Local Politics

Poll: Dead heat for Obama/McCain in N.C. and Va.

Posted October 23, 2008 8:03 p.m. EDT
Updated October 23, 2008 9:54 p.m. EDT

— The latest Winthrop/ETV Poll survey found that among likely voters in North Carolina and Virginia, there is a statistical dead heat between presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.

In South Carolina, McCain is expected to carry the Palmetto State by 20 points.

Scott Huffmon, associate professor of political science and poll director at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., said callers talked to 2,026 likely voters between Sept. 28 and Oct. 19.

Those surveyed include 617 respondents from S.C. (margin of error +/- 3.94 percent), 744 respondents from N.C. (margin of error +/- 3.59 percent), and 665 respondents from Va. (margin of error +/- 3.8 percent).

Huffmon found that by an overwhelming number, respondents in Virginia and North Carolina say that Obama understands their lives. Other highlights of the poll were:

  • Almost 40 percent of white women in Virginia said they were less likely to vote for McCain because of his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice president.
  • More than 50 percent of voters give a thumbs-down to using public funds to save private companies.
  • Six in 10 who say they are likely voters say history will judge President George Bush’s presidency a failure.

Questions covered the war in Iraq, health care, personal finances, gas prices, illegal immigration and taxes.

The results break out two groups of voters, white women and working-class white voters, both of whom are thought to be pivotal in the race.

"Working class" was defined as a person who has  $50,000 or less annual household income, Huffmon said.

“The white working class is economically vulnerable, however they are strong McCain supporters and they believe McCain on virtually every issue,” Huffmon said. “White women are a tipping-point constituency – they represent a segment that could be pulled in either direction. They could change from Bush security moms back to Clinton soccer moms, based on the economy.”