Written by: Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates for Report to Politics Magazine
Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates conducted 475 internet interviews with current subscribers of Politics Magazine on January 3-13, 2009. The margin of error is +/- 4.5%.
The first-ever Reed Awards poll, conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland, shows political insiders pick both expected winners and some surprises in evaluating the 2008 election and the political season ahead.
Across party lines, politicos give President-elect Obama and his team high marks for a historic campaign. The Obamas and members of the President-elect’s team won praise across a variety of categories including Best Political Duo (Barack and Michelle Obama), Best Slogan (Change We Can Believe In), and Best Political Strategist (David Axelrod). These insiders believe President-elect Obama’s “honeymoon” will last about six months and suggest a laser-like focus on the economy. Close to 60% of the respondents said they would work in an Obama Administration, many more than the number of Democrats in the poll. Highlighting President-elect Obama’s unique choice of a Secretary of State, Secretary designate Senator Hillary Clinton also wins praise from our insiders. She is ranked as “Person You Would Most Want on Your Team” and “Cabinet Member Most Likely to Succeed.” Her primary spot, “3 A.M.”, was selected “Best TV spot” of the campaign.
The challenging Republican season is reflected throughout the poll. Only 17% favor John McCain’s “Country First” slogan, while Vice Presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin and McCain surrogate Senator Joe Lieberman take the top slots for “Best Villain”. Showing the effect down-ballot, respondents selected surprise Democratic winners for the top two “Best- Run Senate Campaigns”, and believe Obama-leaning demographics of Young voters, African-Americans and First-time voters were the “Interest Groups Which Had the Biggest Impact”. By contrast, Evangelicals were seen as most impactful by just 1%.
Turning to those who covered the campaign, respondents are much more divided about who did a good job. Nearly 65% believe the national press exhibited a “clear bias in favor of Barack Obama”, but beyond that consensus breaks down. David Gergen wins “Best Pundit” and Bill Kristol was judged “Worst Pundit” – but James Carville comes second in both the best and worst categories. Ideological opposites Paul Krugman and George Will tie for Best Columnist, while Bill Kristol and Maureen Down share honors for “Worst Columnist.” When it comes to the personalities, about the only thing respondents agree on is Arianna Huffington, a clear winner for “Best Political Blogger.”
Looking forward, respondents expect the economy and taxes to dominate the Administration’s first 100 days and urge an inclusive, moderate approach. Asked to give the President-elect one piece of advice, respondents focused on bold economic moves and the importance of governing from the center.
Respondents selected Mitch Daniels (R-IN) as the “Best-Run Governor’s Campaign” of the 2008 election (16%). Other campaigns of note included Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) (8%), Christine Gregoire (D-WA) (8%), and Beverly Perdue (D-NC) (7%).
Which of the following would you say was the “Best-Run Governor’s Campaign” of the 2008 election? All
Mitch Daniels – Indiana 16
Brian Schweitzer – Montana 8
Christine Gregoire – Washington 8
Beverly Perdue – North Carolina 7
Jay Nixon – Missouri 6
John Lynch – New Hampshire 3
Jim Douglas – Vermont 3
Jack Markell – Delaware 2
John Hoeven – North Dakota 1
Jon Huntsman, Jr. – Utah 1
Joe Manchin – West Virginia 1
Don’t know 44
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