The recent Hillary Clinton campaign advertisement asking who Americans want answering the phone in the White House when a crisis erupts at 3 a.m. has sparked a national debate about which candidate would best handle such a phone call. But while the ad was designed to boost the Clinton candidacy, likely voters nationwide say they would feel more secure having Republican John McCain answering the call of a crisis, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.
Given the choice between Clinton and McCain, 55% preferred McCain while 37% would want Clinton to answer the phone, while 9% said they were unsure.
If there is a crisis in the world and the telephone rings at 3 a.m. in the White House, who would you feel more secure answering that phone Hillary Clinton or John McCain?
Between McCain and Obama, 56% favored McCain while 35% preferred Obama, with 10% saying they couldnt make up their mind on the question.
The ad, which first ran in Texas in the days leading up to the March 4 primary election there, was designed to boost Clinton’s claim that she is more experienced than Obama, a familiar Clinton campaign theme this year. McCain is considered strong on national defense.
If there is a crisis in the world and the telephone rings at 3 a.m. in the White House, who would you feel more secure answering that phone John McCain or Barack Obama?
McCain, who calls himself a conservative, makes big inroads across ideological lines on the question, the survey shows, as 25% of the very liberal and 32% of mainline liberals prefer he answer the phone instead of Clinton, and 23% of the very liberal and 35% of mainline liberals prefer him over Obama. Just 15% of conservatives prefer Clinton take the call, and 16% of conservatives would rather have Obama taking a crisis phone call instead of McCain.
The telephone poll using live operators from Zogby’s call center in Upstate New York included 1,004 likely voters nationwide and was conducted March 13-14, 2008. It carries a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points. Totals in charts may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
The survey shows that among all voters Democrats, Republicans, and independents there is a near-equal preference for Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to answer a crisis phone call as President. When given the choice between them, 37% preferred Clinton, while 36% preferred Obama. Another 27% of all voters said they were unsure.
But among just Democrats, Clinton is preferred by 48%, compared to 38% of Democrats who said they would rather have Obama answer the phone. Among just Democrats, 14% said they were unsure.
If there is a crisis in the world and the telephone rings at 3 a.m. in the White House, who would you feel more secure answering that phone Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?
Among all voters regardless of partisan affiliation, in the race between Obama and Clinton, Obama is favored by a wide 49% to 32% margin among the very liberal, while mainline liberals favored Clinton by a 50% to 38% edge. Among moderates, Clintons edge is 44% to 34%, while conservatives preferred Obama, 39% to 36% for Clinton, with the rest of conservatives declining to make a choice.
And among all voters, women favored Clinton over Obama by a 42% to 34% margin, with 24% unsure. Men favored Obama, 38% to 32%, with 30% undecided.
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