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Just 2% Say Endorsements Top Policies in Voting Booth

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nearly one-half (48%) of Likely U.S. Voters now say Obama is the politician whose endorsement would be least likely to make them vote for a candidate. The president owes his “lead” over others largely because Republicans are united in their opposition to the president. Democrats are evenly divided between former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former President George W. Bush as the least valuable endorser.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 20% say Palin’s the politician whose endorsement in their state would make them least likely to vote for the person she endorsed. Nearly as many (18%) say the same of an endorsement by Bush.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Five percent (5%) of voters say an endorsement by former Vice President Al Gore would hurt a candidate most in their eyes. One percent (1%) would be most put off by an endorsement from Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie or former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. 

The good news for all candidates is that just two percent (2%) of voters view the prominent people who campaign for someone as most important when they go to the polls. Eighty percent (80%) think a candidate’s policies are more important, while eight percent (8%) put political party first.

Still, there are signs of concern for the president beyond just the normal partisan divide. A majority of unaffiliated voters (53%) name Obama as the endorsement they’d least like to follow. Perhaps even more disconcerting for the White House, 23% of Democrats share that view. Elected Democrats went out of their way to avoid President Obama during his recent swings through Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

At the other extreme, the president also tops the list of those whose endorsement would help the most, but the numbers are much smaller. Twenty-four percent 24% say an endorsement by the president is the one most likely to make them vote for a candidate in their state. Nineteen percent (19%) would be most influenced by a Bush endorsement, while 11% would respond first to endorsements by either Clinton or Palin.

An endorsement by Christie would make a candidate the most likely choice of eight percent (8%), and seven percent (7%) feel that way about someone endorsed by Huckabee. Biden and Gore would have the most influence on two percent (2%) each. But 16% are not sure which of these eight politicians would influence them most.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 23-24, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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