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50% Prefer Candidate With Political Experience

Despite some candidates campaigning as political “outsiders”, half of voters nationwide still prefer a candidate with some political experience over one who has never held office. 

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that 50% would rather vote for a candidate who has political experience over one who has never held office. Twenty-five percent (25%) would rather vote for someone who has never held office, while 24% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

While support for a candidate with political experience is unchanged from a year ago, the number who favors a political newcomer is down from 34%. 

Most Democrats (73%) prefer a candidate with political experience, but only 41% of Republicans and 35% of voters not affiliated with either party feel the same.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of government workers prefer a candidate with political experience, a view shared by just 38% of those who work for private companies.

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The survey of 913 Likely Voters nationwide 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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We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

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