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Edwards Leads Obama Among LA Progressives; Clinton, Kucinich Trail

primary.jpgBy Dick Price and Sharon Kyle
21 January 2008

How much confidence should we place in the outcome of a political poll? We dont know. Judging from what we witnessed in the New Hampshire Democratic Presidential Primary, polls arent just unreliable, they can be misleading. But having said that, nearly 500 of you participated in a survey we conducted during the week of January 13 to 20. The survey closed minutes ago and, as promised, we are providing the results.

For context, during the same week as our poll, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, and Politico published an Opinion Research Corporation poll that showed Senator Hillary Clinton enjoying a strong lead among California Democrats. Our survey shows a very different trend. But before we get into the numbers, a brief disclaimer: Dick and Sharon are not professional pollsters. We simply sent out a questionnaire and collected the responses. By providing the respondents with the output, we let you do your own analysis.
primary_survey_1-4.jpgHeres How It Played Out
Senators John Edwards and Barack Obama lead the field among those taking the survey, with Edwards capturing 32% of respondents to Obamas 26%. Senator Hilary Clinton trails with 15%, just ahead of Representative Dennis Kucinich at 12% and the undecided vote at 11%.

LA Progressive readers were invited to complete this eight-question survey asking their preference for the Democratic Partys presidential nominee, which candidates they would not support in the general election, the most important issues helping them make that determination, and the likelihood they will volunteer for a presidential campaign. Results showed that at least 1,272 opened the email invitation, 574 opened the survey, and 498 people completed it.

The nature of our readership and our approach in conducting this survey make it difficult to extrapolate these results for the upcoming California primary on February 5th, but several results are telling beyond the order of the finishers. In particular, the survey confirms that Hillary Clinton draws a disproportionately high negative response even among Democrats, with nearly 20% saying they would not support her campaign in the general election. Her two closest competitors nationally, Obama and Edwards, draw much smaller unfavorable responses.

Race, Gender, Age
We found that our respondents race, gender, and age decidedly affected their responses. White voters, measured alone, swing to Edwards (37%) and away from Obama (18%). Black voters shift dramatically behind Obama (78%), dispelling the notion that African-Americans are reluctant to pin their hopes to Obama. And, Latinos swing behind both Obama (30%) and Clinton (27%) and away from Edwards (27%) and Kucinich (5%).

Women generally swing mildly to Clinton (18%, up from 15% across all categories), but White women shift more dramatically to Clinton (21%), while increasing support for Edwards (35%), but backing away from Obama (15%). Black women are solidly behind Obama (73%) as are Latino women (41%). Latino men give Clinton her strongest support at 31% of any category, while no Black males and just 11% of White males support her.

Younger voters favored Obama in this survey, with 41% of the 30-39 age group selecting him and 50% of the 18-29 group favoring him, in both cases largely at the expense of the Edwards campaign.

No Single Deciding Factor
Concerns about the Iraq War continue to drive peoples views, with 17% putting it among their top three concerns, ahead of healthcare (14%) and the economy (14%). Ranking fourth in the deciding factor was Vision for America (12%) and Electability (10%). The lack of unanimity on these issues would seem to indicate that there is often not a great deal of difference in views among the top Democratic candidates. A majority of respondents plan to volunteer for a Democratic presidential campaign, with 46% indicating a high likelihood and another 22% at least thinking about it.

Respondents tended to be older than the general populace, with those 50 to 69 years old accounting for 57% of responses, those 40 to 69 accounting for 72%, and the 18 to 39 age group accounting for just 12%. Women and men responded roughly equally. Whites predominated with 65% of responses, with African Americans at 7%, Latinos at 7%, Asians at 3%, Multiracial at 5%, and 9% not indicating their race.

The bulk of respondents live in Los Angeles County (64%), with smaller numbers coming from elsewhere in Southern California (13%) or Central and Northern California (17%). A handful of responses came from elsewhere in the United States (3%), with a like number not stating. Within Los Angeles, all parts of the County were represented, with Michael Antonovichs Fifth Supervisory District (33%) and Gloria Molinas First District (27%) predominating.

Next week, we will poll the individuals who responded to this first survey to see how the outcome of the Nevada caucus and the South Carolina primary affect their views.

To all of you who participated, a big THANK YOU.

by Dick Price & Sharon Kyle
21 January 2008


Dick Price is a publishing executive for the IEEE Computer Society and long-time magazine editor. Sharon Kyle is a financial analyst for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and student at The People's College of Law in Los Angeles. Together, as a husband and wife team, they publish several print and online newsletters on political and social justice issues.

primary_survey_5-7.jpgOther articles by Dick & Sharon

"As the Black Vote Goes"
Progressives Blind to Prison-Industrial Complex?"
"Garamendi Coy in Altadena"
"Kevin de Leon Hits the Ground Running"
"Portantino Reflects on His First Year"
"The More Things Stay the Same"
"The More Things Change: Remembering the Little Rock Nine"
"Fighting for Fair Wages"
"Veterans Fight to Save 'Hallowed Ground'"
"Winning Elections One Club at a Time"
"A Cab Ride with Xavier Becerra"
"It's Not Just MacArthur Park"
"Battling Gang Violence"
"Stormy Weather"
"Gunfire Down Below"
"The Iron Rainbow"

"The War Comes Home"
"Reporting for Duty"
"Healing the Black-Brown Divide"

"The Long War"
"Hopeless No More?"

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