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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Republicans Want

A CBS/New York Times poll shows Perry leading among Republicans. That finding is subject to change, and may not be meaningful this early. Perhaps more telling are data on what Republicans want in their nominee. At this point four years ago, Democratic preference for change over experience was a sign of opportunity for Obama.
Looking ahead, Republican primary voters are split on whether they prefer a nominee who agrees with their positions on issues or one with the best chance of defeating President Obama in 2012 - with 48 percent in each side in the poll.

While Perry, who has spent most of his career in politics, leads the Republican field nationally in this poll, 48 percent of Republican primary voters say they prefer a nominee whose experience has mostly been in the business or private sector, while fewer - 14 percent - want someone with a mostly political background. A third says it doesn't matter.

More than half of Republican primary voters say it is important that a presidential candidate share their religious beliefs. This is also important to four in 10 registered voters overall. Among white evangelicals (six in 10 of whom plan to vote in a Republican primary), 81 percent say it is important that a candidate have the same religious beliefs as they do, including half who say it is very important.

The field of Republican candidates includes a woman and two Mormon candidates. Forty-five percent of Republican primary voters say most people they know would support a candidate who is Mormon for president (without mentioning a candidate by name), but 36 percent say most people they know would not.

There is more support for a hypothetical woman candidate, with almost seven in ten of all voters and Republican primary voters saying most people they know would support a woman candidate.