And which matters more? A new CBS News poll finds that 51% of registered voters don't think Barack Obama has the "right experience" to be president; 29 percent do. Hillary Clinton has the right experience, according to 59% of those surveyed; 35% don't. By contrast: WOULD THEY TRY NEW WAYS OR FOLLOW TRADITIONAL APPROACHES?
Obama Clinton New ways 61% 43% Traditional 18% 40% approaches
CBS sampled a large cross-section of registered voters, which means that this poll is a useful gauge of mass opinion; there's no direct connection between these results and surveys of likely primary voters in states.
Ok, so do voters favor new ways or traditional approaches? To what extent is this a change election? 63% favor new ways; 24 percent favor traditional approaches.
That's kind of a stale question, though, right? Most poll respondents probably think "new ways" is the right answer. How about a more directed question: which attribute do voters desire more?
EXPERIENCE VS. FRESH IDEAS?
Experience 44% Fresh ideas 41%
What about Democrats only?
Among Democratic primary voters who value experience, Clinton leads Obama by more than three to one, 49% to 16%. Among those who value fresh ideas,
The poll doesn't ask the next logical questions in the sequence: of those Democrats paying attention now, which matters more? Of those Democrats not paying attention, which mattes more? For voters in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, which matters more?
Ok -- let's assume that folks don't think Obama has the "right experience." Does that mean they think he'll make the wrong decisions?
Two thirds of voters think it likely he would make good decisions about dealing with foreign countries, slightly fewer than say the same about Clinton.
What about Obama's ability to handle an international crisis?
Just 33% do, while more, 49%, are uneasy. Voters are also skeptical about Clinton’s ability to do so, although more voters have confidence in her.
Final salient question. How sticky are Clinton's supporters right now?
Both Obama’s and Clinton’s supporters are energized by their candidates. 63% of Democratic primary voters who back Obama say they strongly favor him, as do 61% of Clinton’s supporters.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.