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Press Release for Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Opinion Poll: Voters Want To Have Their Cake (and Eat It, Too)

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

A new University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab nationwide poll finds that, of voters, the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama (45 percent), has a 7 percent lead over the Republican nominee, John McCain (37.9 percent). Some 13.5 percent of likely voters remain undecided and a further 3.7 percent say they will vote for another candidate.

The poll, conducted between September 23, 2008, and October 3, 2008, asked 1,089 adult respondents questions pertaining to issues of political and social importance to young American voters. The poll finds that:

• Regardless of whom an individual plans to vote for this November, 57 percent of respondents say McCain is the most qualified candidate to address the war in Iraq, compared to 33.4 percent saying Obama.
• More than 60 percent of respondents indicate that Obama would do a better job of restoring America’s image among the international community, compared with 37.5 percent saying McCain.
• Some 60 percent (59.5 percent) of respondents report the economy as the most important issue in this presidential election.
• More than two-thirds of respondents (67.3 percent) strongly agree that the rising cost of fuel has been a problem for them and their family.

On environmental issues—a big concern for young Americans—the poll finds:
• A little over 70 percent of respondents report being in favor of off-shore drilling in American territory.
• Some 65 percent (64.7 percent) of respondents would support a candidate that follows a policy of sustainable economic growth over environmental protection.
• More than three-quarters of respondents (78.3 percent) report that the government is spending too little on the exploration and development of alternative and renewable energies.

Complete survey results will be released on Friday, and include statistics on a variety of political, social and environmental issues, ranging from abortion and gay rights to lowering the drinking age and racial bias.

For complete survey results, or 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