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Scripps survey finds candidates lack name recognition

Nov. 1, 2007
By Guido Stempel

Most Ohioans can recall the name of only three of the 20 presidential candidates. That's the finding of a survey by the university's Scripps Survey Research Center that asked 536 randomly selected adults to list the names of as many candidates as they could.

The three mentioned by more than half of the respondents were Hillary Clinton, mentioned by 87 percent; Barack Obama, mentioned by 69 percent; and Rudy Giuliani, mentioned by 54 percent. Only four other candidates -- Fred Thompson, John Edwards, Mitt Romney and John McCain -- were mentioned by more than 10 percent of the respondents.

A possible explanation for the low recognition: Only 34 percent of the respondents said they had watched any of the Democratic debates, and just 28 percent said they had watched any of the Republican debates.

Respondents also were asked which candidates they thought had the leadership skills and experience needed to respond to national concerns. Clinton again led, with 33 percent, followed by Guliani, 27 percent; Thompson, 20 percent; Obama, 17 percent; and Edwards, 14 percent.

Thirty-three percent said Giuliani has excellent leadership skills, while 21 percent said the same of Clinton. Eighteen percent said Obama has excellent leadership skills, and 13 percent said Edwards does.

About one-fourth of the respondents said both Giuliani and Clinton have excellent political experience and excellent political or professional success. Other candidates were far behind them on these two issues.

Twenty-six percent rated Clinton excellent on competence. Guliani was next with 22 percent, Obama was third with 18 percent and Edwards was fourth with 16 percent.

A political communication class taught by Associate Professor of Communication Studies Jerry Miller conducted the survey, and Miller analyzed the data.  Interviewing was done between Oct. 7 and 21. Sampling error for the survey is 5 percent.

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Published: Jul 20, 2006 3:50:00 PM
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