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Once Upon a Time in America  Nov 01, 2011

This is a random telephone sample of 1,500 American citizens between April 23-May 1, 2008- who say they are going to vote in the next US election for President. (62%) of American phone numbers dialed where a person was contacted and asked to participate were willing to answer these questions from a ‘Canadian polling company in Vancouver British Columbia’. Others-either said “No” or simply ‘hung up’. We believe our ability to derive these numbers in a cost effective manner and with accuracy is predicated in large part on callers promise to be no longer than 2 minutes--- (hereinafter the ROBBINS 2 minute poll). This poll was not funded from Canada-however can fairly be deemed to be internally funded.
Methodology-We calculate the margin of error as 2.6% based on the formula 1/square root of ‘n’-where ‘n’ is the size of the sample—1,500 or 1/square root of 1500. The confidence interval is 95% + (a function of 19 times out of 20)-with a note to standard deviations from mean-predicated on samples within the overall sample based on 100-and 50 response size measurements.

Question #1
At this time in America’s history, which candidate for President is the most likely- in your opinion- to produce the most positive benefits for citizens of the United States- both domestically and in terms of world opinion-if they are elected President?
Barack Obama    34 %
Hillary Clinton    26 %
John McCain    26 %
Undecided    11 %
Question #2
In your opinion which of the following candidates for President, would be most inclined to “sacrifice their own personal ambitions for the greater good of the country”?
Barack Obama    36 %
John McCain    26 %
Hillary Clinton    24 %
Undecided    12 %
Question #3
I am offering two sets of two’ tickets’ President and Vice-President for the White House in November 09, please pick which you prefer at this moment in time?
Barack Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi    43 %
John McCain and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee    41 %
Undecided    16 %
Question #4
I am offering two sets of two’ tickets’ President and Vice-President for the White House in November 09, please pick which you prefer at this moment in time? (second offer)
Barack Obama and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards    44 %
John McCain and former Senator Tennessee Senator and actor Fred Thompson    39 %
Undecided    15 %
Barack Obama maintains a distant lead on both his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and his likely opponent for President-John McCain. He remains among American ‘likely voters’ the clear front-runner for the White House according to this ROBBINS poll.
These numbers suggest that among decided “voter/respondents” Senator Obama has (39%) support. If you remove Senator McCain’s support among ‘decided’ respondents in question #1-Obama leads Hillary Clinton (56-44%). He has a similar lead over Arizona Senator John McCain-based on data collected with all three candidates offered as choices –minus- Hillary Clinton’s support.
Measured against anticipated random statistical outcomes from the sampling of ‘decided’ respondents Barack Obama is (20%) above his ‘portion of expected random selection’ or (6.66%) of decided respondents that he thus ‘takes’ in total from both Hillary Clinton and John McCain. In contract both Senators McCain and Clinton achieve support from ‘decided’ respondents which is thus (3.33%) their proportioned random support.
Recently, Obama lost to Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania but not as badly as early public opinion polling had forecast.
There was no conspicuous feedback on the Reverend Wright issue of speaking to the press-throughout this poll- which seems odd given the attention it attracts in the mainstream press, however no questions were asked by ROBBINS in this regard.
A victory in Indiana and a thumping of Senator Clinton (12% or >) in North Carolina would cause an exodus of outstanding Super Delegates to flock to Obama-and in the case of North Carolina provoke diminished influence for John Edwards, particularly if Obama can attract improved numbers from exit polling among white males. If this happens what percentage of these ‘new voters’ (if any) can we attribute to Barack Obama distancing himself from his former pastor, Reverend Wright? Obama’s opportunities-derived from what would otherwise be considered negative political public relations-exist in large part because the United States is going through tough times-in the sense that the war remains unpopular and the economy is going through many bumps. As a consequence, the ability of the press to smooth open speech to compartments of sound bytes may be mitigated.
What happens-in our professional opinion- is that there is much greater tolerance for what people have to say-including (former) Reverend Wright. Let’s be straight-African Americans were being lynched, murdered and grossly discriminated against 30-40 years ago. African American associates of ROBBINS-including one man doing business in Chicago-who is originally from the south-will tell you they REMAIN reluctant to drive down any highway in the deep south-late at night.
“Glen, remember-I didn’t come to America through Ellis Island-my family came as slaves on a boat.”
African Americans have been treated poorly-and have given more to America than they have taken. Reverend Wright needs to say what he said because of the content of ‘truth’ in much of it. This is the Malcolm X part of the equation as Senator Obama moves forward. It cannot be denied and it is a stark reminder-of the realities of America’s starker-darker history-not a guilt trip-more of a manifestation of real politic-domestic style. In contrast, Senator Obama is now liberated to speak to the Martin Luther King elements of peace and reconciliation which is non-threatening and certainly speaks not only to many African-American voters but also to voters of other race and ethnic origin-and more particularly to the ‘white side’ of Senator Obama-which originates with his mother. This ‘transition’ was necessary-and thorough-and is now completed.
In this scenario/metaphor the metaphysical inference may be that God-perhaps an angry God-an Old Testament God/a competitive challenge to, yet an affirmation of Jewish ‘faith’-has made Black people his chosen people-and thus Barack Obama becomes the embodiment of a new God who thus bestows this new agent of change-igniting potential for reconciliation between America and the rest of the world.
The ‘other’ implication of Reverend Wright’s message is that Barack Obama ought not to forget where ‘he came from’ as he moves toward running the country as the first visible minority President of the United States. Obama’s former pastor defines the state of the nation as seen by the downtrodden and oppressed— from the bona fides of factual historical documentation- a stark contradiction as the torch is passed from the ‘son of the father’ who describes Obama’s origins of his journey to the White House now perceived through the prism of hope. Strategically, the Wright message is to the Super Delegates-that the black community will not be denied-while Obama who has a Caucasian mother speaks to both sides of this racial equation. The image is the sacrifice of leaving one environment to ‘become’ the oversight of a greater one-the natural outgrowth of the process of becoming President of the United States---and all of its citizens---the rich, the poor, the content, the frustrated etc. A natural evolution of the change advocated by Obama from the beginning-which continues to be supported by many in the country.
The overall political affect in our opinion is what ROBBINS refers to as ‘manifest leverage’. Democrat Super-Delegates cannot ignore Barack Obama as the next heir to the crown of ‘fighters for the people’. The Black history of Obama’s political evolution through the former pastor of the Illinois Senator is that the Democrats WILL lose this voting block in the general election if an unjust outcome is perceived-which can only truly happen if Senator Obama loses. Wright’s message-apparently misinterpreted-is that the person in the name of Barrack Obama clearly represents Black voters—and will (if elected President) be a Black President beyond the colour of his skin—no matter the outcomes of Democrat primaries-while Senator Obama represents that he is Black and White---and represents all Americans.
The net affect of this much media driven turmoil for Senator Obama is positive. The issue of race insofar as his candidacy is concerned has been addressed—literally and figuratively. The vetting has been done—a win for him will not be accompanied by ‘voter hangover’.
Hillary Clinton has no such opportunity-as the Florida and Michigan non-events relative to the Democratic process of selecting a nominee-do not make her a potential victim of political and media discrimination-as these results were not legitimately won-and if they were to stand would be emblazoned in the public’s mind as a stark reminder of how historically-the privileged in the United States (and elsewhere) {and the Clinton’s did not possess $100 million while in office} constantly change the rules to suit their needs and ambitions.
The fact of the matter-and I am speaking now in terms of politics as it uses entertainment to achieve greater media penetration-is that Barack Obama IS the centre-piece of the show-the race for the White House. Even people who support Clinton or McCain WANT to watch Obama. What this means-at this time in American political history-there is an opportunity for a story to be told-which is very different from the same types of ‘Caucasian centric’ political stories that are summarily told each and every Presidential election.
Obama’s sustained popularity over the last three months may also be explained by the suggestion that fewer people are currently paying attention to the race, as some respondents are calling the Democratic contest ‘ridiculous’, ‘all about the media’ and other indications that they are frustrated- and like ROBBINS “Will it play in Peoria?” poll- have simply made up their minds-particularly as the race for the Democratic nomination between Senator(s) Clinton and Obama are concerned.
Our second question-sacrifice for the ‘greater good’ gives us some insight into why Senator Obama is the clear frontrunner for the White House at this time (and has been since January 28, 2008). He is clearly seen as the most likely to “sacrifice his personal ambitions”, while his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton is seen as the least likely to “sacrifice her personal ambitions”. John McCain- despite sacrificing for his country (torture-incarceration) in Viet Nam and serving in the Senate for many years-fails to benefit-in fact loses some support-with this question.
The argument that Obama needs to be properly tested---is proposed by the establishment-the same establishment from which Senator Obama proposes change-and who are deciding what the ‘political null hypothesis of the Presidential election ought to be’. If the operative word of Obama’s campaign is “Change”-and as we have said before---this “Change” captures the imagination of voters in more populated parts of the country-a fact unequivocally supported from significant evidence-it would seem that both Hillary Clinton and John McCain would have to explain-why such simplistic sloganeering has been so successful. Obama’s agency for change supported by educated people with money-who live in cities and suburbs-is the exact market the establishment cherishes most-and Obama holds this audience-yet the establishment including the media seems intent on making the case that fundamental change isn’t what people want-they’ve somehow been seduced into this-at a time when the war in Iraq is unpopular-and the economy is down. What Reverend Wright has exposed---is the true face behind the mask of the establishment-or that change the people want will ultimately be defined by those in the establishment or alternatively those who have ties to the establishment-and not necessarily by the candidate Obama or the people who support change and his candidacy to represent the same.
Mike Huckabee may or may not be everything John McCain wants in a Vice-President, (perhaps he is?) but this poll reveals that he may be McCain’s best choice among two potential running mates who have to be seriously considered on any short list. He is positive, hopeful, and someone who Americans like and trust. Former Arkansas Governor Huckabee’s positive message of hope may trump the requisite discussions of macro and micro economics---or policy considerations to the extent that Americans can see the light at the end of the tunnel of despair. The other Republican utilized in this ROBBINS poll, Fred Thompson, like Mike Huckabee from the southeast United States has less information (based on the Presidential race) to draw from, however he is well liked by Conservatives and is very good on camera. Remember, they made fun of Ronald Reagan being an actor!
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is the third most powerful politician in the United States. In this ROBBINS poll she adds (22%) value to Senator Obama’s averaged totals from question #1 and 2 (hereinafter Obama average totals (1-2) or OAT12) If current President Bush and Vice-President Chaney are considered ‘lame duck’ than de facto Nancy Pelosi is the most powerful politician in the U.S. A ranking of 1st and 3rd numerically averages second or Vice-President. She is also an (attractive) woman like Senator Clinton and would according to these ROBBINS numbers easily fill the void eventually left by New York Senator Clinton-without the baggage of the sometimes over zealous competitive spirit of Ms. Clinton during the campaign. Ms. Pelosi is also Catholic-which means that on the basis of gender and religion she is in our professional opinion the BEST choice for Barack Obama-notwithstanding former Senator John Edwards nominally superior numbers (against Fred Thompson).
Given the negativity being attracted from the race at this point, and the difficulty this may have on Democrats as it drags on for more weeks, I am surprised that Ms. Pelosi-who has exhibited communication in the past which leans towards support for Obama, and who also does not believe the Obama/Clinton ticket is necessarily a good one—does not immediately endorse Mr. Obama now-and wake up the party to the reality of the potential hangover from this (now) ‘woozy’ looking race for the Democratic nomination.
Mr. Edwards would help Barack Obama with working poor and white male voters. He raises Senator Obama’s OAT12 totals by (25.5%). This is in large part because he-like Hillary Clinton is very popular in smaller population demographics. John Edwards advantage over Speaker Pelosi could well be short lived-(if the public were to better understand beyond assumptions made about her from her surname)-which ROBBINS has made no effort to quantify (or even consider)-if we knew of her San Francisco/Catholic/friend to the Dalai Lamai (and increased support of Buddhism in the United States-from some excellent surveys conducted in the United States) credentials-which a Vice-President role would surely disclose to a broader public.
As it stands, Speaker Pelosi’s political position along with her demographic support potential-including the fact that she is from California---- makes her very attractive candidate indeed. I would frankly like to see how she looks next to the Senator.
With New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as Secretary of State (I muse)-his tremendous credentials under President Bill Clinton make for tremendous possibilities in this Cabinet role- and overall make these types of public opinion ‘name dropping’ with the real potential for future announcement--- sufficient to decrease the undecided element of the race for the White House dramatically---- at least in this ROBBINS poll.
Arizona Senator and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain will be at the finish line in November-make no mistake about that. If you thought the Clinton’s were competitive-I submit McCain will be no different. McCain’s problem is that he is one Republican candidate vs. two Democrats. Because the Democratic race is so competitive he is less likely to get the necessary attention to make any headway based on the fact that coefficients are still holding support for one Democrat or the other in excess of John McCain’s ability to hold more than his share.
There might be some consideration in the McCain camp to be more visible with a short list of running mates-including those included in the ROBBINS Presidential ticket questions herein. He is continuing to be at a disadvantage as one candidate against two-even if it is just to get attention-notwithstanding the fact that much of the Democratic attention has been negative. McCain’s appeal isn’t charisma—it’s the fact that he doesn’t quit—he simply doesn’t quit. The visual of being ‘paired’ with others will provide Americans with an opportunity to see McCain, a known maverick as moving forward in a working partnership with another-likely a much more positive image than the current one being conveyed by Senators Clinton and Obama.

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