Press Release for Friday, November 21, 2008

UNF Poll Shows Americans Confident Vote Counted Accurately

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

A new University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab poll finds that some 94 percent of Americans that reported voting in the 2008 general election feel confident their vote was counted accurately.

The poll, conducted between November 5, 2008, and November 17, 2008, surveyed 1,008 adult Americans nationwide at the Public Opinion Research Lab at UNF. The telephone samples were provided by Genesys Sampling Systems at Marketing Systems Group. The samples were drawn using standard list-assisted random digit-dialing methodology. Analysis is weighted to Census data. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/-3.0 percent.

In terms of the general election, the poll finds that:

• Respondents that voted are confident that their vote was counted accurately. Respondents 18 to 24 reported being “very unconfident” in the count at a higher rate than respondents in other age groups.
• More than 80 percent of respondents reported voting in the general election November 4. Nearly 18 percent of respondents reported that they cast their vote in advance through early voting, while 13 percent reported voting through absentee ballot.
• More respondents reported voting for Democrats than Republicans. More than 28 percent reported voting “straight Democratic” on election day, compared to 16.3 percent that reported voting “straight Republican.”

In terms of national security and terrorism issues:

• Respondents are largely mixed in deciding the greatest national security threat to the United States. More than 36 percent reported that Iran is the country that poses the greatest national security threat, while Iraq was mentioned by 13.2 percent of respondents as the next greatest threat. Other countries mentioned include Russia (10.9 percent) and China (9.3 percent). Afghanistan was only the sixth most popular response to this question.
• Respondents were asked how likely they thought a terrorist organization would carry out a coordinated September 11th-style attack. Respondents were asked to gauge the likelihood of an attack on a 10-point scale, with 1 being very unlikely and 10 being very likely. The majority—60.6 percent—viewed another attack as unlikely.

When asked about alternative energy programs:
• A majority of respondents surveyed (47.7 percent) believe that the U.S. government should focus most of its resources on renewable energies like wind, solar, thermal and hydroelectric power. More than 19 percent reported that the U.S. should spend the most on oil.
• Over 84 percent of respondents support the clean coal industry.
• Nearly 60 percent report support for the nuclear energy industry.

For questions about the lab, its services or methodology, please contact Dr. Paul Harwood, director of the UNF Public Opinion Research Laboratory, at (904) 620-4433 or by email at