The Race for the White House: In a Heartbeat

Dead Heat: McCain 46%, Obama 45% But Biden (60%) Leads Palin (47%) On Being Qualified for President

Friday, September 12, 2008

Washington, DC – A new Ipsos/McClatchy poll of Americans indicates that with less than two months remaining in the campaign for president, the race between McCain and Obama is a statistical dead heat —46% for McCain and 45% for Obama.

As further evidence of a tightening race, only a small proportion of voters remain undecided, or amenable to changing their mind. Eight in ten (79%) stated Obama voters are firmly committed to voting for him. Among McCain voters, roughly three-quarters (72%) say they will definitely vote for him.

Just a Heartbeat Away…

The poll, conducted just after the Republican National Convention, also shows that Obama’s Vice-Presidential choice Senator Joe Biden has an advantage over Alaska governor Sarah Palin, McCain’s Vice Presidential selection in terms perceived qualifications for the Presidency if necessary: 60% of registered voters say Biden is qualified to be President, while Palin trends lower at 48%.

Some Demographics…

Obama leads McCain by a 55%/34% margin among 18-34 year olds with a dead heat among 35-54 year olds. McCain leads Obama by a 53%/38% margin among 55+ year olds.

Among non-Hispanic White respondents McCain leads Obama by a 57%/34% margin, while Obama leads McCain by a 90%/3% margin among non-Hispanic Black respondents and 58%/34% among Hispanic respondents.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted September 5-9, 2008. For the survey, a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of exactly 1,018 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. Within this sample, Ipsos interviewed 876 respondents who self identified as registered voters. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.3 percentage points. 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 composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to U.S. Census figures. Interviews were conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only). Respondents had the option to be interviewed in English or Spanish.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Clifford Young, PhD
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid Public Affairs
(312) 375-3328

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that 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 to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe.

They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers 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.).Visit to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

The Race for the White House: In a Heartbeat


Clifford Young
President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs