. . . with 17% Still Undecided


November 04, 1992|By RICK HOROWITZ

We've got late-breaking numbers from the Ten-Foot Poll, the country's most reliable exit survey of 1,261 randomly invented voters. And just as we predicted, a clear pattern has already begun to emerge from yesterday's balloting.

Asked which candidate they preferred to vote for for president, the results were quite overwhelming, as you can see:

The Winning Candidate: 71%

A Losing Candidate: 22%

Doesn't Matter: 7%

And this was true among all major voting groups, and in all regions of the country. Our sample was also asked to rate the relative effectiveness of the various themes employed in the final weeks of the campaign. Opinions here were a good deal more mixed:

Trickle Down: 22%

Tax and Spend: 21%

Trick or Treat: 41%

This and That: 16%

Obviously, voters had some lingering questions about each of the candidates. So we also asked our sample to tell us what they considered the single most important question of Campaign '92:

''Who am I?'': 27%

''Why am I here?'': 29%

''How can I be sure, in a world that's constantly changing?'': 44%

''Change'' was the key to another of our survey findings as well. Our sample was asked to match the three major candidates with essential elements of their campaign appeals:

1. Bush a. Change

2. Clinton b. Change

3. Perot c. Change

Fully 83% of our respondents were able to match them up successfully. So the broader message was clearly getting through to voters -- but what about specific issues? For instance:

''The Los Angeles riots had a . . . ''

Very important effect on the campaign: 16%

Somewhat important effect on the campaign: 20%

What Los Angeles riots?: 64%

And consider these results:

''The former Soviet Union is . . . ''

Sliding into ruin: 7%

Still holding nuclear weapons: 11%

On the other side of France: 82%

Campaign events, meanwhile, seemed much more memorable to voters, even if our sample didn't always approve of what it saw:

Bill Clinton playing the saxophone: 43% approval

George Bush singing ''The Media Blues'': 41% approval

Ross Perot dancing to ''Crazy'': Too perfect for words.

Led by Mr. Perot, of course, Campaign '92 broke many of the old rules about the way presidential campaigns are conducted; we asked our sample to rate some of these changes, too. For example:

''In 1992, my most important source for campaign news was . . . ''

Larry King: 36%

Orson Swindle: 39%

The Guy in the Chicken Suit: 25%

But the polls themselves were important, as our sample demonstrated -- these voters even had their favorite types of surveys:

''I prefer polls . . . ''

Which include ''none of the above'': 22%

Which don't include ''none of the above'': 23%

Which have some ''none of the above'' and some without ''none of the above'': 24%

None of the above: 31%

And finally, with Election Day behind us, are voters feeling good about the future? It certainly looks that way:

''A new day is . . . ''

Dawning: 28%

Waning: 13%

Quiet, and it's about time: 59%

Margin of error: Plus or minus four years.

Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist.

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