Federal Employees Unleashed! Readers Speak Out on Presidential Candidates

It is early in the campaign but FedSmith readers have strong views about the candidates. The results will no doubt surprise some readers who may see federal employees as a solid voting bloc. At this stage, our readers are about as divided in their political views as the rest of the electorate.

Who will readers pick to be the next President of the United States?

Over the past several weeks, we asked readers to select their preference among leading Democratic and Republican contenders. As we explained in the introduction to the latest survey, we then took the top two preferences from each poll and paired the Democrat and Republican top vote-getters against each other.

The most common question submitted by readers in the latest survey was a variation of this question: "How come you did not include (my favorite candidate)?" or "Why are you favoring these particular candidates?" The answer is that we limited this survey to the top vote-getters selected by readers in the two earliest surveys. As the campaign progresses and the polls change to reflect changes in the electorate, we will do new ones and, perhaps your favorite candidate will be included…or perhaps not depending on the ebb and flowing of the political tides.

The top vote-getters in the previous survey for Democratic candidates were Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The top vote-getters for Republicans were Rudy Guliani and John McCain.

With over 1500 readers responding, here are the results of the latest poll in which these candidates are pitted against each other.

Which of the following candidates would receive your vote if the election were held today?

John McCain: 43%
Barack Obama: 41%
undecided: 16%

Which of the following candidates would receive your vote if the election were held today?

Rudy Giuliani: 51%
Hillary Clinton: 38%
undecided: 11%

Which of the following candidates would receive your vote if the election were held today?

John McCain: 48%
Hillary Clinton: 37%
undecided: 14%

Which of the following candidates would receive your vote if the election were held today?

Rudy Giuliani: 45%
Barack Obama: 40%
undecided: 15%

The results are displayed here in the order of the results with the candidate receiving the highest number of votes displayed first.

As one would expect at this state of the campaign, the number of readers selecting "undecided" is fairly high. The comments from readers also displayed strong feelings about various candidates. Gone, apparently, are the days when people would couch their views in diplomatic terms. In our current environment of cable TV and Internet access by most readers, people are not diplomatic in expressing their beliefs about political candidates as you will see from the comments below.

While federal employees are sometimes viewed as strong supporters of Democrats, perhaps because of the visible support of Democratic candidates by federal employee unions, the Republican candidates came out first regardless of how these candidates were paired in the poll. In part, based on the comments from readers, this is because of strong negative feelings regarding Senator Clinton and concerns about the experience of Barack Obama.

The most pronounced comments were the negative comments regarding Senator Hillary Clinton. In part, this is no doubt because she has been in the public eye for a number of years and may be the best known candidate among those in the poll. Being well-known is probably a two-edged sword as many readers have apparently made up their minds about her desirability as a candidate for president. The very strong negative comments, some of which we could not publish, point to a problem her campaign will have to overcome as no other candidate seems to generate the same strong passions that her candidacy ignites among some readers. Of course, the negative reaction is not universal. Some readers expressed strong support for her candidacy but there is little doubt that her candidacy is divisive among a broad range of voters.

There were also a large number of comments from readers expressing dismay about these candidates having been the most popular. As you will see from the sampling of comments below, a number of readers would have preferred other candidates. That sentiment will undoubtedly have an impact on the final outcome of candidate selection.

Here is a sampling of comments that reflect the overall sentiments sent in by readers in this survey.

A retired manager from DoD in Portsmouth, VA wrote: "I would vote for the ones checked ONLY if paired the way shown. There is not a person on the list that would receive my vote if given other more conservative options. And I don’t know of a Democrat (Communist in disguise) in the nation that would my vote under any circumstance."

A retired Master Sergeant from Bandera, TX does not like these candidates: "As it is now going, do not presently think I will bother to vote."

A financial management analyst from DFAS in Kansas City, MO does not like the candidates either: "For the last several elections, I’ve felt as though I were voting for the lesser of two evils. It still feels that way. For this past election, every one in my family voted for John Kerry. I tried to tell my mother that if she voted for Bush, I would more than likely be out of a job. She voted for Bush, the Center I work at closes in Aug 08, however, much of the work is moving prior to that timeframe."

A program manager from Warner Robbins AFB, GA does not like these candidates: "Anyone but McCain, Clinton or Obama."

A manager in DoD from San Diego has a passionate interest in the race but does not like the options: "None of these are worth voting for. McCain has turned on the real legal Citizens and has no plan. Obama is a undercover radical islamic fascist and will invoke sharil law. Giuliani is a flip-flopper, doesn’t know what he wants. Clinton just wants to be the first controlling female in the White House, stands for nothing except Clinton. Has no plan for anything except say and do whatever it takes to get elected."

A quality assurance specialist from DCMA in Chicago does not like the Democrats’ line-up: "This election is so critical for this nations future that we all need to ask what is best for the country and the answer is not any of the Democratic candidates."

A consultant with HHS in Kansas City, MO is not happy with the existing line-up of candidates either but approaches the election from a different vantage point: "I am still waiting for a candidate that is pro-American without being a nut case. The Democrats have been taken over by the Socialists and need a name change. The Republicans all seem to want to create a nation ruled by Christian ‘mullahs.’ Where is a candidate that has actually read the Constitution and understands it?"

A paralegal specialist from the Navy in Pensacola, FL has strong feelings about the candidacy of Senator Clinton: "Anybody but Clinton!!! Even a Democrat (if necessary, but not preferred)."

A secretary from Immigration and Customs Enforcement also has strong feelings about Sen. Clinton: "Hillary Clinton is a frightening candidate — cold, calculating, manipulative. Bill is nauseating, but I’d sooner have him back than his shark of a wife!"

An IRS special agent has strong views about Senator Clinton’s candidacy: "Hillary scares the crap out of me. She is PURE EVIL and will be even more ineffective as Prez than her dirtbag husband was."

A land surveyor from the Forst Service in John Day, OR is voting for a candidate running against Sen. Clinton: "For me to vote for Hillery (sic) Clinton she would have to be running against Satan, and then I would have to think about it."

A manager from the Social Security Administration in Tennessee had this comment: "The Republican candidates have their weak points, but neither of them is a card-carrying Socialist like Hillary or a media-hyped flash in the pan like Obama."

A federal employee from Scottsdale, AZ wants to vote based on the gender of the candidate but has reservations: "I really really really want a female president… but Hillary Clinton does not count."

Not all readers have the same view. This human resources specialist from Portland, OR is a supporter of Senator Clinton: "Hillary is THE candidate with the courage, knowledge and expertise to empower and lead ALL the people of this country to acquire the benefits of citizenship as well as pride of being citizens and good will ambassadors of the United States!"

A food inspector from Amarillo, TX will vote for John McCain: "Not much of a choice except for McCain."

A HUD manager from Washington, DC also favors Senator McCain: "Right now I think they are all a pretty sorry lot, but Mr. McCain is the best one from my perspective. Mr. Obama is totally without experience, Mrs. Clinton has the ethics of a rooster, Mr. Giuliani has some nice leadership abilities, but the rest of him is too liberal for me. Mr. McCain has experience, military in his background, and has some common sense as well as some ethics, which is a pretty good combination."

A retiree from the VA in Roanoke, VA also intends to vote for a Republican: "All of George Soros’ money could not persuade me to vote for either Hillary or Barack……what could we possibly be thinking?"

An acquisition specialist from the Defense Supply Center in Richmond, VA will vote for a Republican: "Although I voted for McCain when given the choice between Clinton and Obama, my vote would have been for any other possible conservative choice other then McCain, had I been given that choice. McCain plays too much to the media and is more interested in being the media’s "poster boy" then standing up for what’s best for America. Why do I choose "conservative" candidates? Because they believe "America Wins" when they are involved in a fight! The Democrats can’t afford that to happen because they can’t stand for President Bush and his Administration to have a VICTORY."

But another Virginian (from Hopewell) who works as an HR specialist for DECA is going to vote for a Democrat: "How anyone could fathom another Clinton in the White House is beyond me. The career politicians have had their day in the spotlight. Between all the coverups and underhanded deals between the two of them they are the epitome of every political cliche you can muster. Enough already. Obama is the candidate that has not been totally courrupted by D.C. He is the real deal and is sincerely genuine about his intentions for the people, not himself."

An administrative assistant from the Forest Service in Nebraska also favor Obama: "I think the country could really turn around with someone like Obama at the helm."

A quality assurance specialist from DCMA in Long, Beach, CA would like to see a female elected as president: "If she ever elected as president of this (U.S.A.) great country, not only she would become a good president, she would also creates history in the US, becoming the first woman president."

An attorney with the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, DC will vote for a Democrat: "After the recent evidence of politicizing the Dept. of Justice (firing US attorneys), together with all of the other abuses that the Republicans have heaped on this country, I couldn’t even vote for Abe Lincoln."

And, in what may be the most positive comment we saw from among the several hundred submitted,

an IT specialist from the CDC in Atlanta is fairly happy with the list of candidates: "There’s finally some hope – nuance and polarizing rhetoric aside, the core views of these four candidates are fairly close to the center, where most Americans live. Honestly, I’d be happy with any of the four (more happy with a Democrat, but I wouldn’t cry over either Giuliani or McCain). Basically, any of these candidates is far better than Bush…"

Our thanks to the many readers who took the time to vote in the recent survey.