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An Election That Will Pit Change vs. Experience

Reflecting the themes of each of their campaigns, supporters of John McCain and Barack Obama each have their own different top reasons for backing them. And it’s no surprise, in a Gallup poll conducted May 19-21, that change and experience top the lists. The margin of error is 5 percent.

Asked to say in their own words, why they backed Obama, 26 percent said he would “bring change/a new approach/something different.” Seventeen percent said they did so because they don’t want to see another Republican in the White House. Ten percent each say their choice was determined by the fact they are Democrats, and an equal number say it is because they agree with Obama’s policies.

For McCain supporters, 28 percent cite his experience, 12 percent say they back him because they agree with his views, 9 percent say it is because they are Republicans and 8 percent because McCain is a conservative.