Friday, March 30, 2007

Who would you most like to take your children to Disneyland?

I found this poll from Time (PDF file) from this post at MyDD and he had found something interesting about the questions they asked. The media narrative around Bush during his campaigns was that the public would like to have a beer with him more than they would with either Gore or Kerry. This always struck me as a little considering having a beer with Bush would probably turn into 18 beers and some weird hazing ritual but whatever. Supposedly he was the "common man from Texas" despite attending the best private schools in the northeast and we're all supposed to pick our president like we pick our drinking buddies.

Well, this poll asked a few more questions along those same lines looking to get into the minds of people about how they generally view candidates.
Q21. Which of the presidential candidates would...

A) Make the best high school principal?
Clinton: 20%
Giuliani: 16%
Obama: 14%
McCain: 9%
Gore: 8%
Edwards: 6%
Gingrich: 4%
Romney: 2%
Biden: 1%
Huckabee: 1%
Other / Unsure: 19%

B) Be the best contestant on dancing with the stars:
Clinton: 19%
Obama: 18%
Edwards: 9%
Giuliani: 9%
Gore: 6%
Romney: 2%
Gingrich: 2%
McCain: 1%
Biden: 1%
Other / Unsure: 31%

C) You trust the most to babysit your children or children you know:
Clinton: 21%
Edwards: 12%
McCain: 9%
Obama: 8%
Giulinai: 7%
Gore: 6%
Romney: 6%
Gingrich: 3%
Brownback: 1%
Other / Unsure: 28%

Here is what the author of the post had to say about the results:
This is the sort of poll that can tell us a lot more about our culture, and about the national view of presidential candidates, than virtually any trial heat or benchmark poll could muster. Notice, for example, that Obama is viewed as a good dancer, but not as someone people want to babysit their children. Tell me there isn't cultural stereotyping and latent racism in that. Note also how people want Edwards to babysit their children, but not be their school principal. Do people view him as nurturing, but not tough? Clinton also trounces the field in the babysitter category--again, tell me no cultural stereotyping is taking place. Also, Clinton leads all of these personable categories, which might go a long way toward explaining why she leads in primary trial heats. People tend to vote more on personal qualities, identity perceptions and party self-identification than they do on policy positions, after all. This stuff is very important, even if it is nebulous and difficult to pin down.

I wouldn't mind seeing more polling along these lines. I would also like to know what 3% of the population would like to leave their children with Gingrich. That is a truly horrifying proposition.

Seriously, just because his head is the size of a pumpkin doesn't mean he's a lovable cartoon character. And why DOES Obama get such low babysitting marks? More people would leave their kids with psycho McCain than lovable Obama? One thing we can all agree on is that Democrats would make better dancers. I imagine McCain's dance going something like this.

Some other notable things I found in this poll include the fact that Bush's 33% approval rating is only 1 point higher than Cheney's.

Edwards was the beneficiary of a 6% bump nationally over the last two weeks.

28% of people are opposed to any sort of troop withdrawal while 32% support withdrawal in the next 12 months, and 36% support a time table sometime within the next 18 months. Go ahead and keep hammering Bush on this, Democrats. Please.

6% of people would be less likely to vote for an African-American candidate and 13% would be less likely to vote for a woman. However 11% would be more likely to vote for a woman while only 8% would be more likely to vote for an African-American. Neither of these seem to be much of a handicap. At least not as much as the 54% that would be less likely to vote for a candidate that agrees with Bush on most issues. Sorry, Republicans.

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