Readers Reflect National Trend: Obama Over Clinton

Do readers prefer Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee and what is the basis for their voting preference? Here are the results of our latest survey.

With the race among those seeking the Democratic nomination for president now being reduced to two major candidates, we again asked our readers for their preference among the two players with the best chance of securing the nomination. To see how preferences have shifted in the past several months, check out the article from October 22nd entitled "Readers Express Preference for Clinton as Democratic Nominee."

As always, many readers responded and a few hundred provided their views on why they like (or dislike) a candidate. Here is a quick summary of the results of the survey that was taken earlier this week.




1. Which of these candidates would you prefer to see as the nominee of the Democratic party for President? Total Responses Percentage Grand Total
Hillary Clinton 422 38% 1104
Barack Obama 578 52% 1104
undecided 104 9% 1104


When publishing comments that represent the most typical comments sent in by readers, some are inevitably offended as they count up comments for or against a particular candidate and question why we did not publish the exact same number of comments for all sides of the issue or for all candidates.

In selecting comments, we look for the ones that are the most interesting and the most typical. In some surveys, the number of comments for or against an issue do not always match the overall results of the survey. This appears to be because some readers are more passionate about an issue or a candidate. Many readers do not comment but do vote in the survey. In other words, the number of comments published usually reflects the general tenor of the comments submitted. We do not sit down and count the number that may be considered for or against a person or an issue.

Here are some of the typical responses sent in by readers on this latest survey. Some are creative; some are not written with sensitivity toward a candidate but appear to reflect the attitude or belief of the writer; some are funny; some are thoughtful and some are hostile. Political campaigns generate passion and enthusiasm or stir up dissatisfaction and may touch on issues that are important to people. These comments reflect this variety of reactions to Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and gives some explanation as to why readers favor one candidate over the other.

An investigator with the EEOC in the Bronx, New York wrote: "I would like Hillary because she has more experience and has dealt with more issues than Obama. I believe she will make a difference."

A fish biologist with the Fish and Wildlife Service in New Mexico also likes Clinton: "I think Clinton has broader experience. People say Obama has greater electability, but I think his lack of experience in foreign affairs will prove to be his downfall when running against McCain. For that reason, I think Clinton has greater electability."

An employee relations specialist with the USDA in California also supports Clinton: "Best Qualified since she’s been spouse of previous president who has taken the country out of debt for 8 years."

An IT specialist with the IRS in Maryland has this view: Clinton aside from a more detailed set of experiences appears to have a more structured approach with detailed plans. Obama appears to have an ability to draw like a baptist minister, but is not as familiar with his own health and other policy changes he says he will bring about – all appears to be put together by staffers, etc – not his own."

A contract administrator with the Forest Service in Idaho seems complications if Hillary Clinton is successful in her campaign: "If Hillary were to be elected she could name Bill as her vice president. Then if she quit, Bill would be the president and he could name Hillary as vice president. What a tangled web we weave."

An Air Force employee in Troy, Ohio prefers Obama: "Obama is cool, calm and collective. (great Poker player)… forward thinker and collaborator, knows where he is going!; Clinton gets frazzled easily (would be a very poor negotiator in foreign affairs), takes a lot of things for granted as evidenced by her excuse for a campaign. Blames everyone but herself for her shortcomings! Thinks she knows where she is going and has no backup plan!"

A VA manager in New York City favors Clinton over Obama based on experience: "Obama is inexperienced and has no national power base; he will simply be a tool for the congressional Democratic kingpins like Ted Kennedy if he is elected. Clinton will be more capable of independent action if she is elected."

A facilities manager with TSA in San Francisco is worried about future tax increases: "No one talks with specifics of how to finance any of the many changes and enhancements that are envisioned. Repeatedly Congress ( lead by either party) has addressed spending in line with revenue- for the past 15 years. Federal employee benefits, can be impacted with universal health care and added costs for federal retirees to help make contributions. Sufficient revenue cannot be extracted by just people in the income level above $200k and many federal workers are in two income familes that earn in total above $200k but are not all that wealthy."

A billing technician with the VHA in Danville, IL writes: "We need someone fresh; a new perspective. with Hillary, it will just be more of the same. "

A controller with the FAA in Nashua, NH also likes Obama: "Obama has a good grasp of how to get America back on its feet. End the war, build and repair infrastructure, use the environment to creat jobs, provide healthcare that’s affordable, work in a bipartisan way in DC and the most important point…involve the American people."

A loan specialist with the USDA in Washington, DC will vote against Hillary Clinton: "No more BILLARY in the White House. PLEASE!"

A water rights specialist with the Bureau of Reclamation in Montana says Obama will not be another Jimmy Carter: "Another term of the Clinton’s, and all their baggage, is not what this country needs. Granted I know next to nothing about Barack Obama, but I do believe he is smart enough to surround himself with good people. I’m not convinced he would be another Jimmy Carter."

An attorney from Washington, DC is also voting against Hillary Clinton: "The Clintons are dishonest and can not be trusted. They are two-faced and will do anything to win."

A program manager with the IRS in Cincinnati, Ohio likes the general concept of "change": "Obama is the real change candidate and that is what this country needs more than ever right now!"

An adjudication officer with DHS in Dallas, Texas says the choice is a dilemma: "The choice between Clinton and Obama is really not a choice…it more nearly resembles a diliemma! Neither of these invididuals deserve the nomination, much less the presidency! Their election to the Presidency would be absolute and total disaster for the nation in my opinion. John McCain of the Republicans is not much better either. And oh Joy…Ralph Nader is offering himself again this year! Is there no end to this man’s Ego? Conclusions: This nation is in deep trouble."

A personnel manager with DoD in Washington, DC does not see a viable candidate in the choice between Obama and Clinton: "I am dismayed at the untenable choice between Hilary or Barack. McCain will get my vote! And I’m a life-long Democrat!!!"

And a retiree from ICE in Houston offered the most extensive rationale for his voting preference. Here is a portion of his comment: "I was for Senator Obama, then I read where someone was questioning whether he registered for the Selective Service in 1980 as required. His campaign sidesteps the question responding that the Senator does salute the flag, says the pledge, and supports the veterans. The Selective Service says his registration does not show up on their website ( which has a "Check Registration" link) because of a database error. Others claim it is not relevant since he is 46 years old and there is no draft. Failure to register is a felony, but no one is charged….President Bush, Senator Kerry, and other Presidents and President wannabes have released their military records including their Selective Service numbers. Why won’t Senator Obama?"