Readers Express Preference for Clinton as Democratic Nominee

Who do readers favor to be the Democratic nominee for President next year? A few months can make a big difference as voters learn more about the candidates and hear their positions. This year is no exception and the latest survey shows a dramatic difference.

In our most recent survey, we asked readers to express their preference among candidates striving to be the nominee of the Democratic Party. When we took a similar survey back in February, Barack Obama was the preferred candidate by a fairly wide margin (30% preferred Obama over the second place finisher Hillary Clinton who was the preference for 19% of readers who took the survey.)

A few months can make a big difference in a political campaign and this year is no different. In the latest results, Senator Obama has fallen dramatically and Senaton Clinton has been the biggest beneficiary of his dramatic drop. Former Senator John Edwards has remained at third in the most recent poll and there is also more strength for Richardson and Biden than in the previous survey.

Here are the results of the recent survey.

What is your political affiliation, if any?

Democrat 831 48% 1726
Republican 354 21% 1726
Independent 453 26% 1726
Other 41 2% 1726
Don’t Know 47 3% 1726

Which of the following leading candidates would receive your vote for the Democratic Party nominee to be president?

Joseph R. "Joe" Biden Jr. 137 8% 1726
Hillary Rodham Clinton 478 28% 1726
Christopher J. "Chris" Dodd 36 2% 1726
John R. Edwards 313 18% 1726
Maurice R. "Mike" Gravel 28 2% 1726
Dennis J. Kucinich 75 4% 1726
Barack Obama 388 22% 1726
William B. "Bill" Richardson 271 16% 1726


Readers had strong opinions on the candidates. Here is a small sample that explains the prefererences of some of our readers.

A financial analyst with the Forest Service in Albuquerque, NM prefers John Edwards: "I would vote for John Edwards everytime!! He is the only one that I feel knows what it is like to work for a living and to get his hands dirty. He is concerned about America, and they way we are going now we are being sold out to foriegn countries and it is done in the most back door way."

An economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, DC expressed a view shared by a few readers who explained why they were selecting HIllary Clinton as their preference: "I don’t think Obama will win the Democratic nominination and as such I will vote for Hilliary in the general elections."

An HR specialist with the Forest Service in Vancouver, WA gave this reasons for supporting Clinton: "Hillary has the perspective, the knowledge, the people skills, education, and training, to get the American citizens voices heard and to get America directed in the way we want to go regarding all major issues."

An adjudications officer with CIS in West Palm Beach, FL offered this comment: "Hard to choose between Clinton and Obama."

An engineer with the Forest Service in Philadelphia is a strong Obama supporter: "Obama keeps getting criticized as being inexperienced and not having expressed a policy line or agenda on various issues. First, how many Presidents ARE "experienced" before taking office? He has traveled and lived among people all over the world….Second point: if Obama isn’t speaking out on issues, why are other candidates echoing his stances? And his name is actually African in origin, not "too Muslim" as one reader suggested."

A claims examiner with the Labor Dept. in Chicago also favors Obama: "Barack Obama is the most charasimatic political leader this country has seen since RFK. Not only does he have the charm, he has the qualities that set him apart from the rest of the field either Democrats, Republicans or and independents."

An employee of the Bureau of Land Management in Cheyenne, WY has mixed feelings similar to those expresssed by a few readers: "Senator Obama fascinates me, not for his politics, but as a man. I can’t imagine the circumstances under which I would vote Democrat, but he would be my choice if it came to that."

An inspector with the Air Force in Georgia thinks that Senator Clinton will do well because she is female and that women voters will support her: "Hilary is getting it= 60% of voters are female."

As was the case in our previous survey, Senator Clinton has strong support but also draws the most criticism. This comment from a Dept. of Energy Operations Manager in Eatontown, NJ summarized his view this way: "Anyone but Hillary Clinton. If Satan were in the race he’d have my support over Hillary, but come to think of it, if she’s there, I guess he is too."

A claims representative from SSA in San Francisco, CA has this to say about the Democratic race and her reservations about Senator Clinton were echoed by several others as well: "Based upon all of the information available to me to date, I think that Barack Obama is the best qualified to become our next President of the United States. I’ve got concerns about the trustworthiness of Hillary Rodham Clinton. I think that since she is a female that she would have a lot to prove and would be forgiven for the colossal blunders that she would make as President. She has a lot of baggage as the First Lady and wife of the formerly impeached Bill Clinton…."

And a Veterans Administration employee from Florence, SC thinks nominating Sen. Clinton would be a mistake: "Hillary has too much baggage and will sink Democrats if she is nominated."

Several readers were concerned about the federal employee health benefits program and next year’s election. A retired inspector with USDA in Tillamook, OR wrote: "I was going to vote for Clinton, but with her ideas on Health Ins. I have changed my vote!"

While Dennis Kucinich came in dead last among the stated preferences of readers, he has captured the interest of a few. This comment is from a financial analyst with DFAS in Cleveland, OH: "Although relatively unknown, Kuchinich represents the values of the average middle class American."

A safety official with the Air Force in Colorado Springs, CO stated he is not strongly in favor of any of these candidates but, if he had to choose…: "While I cannot see myself voting for any of the Demo candidates and would have to hold my nose to vote for any of the Republican candidates, I think Mr. Richardson is a reasonable man."

There is also more support for Senator Joe Biden that in our previous survey. This comment from a human resources specialist with DoD overseas was one of several comments in support of Biden: "Joe would get my vote only for the reason of his foreign policy expertise and the fact that he was only one of a few congressmen who has a son who served in IRAQ. "

One reader sent in a unique opinion. This reader from NOAA in Boulder, CO wrote: "The perfect ticket would be Dennis Kucinich as President with Ron Paul as his VP. Other than Mike Gravel, these gentlemen are the only ones telling the truth about the current regimes’ disasterous foreign policy…."

An HR manager from DoD in Indianapolis commented: "If I had to vote Democratic, I’d vote for Richardson but my head tells me that Hillary is the person to beat in ’08. Hopefully, the Republicans will."

Our thanks to all readers who took the most recent survey and a special thanks to those who took the time to send in their written opinion. As we noted in the introductory article, we will have a similar survey on Republican nominess in the next few days.