Monday, June 16, 2008

61% Say Obama, McCain Wives Influence Vote

Original Link:

Three out of five American voters (61%) say their perception of a presidential candidate's wife is at least somewhat important to how they vote.


The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 22% of voters say it is very important. Only 11% say it is not at all important.

First Ladies are often in the media spotlight, but seldom, with the notable exception of Hillary Rodham Clinton, have their activities been viewed through a political lens. So it is unclear how these findings will play out in November.

The current First Lady, Laura Bush, is regarded favorably by 75% of the nation's voters, with only 21% rating her unfavorably.

By contrast, Michelle Obama, whose husband cinched the Democratic presidential nomination last week, is rated favorably by 48% and unfavorably by 42% of voters. That latter figure includes a startling 25% who have Very Unfavorable opinion of the potential First Lady. A statistically comparable 24% view her Very Favorably. Ten percent (10%) are undecided.

Cindy McCain, the wife of the Republican hopeful, earns favorable reviews from 49% while 29% offer an unfavorable assessment. She is viewed Very Unfavorably by only 10% of voters while 17% have a Very Favorable opinion of Mrs. McCain. In her case, 22% remain undecided.

Just yesterday Mrs. Bush defended Mrs. Obama whose comments on the stump have prompted criticism in some quarters. She has been especially criticized for saying in February of her husband's candidacy, "For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."

Mrs. McCain, who is independently wealthy, has prompted recent criticism of her own for her refusal to fully disclose her tax returns, saying she will not do so even as First Lady.

Women in particular rate their perception of a candidate's wife as important--71% of women say it's important as opposed to only 48% of men. Fifty percent of men (50%) say it is not important versus 27% of women.

But 53% of all voters – and an equal percentage of male and female voters – believe that if they are campaigning for their husbands, Mrs. Obama and Mrs. McCain should receive the same amount of media scrutiny as other senior advisors. Thirty-three percent (33%) disagree, with 15% undecided.

While 86% of black voters have a favorable opinion of Mrs. Obama, who would become the first African-American first lady, only 42% of white respondents agree. Forty-eight percent (48%) of white voters register an unfavorable opinion of Mrs. Obama, as opposed to a 5% of black voters.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of white voters have a favorable opinion of Mrs. McCain, a view shared by 27% of African-Americans. Forty-eight percent (48%) of African-Americans and 25% of whites give Mrs. McCain unfavorable marks.

Among women voters, Mrs. Obama is rated favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 40%. Mrs. McCain is viewed favorably by 48% and unfavorably by 29%.

Mr. McCain has been actively courting supporters of Mrs. Clinton's unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination which she ended Saturday. Feminist groups in particular were strong backers of Mrs. Clinton, so Mrs. Obama's favorability ratings among women voters may be key to her husband's holding on to Clinton Democrats.

Male voters have a 45% favorable view of Mrs. Obama and give Mrs. McCain a 50% favorability rating. Mrs. Obama is viewed unfavorably by 44% of men, with Mrs. McCain at 28%.

Rasmussen Reports will periodically measure ongoing perceptions of both potential First Ladies.

This national telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports June 9, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information

No comments: