According to a new Gallup poll, Senator Hillary Clinton is considered by most Democrats and democratic-leaning Independents to be the best choice of the Presidential candidates to handle most major national issues. Given the choice between the three leading Democratic candidates, most Gallup Panel Survey responders select Clinton as the best prepared to handle 13 of 17 issues that the next president will most likely face. Senator Clinton is also leading in the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination USA Today/Gallup poll by twenty percentage points.
Although Clinton does especially well on policy issues, Senator Barack Obama does best on a few issues relating to interpersonal skills and likability. The third of the poll choices, former Senator John Edwards, did not lead the poll on any issue.
The six issues where Clinton had an outright majority say she would do the best job include three policy issues Americans rate most important to their vote (healthcare, the economy, and education) and two major values issues (abortion and gay marriage), as well as relations with other countries. Democrats chose Clinton by a solid plurality as the best leader to handle seven other issues as well: terrorism, the situation in Iraq, taxes, energy, crime, and, by minimal leads, immigration and being commander-in-chief of the military. Clinton performs best on the issue of health care, where she has a score of 65% to Edwards’ 17% and Obama’s 14%.
Obama received an outright majority of Democrats support on one issues: race relations. He was the Democrats choice by a solid plurality on one other issue (the candidate best able to inspire Americans), and tied Clinton on yet another issue: reforming the way the government in Washington works.
Edwards does not receive majority support on any of the seventeen issues. His best rating comes on the question of who would be the best commander-in-chief of the military, where he receives a score of 28%, Obama has a score of 28% as well, and Clinton leads with 38%. However, it is possible this high score is by default. Clinton may be dinged on the commander-in-chief question for being female, and Obama may still be suffering from the criticism he engendered by stating that he would consider an invasion of Pakistan to find terrorists, and promising to participate in diplomacy talks with the leaders from hostile nations.
This study was based on telephone interviews conducted on September 24-27, 2007, with 1,006 people ages 18 and up. Results have a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Source: “Democrats Prefer Clinton to Her Rivals to Handle Most Policy Issues”, The Gallup Poll