Poll: Race, Gender Not Factor For Most Ky. Democrats

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination now focuses on just a handful of states. In the final stretch, Kentucky is in the forefront along with West Virginia, Oregon, and Montana.

Regardless the outcome, Democrats will have a historic ticket with either an African-American or woman at the top.

In a WKYT/The Herald-Leader statewide poll of 500 likely Democratic voters, the majority of those surveyed don’t think Sen. Hillary Clinton’s gender or Sen. Barack Obama’s race is a factor in their electability.

The poll was conducted for WKYT and The Herald-Leader by Research 2000 last week following Obama’s definitive win in North Carolina and Clinton’s narrow victory in Indiana. The poll found 63 percent of likely Kentucky Democratic voters think Clinton's gender doesn’t make her any more or less electable. Fifty-six percent think Obama's race won't be a factor either.

"In terms of gender, it's not all that surprising,” said Joe Gershtenson of Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for Kentucky Politics. “We have had a female governor so we know females can win statewide races here. That's not particularly surprising. Race is perhaps a little more surprising."

While Sen. Obama might be ahead in the popular vote and the delegate counts, Sen. Clinton shows no sign of ending her run for the presidency.

Now, her campaign trail will either find another fork in the road or a potential dead end in Kentucky. "Last time I was here I got a Louisville slugger, and it was an appropriate gift because I will always go to bat for you," Clinton told supporters in Louisville Friday night.

After pulling ahead in the super delegate count as well as the pledged delegates and popular vote, Obama told crowds in Oregon on Saturday the race is turning even more in his favor. "I think it's an encouraging sign that we're making progress, that the super delegates are moving in our direction," Obama said.

Controversies and Scrutiny

Both Clinton and Obama have been the targets of tough scrutiny. Obama for his controversial former pastor and comments about small town voters. Clinton for stretching the truth about the safety of her trip to Bosnia.

In the WKYT/The Herald-Leader poll, 43 percent said the racially-charged sermons from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright will have a negative impact on Obama's chances. But 62 percent think Obama's own comments about small-town Americans who have lost their jobs and "cling to guns or religion" won't impact their vote.

Exactly two-thirds (66 percent) of the Democrats polled say Clinton's slip about being under fire while in Bosnia years ago doesn't matter either.

The Horserace

At 11 p.m. Sunday, WKYT will reveal whether Clinton or Obama is likely to carry Kentucky on May 20 and whether likely Kentucky Democratic voters would cross party lines to support Sen. John McCain -- the presumtive Republican nominee -- if the candidate they’re voting for in the primary doesn’t win.

Poll Methodology

WKYT and The Herald-Leader conducted the poll with the assistance of Research 2000 of Olney, Md. Between May and 9, a total of 500 likely Democratic primary voters were interviewed statewide by telephone.

Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross section of exchanges was utilized to ensure and accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration of distribution by county.

The margin of error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. This means there is a 95 percent probability that the “true” figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. The margin of error is higher for any subgroup, such as gender or party affiliation.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Cindy Location: Combs on Aug 23, 2008 at 01:02 AM
    I was Ready to vote for Hilary Clinton in a heartbeat,I am not interestd in the other two running,Since Clinton will not be Obamas running mate,I will just not vote at all!!!!!!!Either way,there is going to be a Dud for a President! Not the first time!I can say once again...I didn't vote for him!!!Goodluck America...You are asking for it!!!
  • by Karen Location: Florida on May 20, 2008 at 04:08 PM
    It is appalling to read some of the lies on this page ... Obama is a Christian ... he is NOT a dual national -- his father was Kenyan and his mother American ... He is a US Senator his patriotism ought not be questioned ... Socialist and Marxist btw are two different things ... Israel is Socialist ... most of Europe is socialist ... and to the person who wrote about loosing his freedom ... it was taken away during the Bush administration ... Hyperbole may be fun ... but facts are far more powerful ...
  • by Prince Location: New Orleans on May 20, 2008 at 01:11 PM
    Obama knows that the people of Kentucky will not vote for him; even if he visited kentucky ten thousand times. By not visiting, he is showing America that he is being cost effective, and will not waste money on nonsense, like the war in Iraq, and a state that hates him.
  • by lee Location: florida on May 15, 2008 at 03:33 AM
    I cast my vote for Change. As for more than 20 years, knowingly the problems arising, NO PRESIDENT, or his administration, or congress did anything to free us from foreign oil dependency. Yet countries like Norway, Finland, Iceland & Sweden are now 70% renewable energy, and Brazil runs on sugar cane fuel. WHERE WERE OUR LEADERS? In the pockets of lobbyists! This Time...Vote smart. Obama 08. Say no to Lobbyists, no to FREE TRADE, but Yes to FAIR TRADE. Get America on a ENERGY PROGRAM. Bring back auto industry, with bright minds, and sell to China who desperately want cars. Bring back coal-but clean. WIND, SOLAR, WATER. Kennedy put a man on the moon in 4 years. Anything is possible with inspiration!
  • by KJ Location: Richmond on May 13, 2008 at 06:22 PM
    To Mr. Unite- do you honestly believe they are proud of their contry? I do not because he still hold a dual citizenship with the US and Kenya. If he were truly proud to be an American then he would not have a dual citizenship. Also he would answer questions posed to him on TV about his patriotism that he said he did not feel that he needed to justify-but when running for a public office yes you do.
  • by Mr. Unite Us Location: North Carolina on May 13, 2008 at 12:35 PM
    Michelle and Barack Obama and proud of this country and said there stories would not be possible anywhere else. Now here is the speech that Michelle Obama made in Wisconsin, where Obama won by a large margin. Note the applause after she says "proud of my country." It's obvious that she is proud of the record participation in the voting process. Watch the video and see if you agree? http://youtube.com/watch?v=Nh1TddL9YvQ&feature=related As for where Obama stands on important issues like the economy visit his website. http://www.barackobama.com/issues/economy/
  • by Angry Location: Richmond on May 13, 2008 at 11:35 AM
    I have to say I am not a racist, but I will not be voting for Obama. It has nothing to do with the color of his skin but simply his lack of inexperience in office, his and his wife lack of patriotism. As far as being uneducated I have a college degree and beyond as well as does everyone in my family that will also not be voting for him. Nor am I an inbred. People that make those comments should stop and think before making them. Also when Michelle Obama said she was only proud to be an American once in her life she is disgracing all the men and women who fight for our country as well as the people that march and fight for civil rights. She should stop and think about her free education to the Ivy League school she attended before making statements such as only proud to be an American once in her life.
  • by JB Location: KY on May 13, 2008 at 04:13 AM
    I am so sick of going to these other news sites and reading how others call us "indbred" "uneducated" and so on. We have as much right to our vote as any other state, regardless of who we choose to vote for. I am also tired of hearing I am "racist" if I don't support Obama for President...excuse me, but I am NOT racist, I just don't particularly like the man's policies. I really don't like any of the candidates that are running 100%. I have to say I have never been so sick of any presidential race before. All the hatred and nastiness from both sides.
  • by Zatoichi Location: Richmond on May 13, 2008 at 02:32 AM
    Patrick, you're right Obama is not a muslim and not a Christian either. But he is a socialist and Marxist and an opportunist.
  • by GhettoBoy Location: Richmond on May 12, 2008 at 07:15 PM
    Amen to Laura-when will everyone wake up and realize this?

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