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Re: One Unanswered Question

Topics: 2008 , Al Gore , Barack Obama , CBS , CBS/New York Times , Fox News , George Bush , Hillary Clinton , Kathy Frankovic , LA Times , National Journal , The 2008 Race

An update on my National Journal column last week, in which I wrote:

Obama's central challenge, however, is neither the debate about which candidate can best change Washington nor Clinton's perceived advantage in experience. Rather, the most important question is whether Obama, as that same CBS News/New York Times survey puts it, "has prepared himself well enough for the job of President and all the issues a President has to face," or whether "he needs a few more years to prepare?" A few days after the New Hampshire primary, a majority of Democratic primary voters (53 percent) believed Obama still needed more time; 40 percent said he was ready.

The new CBS News survey released yesterday updates that result, and they show a statistically significant, ten-point increase (from 40% to 50%) in the percentage who say that Obama is "prepared," while the percentage who say he needs more preparation declined from 53% to 46%.

Back in December, CBS News director of surveys Kathy Frankovic provided some additional context for this question:

In September 2000, the Los Angeles Times asked likely voters to say which candidate -- George W. Bush or Al Gore -- “has the best experience for the job.” Sixty-two percent chose Gore, and only 25 percent chose Bush. Likely voters in an October Fox News Poll also chose Gore over Bush, 54 percent to 31 percent, on having the “right kind of experience.”

But while most voters thought Gore had more of the “right” or the “best” experience, a majority had already decided that Bush met the threshold. CBS News had asked registered voters in March of that year whether Bush and Gore each had “the right kind of experience to be a good president.” And for most voters, both of them did. Slightly more (70 percent) said Gore did than said Bush did (62 percent), but Bush had clearly met the experience threshold with nearly two-thirds of voters.

 

Comments
Anonymous:

Well if Joan Baez thinks Obama is ready, then...

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KateM:

Obama always reminds me of GW Bush. Then Bush won twice...

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art:

can we trust a man who (oops) mistakenly pushed the wrong button on a vote 8 times

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Daniel T:

The saddest part about this debate is the one now one is talking about. The leadership in the Democratic party has devolved into a contest between a Yale educated lawyer and a Harvard educated lawyer.

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Bill:

PRESENT

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Paul:

I remember watching Bill Clinton early in his career having a temper tantrum, pounding the podium saying repeatedly, "No. No. No. No. No", this after losing "Don't ask, don't tell," and some time before he finally bested Newt Gingich during the government shutdown.

I remember Arnold Schwarzenegger getting smacked down on seven initiatives by California voters, before moving to his true middle to become Arnold the Moderate, author of cutting edge legislation on emissions and health care.

I remember Elliot Spitzer getting creamed over the drivers license issue. He has yet to recover.

NOBODY is "ready" for the Presidency of the United States on day one. Except maybe Nixon, and he was scary.

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