CNN Poll: What's most important to voters?
August 13th, 2012
04:23 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: What's most important to voters?

Washington (CNN) - How important have vice-presidential picks been in past elections?

Fairly important, but not as crucial as the presidential debates, according to a new national poll released as the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced the moderators of this autumn's four general election debates.

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A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicates that 57% of Americans say that in past elections, presidential debates were very important to their vote for president, with 46% saying that the choice of a running a running mate was very important.

The poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, before Saturday's announcement by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was his running mate. This poll can not be seen as a reaction to the Ryan pick.

Forty-one percent said positive television commercials were very important to their vote, 31% saying that convention speeches were very important, one in four said the vice presidential debates were very important, and 13% said that negative TV ads were very important to their vote for president.

"Independents tended to ranked most of those items as less important to them than Democrats and Republicans did," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That's probably because independents are not partisans and tend to tune out overtly political messages. That, in turn, may make it difficult for either candidate to reach this critical bloc of voters, even on debate nights."

The debate commission announced Monday that Candy Crowley, CNN's chief political correspondent and host of "State of the Union," will be the first woman in 20 years to moderate a presidential debate. She'll host the second showdown between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney on October 16 in Hempstead, New York, at Hoftsra University.

Other debate moderators announced Monday included PBS' Jim Lehrer, who will host the October 3 debate in Denver, and CBS' Bob Schieffer, who will host an October 22 debate in Boca Raton, Florida. Martha Raddatz of ABC News will moderate the vice presidential debate, which will be held October 11 in Danville, Kentucky.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International on August 7-8, with,1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story

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Filed under: 2012 • Candy Crowley • CNN poll • Polls • Presidential Debate • Vice presidential debate
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    Gee, let's compare records, shall we? Mittens made his millions in private equity. This is different than being a venture capitalist, who invests his/her own money into start-ups (such as tech companies) and does everything possible to make it grow and prosper. Mittens used other people's money to target healthy companies, suck out their assets, borrow against the company to pay himself and his cronies millions, then abandon the debt-ridden company to fend for itself. And don't forget that Mittens had to be coddled into taking a job at Bain in the first place (just ask Bill Bain himself for details). Oh, and Mittens hasn't worked in 10 years (yet he won't release his tax records ... you'd think they'd be pretty straight-forward ...).

    President Obama's policies kept our country from going into a Great Depression. The Dow was at 7,000 when he took office and is now over 13,000. 4.5 million jobs have been created or saved, and we've had 29 straight months of private sector job growth. Bin Laden is dead and GM is not only alive, it is the top auto maker IN THE WORLD, the rescue of which Mittens (and private money firms like Bain Capital) were afraid to touch and would have decided to let die (along with the millions of supply-chain jobs that go into making cars, parts and accessories).

    I'd rather have President Obama at the helm, not some desperate wannabe who's not only out of touch with our
    country and her people, but sees us as just another entity to exploit for his own monetary gain.

    President Obama's leadership, concern and actions have helped our country, despite the GOP's vow to block everything he has tried to do, regardless of how much harm it does to our country.

    Obama/Biden 2012
    FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!

    August 13, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Values, huh? Gee, let's compare records, shall we? Mittens made his millions in private equity. This is different than being a venture capitalist, who invests his/her own money into start-ups (such as tech companies) and does everything possible to make it grow and prosper. Mittens used other people's money to target healthy companies, suck out their assets, borrow against the company to pay himself and his cronies millions, then abandon the debt-ridden company to fend for itself. And don't forget that Mittens had to be coddled into taking a job at Bain in the first place (just ask Bill Bain himself for details). Oh, and Mittens hasn't worked in 10 years (yet he won't release his tax records ... you'd think they'd be pretty straight-forward ...).

    President Obama's policies kept our country from going into a Great Depression. The Dow was at 7,000 when he took office and is now over 13,000. 4.5 million jobs have been created or saved, and we've had 29 straight months of private sector job growth. Bin Laden is dead and GM is not only alive, it is the top auto maker IN THE WORLD, the rescue of which Mittens (and private money firms like Bain Capital) were afraid to touch and would have decided to let die (along with the millions of supply-chain jobs that go into making cars, parts and accessories).

    I'd rather have President Obama at the helm, not some desperate wannabe who's not only out of touch with our
    country and her people, but sees us as just another entity to exploit for his own monetary gain.

    President Obama's leadership, concern and actions have helped our country, despite the GOP's vow to block everything he has tried to do, regardless of how much harm it does to our country.

    Obama/Biden 2012
    FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!

    August 13, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    W was a businessman.

    Cheney believes deficits don't matter.

    We can't afford another 4 or 8 years of THAT!!!!!

    August 13, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Read "Sons of Boss" It will open your eyes to something you need to know.

    August 13, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    For a little humorous relief, you can now watch "Game Change" on your PC. It's always good for laughs.

    August 13, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.
    I need to see willard's unreleased taxes so i can make an informed decision. Why is he denying that to us ?
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________
    He loves to see Obama/ Biden 2012 squirm and spend all their money whining about tax returns while voters laugh at their pettiness. Meanwhile, Romney/ Ryan 2012 delivers plans, a vision forward, objectives and ideas for America. Do you really think whining about tax returns and avoiding any discussion about their performance in the past 3 1/2 years will be a winning strategy for Obama? Maybe not.

    August 13, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  7. classc

    Anybody voting Republican has got to be RICH or just plain old NUTS!

    August 13, 2012 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Stability !

    Thats not what Romney and Ryan are about .

    Deregulation is not stable unless the laws protecting citizens is invoiced.

    Romney and Ryan feel thats it's good for the fox to run the hen house.

    GW BUSH ALL OVER AGAIN. Only with a younger Cheney.

    August 13, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    President Obama, with his faults and all, is twice the man this twit will ever be.
    The flip flopper is still trying to find out where he stoods and where he stands. He has changed his mind so many times that maybe that smirky creepy look is part of how his brain is no longer functioning because all he does anymore is try to rememeber what he said so that he either stands by it or now stands against it.
    Character and ethics is important. The bully bishop has none of it.

    August 13, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  10. SafeJourney

    Jobs, Repubs ran on JOBS in 2010. Where are the JOBS repubs?

    August 13, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  11. twinmom2

    America needs a long-term view......As my family's financial manager, I know we cannot spend more than we make.
    I only care what President Obama does with my money, not what Mitt does with his. Yes, tax receipts are our money.
    The next economic crisis is the most predictable ....look over the Atlantic to Spain and Greece. We must be determined to take care of the country's needs and forego the wants.......a lesson I've taught to elementary students for years. They see to understand....security only comes from your assets...not your liabilites. At 45 I support Ryan's plan even though it means I will not be given the same plan. It's inevitable that the current plan change, when it was enacted people lived to 65 years, not 80 years!!!

    August 13, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  12. Newk36

    Well y'all got change if you voted for Obama. That is for sure. To you Obama supporters who said in '07–'08 "anybody but Bush' with a ton of animosity, I say "anybody but Obama" with the same animosity that all of you poured on President Bush.
    This is going to be one interesting election.

    August 14, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  13. hate from the left but mostly lies

    @ v_mag Proof is the capital word here. I will belive none of that bs and until I see proof. And does anyone have an answer to why Obama deserves a second term?

    August 14, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
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