A new survey of Irish American voting intentions in Tuesday’s presidential election has shown a marginal lead for President Obama over his Republican challenger Mitt Romneyby 51 per cent to 48 per cent.
The poll was conducted between Monday 29th October and Thursday 1st November by Amárach Research of the readers of IrishCentral – the largest Irish American website.
The findings contrast with the overwhelming support given to President Obama in recent polls in Ireland where he was ahead 94 per cent to 6 per cent. in a Gallup poll and 79 per cent to 5 per cent in an Irish Times poll .
The poll was conducted using an online methodology among IrishCentral’s 1.5 million monthly users. There were just over 1,100 valid responses. There is no absolute demographic reference point from which to build a nationally representative sample of Irish Americans who are eligible to vote, but the substantial size of this poll coupled with the spread by age, gender and region (the poll includes responses from every State in the Union) mean that it can be seen as reflective of the broader Irish American community.
The poll findings indicate:
• President Obama’s lead over his Republican rival is just 3% now with 1% still undecided. . In 2008 Obama led by 57-42 over John McCain when respondents were asked who they had voted for in 2008 .
In three of the four regions (NorthEast; MidWest; West) Obama leads Romney, but in the South Obama trails badly.
• Just over a fifth of our poll (21%) was drawn from the seven key swing states (Colorado; Florida; Iowa; New Hampshire; Ohio; Virginia and Wisconsin). In this subsample the results wereObama with 54% and Romney 46%
• The Irish American Community is evenly split on whether President Obama is delivering on his campaign promises of 2008. Forty nine percent believe that he is not delivering, compared to the 48% feel that he is delivering – although there the 38% who believe that he is “Not Delivering at All” is in stark contrast to the 12% who think he is “Completely Delivering”. This perception is strongly influenced by party preference – with just 6% of those who describe themselves as Republican believing that he has delivered, compared to 86% of Democrats!
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• In terms of party allegiance, 31% of respondents describe themselves as Republican; 46% describe themselves as Democratic; 23% are Independent.
Over half of our respondents (51%) had decided .who they were going to vote for more than a year ago and a further 30% decided between three and nine months ago. Just 17% decided in the last three months. Given the closeness of the overall race, the 2.3% who decided in the last week may have a crucial impact on the outcome of the race. While the number of undecided is low at 1%, 4% of respondents say that they may change their voting choice before polling day (giving a score of 4 or 5 out of 5 on likelihood of changing their voting choice). This is the Group nationally that both campaigns will target in the final hectic few days. "
Commenting on the poll results Niall O’Dowd, publisher of IrishCentral said "This poll is an invaluable snapshot of where Irish Americans are in this election cycle. It shows clearly that like in the national picture the sides are very close. This election will clearly come down to turnout in the swing states where Irish Americans are heavily represented such as in Ohio and Pennsylvania ."
Michael McLoughlin CEO of Amárach Research commented “We are delighted to have undertaken this poll. We have been working with Irish Central to understand and research the Irish Diaspora for several years. These poll findings once again bear out our view that simple stereotypes of the Irish American community (e.g. that they are overwhelmingly Democratic) are not valid. This is a huge ethnic group – with diverse beliefs, views and goals. The Irish Diaspora can contribute substantially to our economic recovery here at home, but will only do only if we on this side of the Atlantic understand their motivations and aspirations”.
Here are some graphs which show the results clearly: