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BettyConfidential.com’s Potential First Ladies Survey: Full Analysis
Women voice strong opinions on Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain
-Julie Ryan Evans
“Women have been front and center in this campaign, and the focus on the first ladies this year has been more intense than ever,” said Julie Ryan Evans, editor-at-large for BettyConfidential.com. “We wanted to hear from women their thoughts on the potential first ladies – everything from whose style they like better to if some of the rumors and gossip that’s been floated around matter to them.”
Do Women Like the Potential First Ladies?
• When asked if they like Michelle Obama, 80 percent said yes; 74 percent said they admire her.
“She [Michelle Obama] is smart, savvy and funny! The love she has for her husband and family is not fake. I also think she is a no-nonsense orator,” stated one respondent.
• 63 percent said that Michelle Obama inspires them to achieve greater heights in their own lives.
“She [Cindy McCain]) is a quiet role model for young women. More and more impressive the more you know about her,” stated another.
“From the data in both surveys and the sheer volume of response to the survey on Michelle Obama – which was three times greater than the response to our survey on Cindy McCain – it seems that Michelle Obama sparks more passion in and a positive response from women,” Ryan Evans continued. “Still, overall, women really respond quite favorably to both of the potential first ladies and seem to respect and admire them.”
Whose Style Do Women Like Better?
Michelle Obama’s apparently. Of those responding to the Obama survey, 72 percent said they like Michelle Obama’s style better. 64 percent of those who responded to the poll on Cindy McCain said they like McCain’s style better.
Who’s the Better Role Model?
Again, Michelle Obama led this category. 84 percent of respondents said they feel Michelle Obama is a good role model for young girls. 61 percent said they feel Cindy McCain is a good role model for young girls.
Stated one respondent: “I believe Michelle is the real role model for girls: Study, believe in yourself, and trust in others to do the right thing.”
Who would make a better First Lady?
When it comes to attributes of the potential first ladies, 83 percent felt Michelle Obama’s impressive career and educational accomplishments are important attributes for a first lady. While 95 percent believe that Cindy McCain’s extensive charity work around the world is an important attribute for a First Lady.
More women (69 percent) feel that if her husband is elected Cindy McCain should have a role in his administration than feel Michelle Obama (53 percent) should if Barack is elected.
When it comes to improving our nation’s image, however, more feel Michelle Obama would have a positive influence. 80 percent feel that Michelle Obama as first lady would improve our nation’s image, while 20 percent said she would detract from it. 52 percent said Cindy McCain as first lady would improve our nation’s image; 25 percent she would have no impact on it; and 24 percent said she would detract from our nation’s image.
What about the Rumors?
“In general women were outraged that we’d even ask some of these speculative questions based on rumors in the media about the candidates they support,” said Ryan Evans. “But we asked a balanced amount about each candidate and since they seem to be a staple of every election in recent memory, we really wanted to find out how they influence women’s opinions. And boy did they tell us!”
• Only 20 percent of respondents feel Michelle Obama is anti-American, but 46 percent said if in fact the Obamas are Muslim – suggesting that Barak Obama may not have been truthful – that would negatively affect their opinion of them.
“I would not mind if they are Muslim, I am more concerned that they are liars,” said one respondent. “Who wants a liar ruling our country? I would rather have a racist who is honest, than a gentleman who lies – at least I would know where I stand.”
• 49 percent of respondents said if rumors about Michelle and Barack Obama’s ties to an Iraqi billionaire are proven true, that would negatively impact their opinion of her.
“It has already been proven to my satisfaction that the Obamas are neither Muslim nor connected to Iraqi billionaires, and I am extremely offended at the suggestion they’ve lied about it,” stated another respondent.
• 61 percent of respondents said they do NOT feel the fact that the McCains own 13 cars and multiple cars make them out of touch with most Americans. 39 percent said it does.
“I think the cars/homes issue is pretty irrelevant,” states another respondent. “When she took over the distributorship from her father, it was small. She is the one who has built a management team and grown the business. She’s quite a good role model for young women in business.”
• Respondents were split when it came to the circumstances surrounding the McCains courtship. 51 percent said the fact Cindy met and dated John McCain while he was still married makes them respect her less. 49 percent said it does diminish some of their respect for her.
• 82 percent of women said the fact that Cindy McCain was once addicted to pain killers does NOT negatively affect their opinion of her.
“Although she did things in her past that I’m sure she is not proud of, it appears that she has worked to redeem her bad choices,” Concluded one respondent.
Will They Sway Votes?
Like them or not, women say their opinions of the potential first ladies won’t impact their vote. 71 percent of women in both surveys said their opinion of the first ladies will NOT affect their vote for the candidates.
Survey Specifics / Methodology
BettyConfidential.com conducted two separate surveys through an online survey system. The first on Michelle Obama ran from 7 a.m. Friday, September 12, until 8 p.m. September 17, Pacific Coast Time. Responding to the survey was a random sampling of 319 women from across the United States. The second survey on Cindy McCain ran from 8 a.m., Friday, October 10 to 8 p.m. Friday, October 17, Pacific Coast Time. Responding to that survey were 124 women from across the United States.