If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What America Thinks: What Extras Do Voters Want in a President?

When the American people vote for president, they say they largely decide based on where the candidates stand on the issues. But we decided to find out what else America thinks about before casting that all-important vote.

Race and gender don’t seem to matter to voters after President Obama’s two terms and now having a woman as one of the two major candidates in this year’s race. Voters insist they don’t really care what a candidate looks like either.

So what does matter? Well, voters are much less concerned about a candidate’s religious faith than in the past, although 43% still think it’s at least somewhat important. An overwhelming number of voters say a candidate’s health is important to how they will vote, and most think candidates should release their recent medical records. Voters also think it’s important for presidential candidates to release their tax returns and think it’s likely they have something to hide if they don’t.

Eighty-two percent (82%) say it’s important for candidates to hold regular press conferences so they can take unscripted questions from reporters.

Voters by a 53% to 30% margin say they prefer a candidate with political experience over one with no such experience. But as Donald Trump’s success to date has shown, a lot of voters seem to be souring on professional politicians. Not surprisingly, given Hillary Clinton’s years in the political arena, Democrats are much bigger fans of political experience this election year than GOP voters are.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.