48% to 35%), Seen as the Most Influential Voting Issue


Michael Gross
Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs