February 27, 2008

The Beat of the Nation...Candidates

Continuing on with my super-informal and completely unscientific polling of the nation here we look at the presidential candidates and what the public really thinks of them.

First to see how affiliated everyone is with their party this fun little question was thrown out: "If your political party loses, you believe." 6% believe it will have minimal impact, 14% believe we'll be somewhat worse off, and a whopping 80% of the 894 participants said we would be in big trouble. So obviously the party lines are drawn pretty hard and the candidates can expect to tow as close to the line as possible to pick up those partyline voters.

John McCain has a few issues to deal with as a candidate. McCain is 71 years old and 57% believe that his age will be a problem while the other 43% believed that age will not be an issue with the McCain presidency. Another issue McCain is going to have to elaborate on is the use of torture and specifically waterboarding (which he voted to keep legal after years of preaching the other way). The nation overall sees waterboarding as an illegal tactic with 51% believing it should never be an option while 35% believe it should be used in extreme situations and the rest of respondents believing it should always be available.

So what does America think is the biggest issue heading into the election? Lets find out:

The economy is obviously on everyone's mind with the Iraq war becoming a distant second.

Obama himself has some voter issues to quell. After false reports that he was a Muslim and studied at a known extremist school Obama has had to deflect much of that attention. But what does the public think?

Although a majority of respondents were of the opinion that this isn't true, 38% is a huge number of people who doubt the credibility of his response to false propaganda. Along with these numbers this poll may show how important it is for Obama to rectify the truth with all voters before the elections come around in November.

Again the American biased against Islam shows through in the response and is something Obama may have to go on the attack against if he is to win crucial swing voters.

And Obama has screamed from the loudest podiums about Change for this election cycle and what a new culture he would bring to the White House, but public opinion shows that confidence may be waning. When asked "which candidate do you trust least to make good on promises," Obama "won" with 42% questioning his ability to change the capitol culture.

Even with this doubt 47% percent of those polled believe that Obama has the most trustworthy foreign policy with Clinton coming in with 23% and McCain with 17%.

Hillary Clinton may be fighting an uphill battle also it seems as 67% of 375 people polled showed that they do not agree with Clinton's mandatory health insurance plan. Obama's health plan calls for lowered cost insurance that all American's will be able to afford. So will Americans buy it? 72% of respondents said yes that is true for most uninsured while the remaining 29% believe many would not buy it.

Another problem for Clinton is that she is a very polarizing figure, when asked who would be the least polarizing candidate Obama crushed the competition with 60% of the responses. Hillary fared very badly with this question ranking even lower than John McCain with only 11% stating she is the least polarizing figure.

So putting all of this together, who would America vote for? Out of 888 votes 74% answer Democratic when asked which political party will win the presidency. Out of Democrats 69% of respondents said that Obama has a greater chance of winning the election. Given this information poll participants were asked which candidate they would vote for if McCain and Obama are the nominees. Here's the response:

Given these responses I have to believe that the participant pool is rather slanted toward the Democratic view, but that doesn't eliminate the possibility that the population in general is more heavily slanted toward the Democratic side. These are just some numbers for fun and again are not conducted in a rigorous scientifically sampled study, so take what you want from them.

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Dean said...

Awesome post. Good to see some depth of analysis to compliment my rabid, partisan rantings.

But hey, whatever McCain or the American People "believe" about the legality of waterboarding, The law is very clear. Waterboarding is against the law. The US government actually prosecuted Japanese officers after WWII who were found to have waterboarded US servicemen.

GestapoParrot said...

Agreed, that precedent though was thrown out the window with the Bush presidency. Unfortunately this administration has taken the headline of a war and used it to rewrite much of our history as to what is legal and illegal. Wiretaps on citizens and illegal interrogation techniques have become the norm instead of the exception. A shift away from being "at war" is needed and the public needs to realize the pure indiscretion the government has taken with our civil liberties.