WASHINGTON – A Zogby International poll commissioned by WND shows a surprisingly low 71.7 percent closely identifying with either of the two front-running, major-party candidates for president and a stunning 62.4 percent expressing their desire to see more viable candidate and party choices in future elections.
Unlike any other scientific poll conducted in 2008, this survey asked randomly selected respondents about their level of enthusiasm for presidential candidates and offered the actual alternatives to the major party candidates that will appear on most ballots across the country – as well as the option of simply not voting.
Barack Obama came in first with just 38.1 percent of the vote to John McCain’s 33.6 percent.
A whopping 21.3 percent said they were still undecided – a remarkably high figure for this late in the campaign that ends Nov. 4. But another 7.3 percent indicated they would not be voting at all.
“I think what we see here confirms my observation that there is widespread disenchantment with the two major-party nominees, something that has simply not been adequately measured before this poll,” said WND Editor Joseph Farah, author of the new book, “None of the Above: Why 2008 Is the Year to Cast the Ultimate Protest Vote.” “There is a leaderless, grass-roots movement out there to boycott both McCain and Obama in 2008 – to make a statement, to demand better candidates in the future from better parties. This could be a historic election for non-participation in a year with no high-profile third-party alternatives.”
Besides those indicating they will not be voting at all, 2.5 percent chose other – despite the fact that all five minor party nominees were included as options for poll-takers. Among those five, Ralph Nader of the Peace and Freedom Party was the leader with 1.6 percent, followed by Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party with 1.2 percent. They were followed by Alan Keyes of the America’s Independent Party nominee Alan Keyes with 0.7 percent, Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party with 0.2 percent and Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party with 0.1 percent. Another 0.4 percent said they planned to write-in their choice for president.
Only 21.7 percent of respondents described themselves as very excited about the choice of candidates for president this year. A similar number, 21.5 percent, said they were “not at all” excited about the options.
Of the 7.3 percent determined not to vote at all in the presidential election, 20 percent said they don’t have the time, 18 percent said they were not interested in politics, 11 percent said they were tired of choosing between the lesser of two evils, 10 percent said “it doesn’t matter who you vote for, all politicians are the same” and 6 percent said they just didn’t like either of the major-party candidates.
“The high percentage of Americans not voting, undecided, choosing a third-party alternative or planning to write-in their own choice in spite of the media saturation coverage of the two-man horserace strongly suggests deep voter dissatisfaction with Obama and McCain,” said Farah, whose new book urges voters to not to cast their votes for either the Democratic or Republican nominees. “This is not a bad thing. It’s a good thing. Given a choice between McCain pain or Obama trauma, a surprisingly high percentage of Americans are choosing to send a message to the political power brokers, and that message is, “No, thank you.”
Of those expressing a party affiliation, more Republicans (5.4 percent) say they will not be participating in the presidential election than Democrats (4.0 percent).
Also somewhat surprising, given McCain’s self-cultivated “maverick” image is that Obama bests him among independents 35-24. But even among those closely identifying with one of the two major parties, there is no unanimity for the nominees. Obama gets 78.5 percent of Democrat votes, while McCain gets 74 percent of Republican votes.
Younger voters say they want more competition in the political marketplace. Some 83 percent of voters 18-24 express that opinion, while 73 percent of those between 25-34 do. In addition, 76.4 percent of those who describe themselves as “very conservative” say they want more viable candidate and party choices in the future.
It also appears the enthusiasm gap hits McCain harder than Obama, with 22.3 percent of Republicans expressing no excitement at all over the election vs. 11.9 percent of Democrats. On the other hand, 35.3 percent of Democrats say they are “very much” excited about the choice vs. 14.4 percent of Republicans.
Zogby International conducted the telephone poll for WND between Aug. 7 and Aug. 10, asking 25 questions of 1,205 adults, 93 percent of whom were registered voters. Of the total, 446, or 37 percent, said they were Democrats, while 422, or 35 percent, said they were Republicans. Independents totaled 301 or 25 percent, while 36, or 3 percent, declined to state their party preference. The scientific poll has a margin of error between 2.9 percentage points.
To interview Joseph Farah, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453.