What State Polls Show About The Election

People wait to to cast ballots i i

hide captionPeople wait to to cast ballots during early voting October 23, 2008 in Savannah, Georgia. Georgia election officials say early voters have already doubled the number in 2004. As of October 22, some 825,000 had cast their ballots.

Stephen Morton/Getty Images
People wait to to cast ballots

People wait to to cast ballots during early voting October 23, 2008 in Savannah, Georgia. Georgia election officials say early voters have already doubled the number in 2004. As of October 22, some 825,000 had cast their ballots.

Stephen Morton/Getty Images

With just over a week to go before Election Day, the real campaign takes place state by state.

Southern states have remained solidly in the Republican camp for decades of presidential contests. But Democratic nominee, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, pledged to fight in that region, and that's brought renewed attention to southern voters.

A new Winthrop/ETV poll released yesterday takes a look at three traditionally Republican states in the south, and how they could affect the election. The survey covers "likely voters" in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

NPR Political Editor Ken Rudin discusses the data.

This poll looked at 2026 people, randomly selected from lists of registered voters, in two categories: "white women" and "working class whites." (Working class is defined as $50,000 or less total annual household income.)

At one point, Virginia and North Carolina seemed almost certain to go for the Republican rival, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, but now polls suggest that Obama enjoys a slight lead in both states. North Carolina hasn't supported a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter in 1976; Virginia not since Lyndon Johnson won in 1964.

White women voters were asked whether McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate would make them more likely to support him. In Virginia, almost 40 percent said less likely.

The goal in selecting Palin was to win the women who had largely supported former Democratic candidate, Sen. Hillary Clinton.

"There weren't many good choices to excite a large portion of the base. McCain thought Palin would do that but after embarrassing interviews with (CBS Evening News anchor) Katie Couric and caricatures by Tina Fey — where you couldn't tell who was who — ultimately the judgment is that his pick didn't do what it was hoping to do," Rudin told Tell Me More host Michel Martin.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: