For one voter, the choice is down to just two candidates.
35,000 FEET OVER THE SOUTH (CNN) – From the middle seat of a cross country flight to Atlanta, Cynthia Oglesby studied a newspaper account of Thursday night's CNN debate in Las Vegas.
A case worker on the graveyard shift outside Los Angeles, she missed the event live because of work, but was eager to see the details.
The 50-year-old mother of two grown children has been closely watching the presidential campaign. She wants to see California make a difference in the February 5 primaries.
"You do your homework, and then you don't lose any sleep over your choice", she said.
Blunt and plain-spoken (she told a reporter on the plane he looked older than his age), Oglesby assessed a race for her that's down to two candidates. She's narrowed her choice to Sen. Hillary Clinton or Sen. Barack Obama.
"I like that lady", she said, pointing to a photograph of Clinton, "and not because she's a woman."
Olgesby said she has followed Clinton since her days as first lady, noting "I know she'd be a better president than her husband."
She cites experience and intelligence, and a "gut feeling" for liking Clinton. "She has the country's best interests at heart. Maybe we haven't gotten some of the answers we should have from her, but she's been pretty straight forward. She's been evasive on some things, but they all have. You're not going to have answers for everthing."
She says she also likes Obama, but "he's got to show me something. I'm not sold on him at this point."
Experience is her main reason for leaning towards Clinton over Obama at this stage. She said, "it's too early. He's too young. That's his biggest downfall. Presidents have to be of a certain age to be successful. He's experienced, but not enough to run the country."
But returning to the gender issue, Oglesby admits it's a factor, for her and for the country. "It's time for a woman to run things", laughing about what "you men" have done.
"As a woman, I'd like to see her win", she adds, saying that will be about 20 percent of her final decision.
Pausing, she questions whether the country is ready for a woman president. "We"ve come a long way, "she said, but said it may not be far enough.
–CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk