16 December 2006

Eight in ten Americans questioned in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this week said they are comfortable with a woman or an African American as president.

One section of the poll, rather than asking about specific candidates, polled respondents on what characteristics would make-or-break a candidate for them.

Among some of the eye-grabbing findings:

On the question of religion, 19% of Americans said they would be "very uncomfortable" with, or have "some reservations" about voting for a Jewish person for president, while some 53% said they would feel that way about a Mormon - suggesting Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a hill to climb there.

More Americans (54%) have reservations about an evangelical Christian in the Oval Office than those who do not have such concerns (41%).

And, more Americans expressed concerns about having a member of the Bush cabinet as the next president (59%) than about having a gay or lesbian in the White House (53%).

There's a list of about ten or so characteristics in a table within the poll's PDF file. Click here and scroll about two-thirds of the way down the file, to question 17, to see more.

There are also tables that measure positive and negative feelings toward president Bush, the two major parties and about a dozen would-be presidential candiates (scroll to question 5).

Other findings of note:

Seven in ten expect little change in the president's Iraq policy. Some 41% said the president heard the voters' ask for change on election day, but is ignoring the message. Some 18% believe he never got that message.

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