Polling on Religion, Education, Age, and Race

Gallup has some new polls related to the presidential race which present little surprise. While the religious right is not terribly fond of John McCain, and while Obama has been trying to receive more support from religious voters, religious intensity still is predictive of a tendency to support the Republican candidate. Of course polls taken now might be more indicative of traditional trends than a measure of the success of moves taken this election. It will be interesting to watch and see if this result changes over the course of the campaign. It is far too early to use poll results to try to evaluate whether Obama’s strategy is effective (despite some bloggers having made such an attempt).

One result has shown a change over time. During the primaries Obama received the support of some subsets of Democratic voters. Over time various polls have shown that Obama has been capable of expanding his support to those which did not initially back him. Several states which voted for Clinton in the primaries later showed increasing support for Obama. Obama has been polling well among Hispanics, overcoming this problem in the primaries. Now a poll shows that, in addition to Obama’s strong support from highly educated voters, he is also gaining in support among those with less education.

Another poll shows that McCain’s age might be a greater problem than Obama’s race with voters. They found that “Twenty-three percent of Americans say John McCain’s age would make him a less effective president were he to win in November, while only 8% say Barack Obama’s race would make him less effective.” I wonder if this partially means that Americans are simply more willing to admit to voting based upon age than race, especially as an argument might be made that age is relevant to performance of the job.

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