Polls released this morning by Quinnipiac University of more than 1,500 likely voters in both Minnesota and Wisconsin show Barack Obama staked to his largest lead to date over John McCain in each battleground state.
In Minnesota, the poll (which, due to its large sample size has a margin of error of just 2.5 percent), found Obama garnering the support of 54 percent of likely voters, with 37 percent for McCain, and 8 percent undecided. Obama’s previous largest advantage was 15 points as measured by Rasmussen in mid-May and mid-February. The Quinnipiac poll comes on the heels of a poll released a little more than a week ago by SurveyUSA, which found Obama with just a 1-point margin over McCain among likely voters.
As demonstrated in recent surveys by Rasmussen, the economy is currently the most important issue determining vote choice this year in the Gopher State. Of the five options provided to interviewees, 51 percent of Minnesotans cited the economy, with 21 percent citing the war in Iraq, 11 percent for health care, 5 percent for illegal immigration, and 5 percent for terrorism. Obama had a 2.6 to 1 advantage over McCain for those citing the war in Iraq as the most important issue and a 1.6 to 1 advantage over McCain for those citing the economy. McCain had a 7 to 1 advantage over Obama for those citing terrorism (fueling the chatter among some pundits, and, recently, a top McCain campaign official, that a terrorist attack on the United States would be a big advantage for McCain in November).
In Wisconsin, Quinnipiac measured Obama’s lead at 52 to 39 percent – tied for his largest advantage over McCain in matchup polls released this campaign season (along with an early June University of Wisconsin poll). Eight percent were undecided. Wisconsin has voted for Democratic nominees in the past 5 presidential elections, although with an average victory margin of just 3.8 points.
Wisconsinites also cited the economy as the most important issue determining their presidential vote choice (47 percent), followed by the war in Iraq (20 percent), health care (14 percent), terrorism (8 percent), and illegal immigration (4 percent). Obama’s advantage over McCain for “Iraq voters�? was 3 to 1, and 1.5 to 1 for “economy voters.�? McCain bests Obama by a 12.2 to 1 margin for those citing terrorism as the most important issue.