Last week, we asked readers to select their preference for the Democratic nominee for President among the leading candidates in recent surveys. The winner in that survey was Barack Obama and you can read the results in this article.
In our most recent survey, which closed last night, we asked readers to choose their preference for the Republican nominee from among leading Republican candidates. This poll drew a larger response than the one for the Democrats with more than 1500 readers responding and a few hundred sending in written opinions.
As is often the case, some readers opined that that other candidates should have been included. The candidates not listed and mentioned by several readers included Chuck Hagel, Duncan Hunter, Jim Gilmore, and Ron Paul. They were not included in our poll as they have not been showing significant strength in several national polls.
One certainty: There is considerable diversity of political opinion among our readers. In the earlier survey, 44% of those responding identified themselves as Democrats and 26% as Republicans. The political affiliation listed by those readers who responded to this survey were:
Republican: 49% Democrat: 20% Independent: 26% Other: 3% Don’t Know: 2%
Rudy Giuliani finished first in this early survey of FedSmith readers on the 2008 presidential race and John McCain came in second. Here are the complete results:
Rudy Giuliani: 31% John McCain: 23% Newt Gingrich: 12% Don’t Know: 10% Mitt Romney: 9% Other: 8% Mike Huckabee: 4% Sam Brownback: 4%
As might be expected, readers had strong views on the candidates. Some readers, perhaps those who identified themselves as a Democratic party voter, made statements to the effect that the poll was not relevant to them because they were voting for the Democratic candidate in any event.
Giuliani, Gingrich and McCain received a number of positive comments from readers who obviously favor these candidates. Rudy Giuliani was often cited by readers as a strong candidate because of his record as Mayor of New York City and the leadership he displayed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on that city. Some readers also cited his ability to be an effective leader because of his more liberal views on some social issues while being more conservative on other national political issues. Newt Gingrich was often cited by readers for his success in constructing the "Contract with America" and his ability to articulate his position on various political issues. John McCain was often praised because of his military service.
Some readers did not say why they supported a particular candidate but took the opportunity to state their dissatisfaction with any of the Democratic candidates and usually cited their belief that Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would not be a good choice to be President of the U.S.
Here are a few comments that reflect the sentiments of some of our readers:
A therapist from the VA Medical Center in Lake City, FL had this view about the next presidential election: "The Republicians need a strong candidate, because no matter who is nominate by the Democrats, Hillary or Obama will have a good chance to win."
A reader who calls himself "Dominick" from the State of Washington likes Rudy Giuliani: "I picked Rudy because of his American name and how he TAKES CARE of everyone; not just, his own!"
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer from San Antonio, Texas writes: "The Conservative ideals are the most properous [sic] for this nation; they always have and always will. The Socialist ideals of the Democratic leadership is anti-American and against the things this country was founded on and what makes us great."
A service representative from the Social Security Administration in Mesa, Arizona sent in a lengthy comment in support of Senator John McCain. Here is a small excerpt: "There is no other Republican candidate besides McCain who has anywhere near the influence, power and ability to work with the Democrats now in power to pass conservative legislation and mitigate far left liberalism. McCain is the only Republican presidential candidate who can hit the ground running at full speed. He leaves the rest in the dust."
A claims representative from the Social Security Administration in Indianapolis, IN prefers Newt Gingrich: "Newt will probably not get the nomination, but he is probably the smartest and most competent of the candidates."
A program integrator from DCMA in Bethpage, NY commented: "I would like to see an honorable, moral person inhabit the white house, someone who has served their country, and understands what the price of war really is. John McCain is the only candidate, Republican or Democrat, that posesses these qualities. We need someone to respect and someone who can actually lead this country."
An investigator from EEOC in Miami, Florida also prefers John McCain: "I like some of the more conservative candidates but for practical purposes will probably vote for McCain because he stands a better chance of being elected. I would not like to help the Democrats by giving my vote away to a lesser Republican candidate that will not win. These are difficult times and I don’t trust the Democrats to get us through them."
An attorney with the Social Security Administration in Hartford, Connecticut is an independent voter but still likes Newt Gingrich: "As an independent, I won’t really get to choose, and I realize that Newt probably doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance of being elected, but of all the names I have seen mentioned as running, I think he is the most qualified for the job."
An IT specialist from the Department of Justice says: "I’m supporting Giuliani for now, since I’m pretty sure he can beat Hillary and Obamma. However, I’m not real thrilled about any of the Republican nominees. Hopefully, someone new, and qualified, will step up to the plate (Ms. Rice?)."
A human resources specialist from Wright Patterson AFB is a Republican but prefers a Democrat: "Even though I am a registered Republican, I would consider voting for Barack Obama for President 2008. No to Hillary!"
An educator from the CDC in Atlanta likes the candidacy of Rudy Giulliani: "Rudy did a great job of cleaning up New York and tremendous post 9/11 work and support."
An aviation safety inspector with the FAA is not particular about which Republican gets the nomination: "Who ever is running against the Clinton/Obama ticket will get my vote."
A medical staff specialist from Ft. McPherson, Georgia likes a couple of candidates: "As it stands right now, I’d vote for Giuliani. That could change. I like Newt Gingrich – he makes a lot of sense, but I think he waited too long to get into the race. And if he does throw his hat in the ring, he might already be too far behind with the money raising. Too bad; think he’d have a chance."
A flight operations specialist with the Army in Grand Prairie, Texas says: "I believe Speaker Gingrich to be the only person running that dispays honesty and intergrity. In todays political climate that probably makes him un-electable but Newt is my choice."
A process analyst from Warner Robins, AFB may vote for Giuliani despite some reservations: "Don’t agree with Giuliani’s liberal views on abortion, but I believe he would be a strong decisive leader."
A physician from the VA in Baltimore, Maryland is in favor of Guiliani: "If only these candidates were running, I’d vote for Giuliani for several reasons: he did a terrific job as 2-term mayor of NYC; he is not beholden to the radical right-wing OR the evangelical faction of the Republican party; he is a straight shooter in terms of where he stands on important issues; and, he knows how to manage government within the constraints of a truly balanced budget, which other so-called Republicans seem to have long forgotten to be one of the pillars of conservatism!!!"
A retired DoD employee from Portsmouth, VA is not too happy with the field of candidates that are too liberal for his taste: "I checked Newt Gingrich, doubt that he will go very far. John McCain is my second choice, although he is too liberal for me. We need someone that will turn this country around from it chase toward Socialist and Communist ideolgies. And we need someone that will stand up to the terriorist, not play the little "let’s talk about it" game. If Clinton has done something about the terrorist attacks on the USS Cole, I doubt there would have been a 9/11."
A food inspector from Sweet Grass, Montana is in favor of Mitt Romney: "I think Mitt Romney would make a good president and bring in some fresh ideas. I also think that he would be able to bring some mediation to end the bickering between the parties in congress. I feel that he is a better canidate than most of the republicans and democrats, which is what is needed in our country right now."
A DoD retiree from Roy, Utah also favors Romney: "I find it short-sighted of those who say they would not vote for Romney because he is Mormon; it’s as ludicrous as those who said they wouldn’t vote for JFK because he was Catholic back in the 1960 presidential election."
A NASA aerospace engineer from Cleveland, Ohio has a different view of how candidates could win the election: "What we really need is a unity ticket. My recommendation: a ticket of John McCain, and Bill Richardson."
A consultant with the Department of Health & Human Services in Kansas City is voting against a potential Democratic nominee rather than for a Republican: "I don’t have a candidate that has impressed me yet. I am looking for someone with a Libertarian bent. Right now I only know my candidates initials, "ABC, Anybody But Clinton"!"
An adjudication officer with the Department of Homeland Security in Dallas, Texas fears the left wing views of some candidates: "From the list provided, I have to go with Newt Gingrich as my first choice although I would vote for any of the others running against what will be offered by the so-called Democrat Party. In my opinion, it would be a "no-brainer" choice! Most "Democrats" are not running under their true political persuasion which occupies the radical left fringe."
A scientist with the Department of Energy in Aiken, South Carolina approaches the decision on how to vote from a different perspective: "If it matters, I wouldn’t vote for Gingrich. I think he’d never win the presidency. I don’t think I’d vote for McCain. I think he’s been sitting the fence in order to curry favor with Democrats. I wouldn’t vote for Romney. He’s not a Christian. Of the candidates listed, I’d probably vote for Rudy Giuliani."
A public health analyst with the CDC in Atlanta favors a different candidate: "I would vote for Chuck Hagel, if he would decide to run for President."
A chemist working with the USDA in Kansas City, MO favors Sam Brownback: "Brownback is the most conservative, which is what I want in a President."
A human resources specialist with the VA in Boise, Idaho writes: "Are you kidding?? Federal Employees are not rich enough to vote for a Republican!!"
An employee with DFAS in Indianapolis, IN has this view: "You’re asking government workers, who the GOP has been against for since GWB arrived. Why would most of them vote for the GOP anyhow?"
Thanks for all of our readers who took the time to vote in this recent survey and a special thanks to those hundreds of readers who took the time to send in their written opinion.