A blog about culture, Christendom and everything in between.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Barna, "5 Top Voting Issues in 2012"
May 16, 2012 – With Barack Obama’s recent decision to be the first American president to publicly support gay marriage, the lines in the sand are being drawn for the contest between the incumbent and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. A national survey conducted by the Barna Group indicates that despite all the media coverage the president’s new stand on gay marriage received, that issue is not likely to have a major effect on the outcome of the election among most voters. Out of a dozen high profile issues assessed, gay marriage placed tenth in importance and only 31% of voters said this issue would affect their voting “a lot.” In terms of faith segments, while evangelical voters are more concerned about the issue than are most other voters, it is not likely to turn many evangelicals against Mr. Obama since few of them (less than one out of every five) expected to vote for him anyway.
However, a national sample of likely voters interviewed by Barna indicated that of all the different factors they will consider when choosing our next president, each candidate’s positions on important issues will be the single most important component in their candidate choice. More than four out of five likely voters (83%) said that positions on the issues are the most important factor in their decision of which candidate to support on Election Day. The issues that are of greatest significance are health care and tax policy. (For more detail on people’s rankings of campaign issues, see “Election 2012 Priorities” published April 18, 2012 by the Barna Group.)
The second most common factor that voters will examine when making their candidate selection is the character of the men running. Half of all likely voters (51%) listed this as a key matter for them.
Less common factors that will influence people’s choice of candidate include the party affiliation of the candidates (listed by 17% of likely voters); the political experience of the candidates (16%); the candidates’ religious faith (14%); their educational background (6%); their speaking ability (3%); personality (2%); endorsements received (1%); their age (1%); and their physical appearance (less than 1%). Of course, survey respondents may not be fully aware of the factors that influence their presidential selections; however, the research helps to illuminate how they think about their electoral mindset.
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