Exit Polls Part Two

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Coast-to-coast coverage continues! From Georgia: Aaron Gold-Sheinin, a reporter with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. From New Mexico: Brian Sanderoff, the president of Research & Polling, Inc. in New Mexico. From Connecticut: Lucy Nalpathanchil, a reporter for WNPR in Connecticut. From California: Ruben Navarrette, Jr. syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, and editorial writer for the San Diego Union Tribune. Plus, our informal, unofficial, thoroughly unscientific Brian Lehrer show exit poll continues with more of your calls, and WNYC's own Richard Hake checks in from the New York Giants' tickertape parade.


Aaron Gold-Sheinin, Richard Hake, Ruben Navarrette, Jr., Lucy Nalpathanchil and Brian Sanderoff

Comments [36]

Paula Beckenstein from Chappaqua, NY

On todays show you asked for a call from anyone who voted for JFK in 1960.I did so in Brooklyn after seeing him campaigning on Kings Highway. It was my first time voting and it was very exciting. However I didn't really know the mechanics of the voting booth and actually cancelled my own vote after voting. I didn't know that until later explaining it to my then boyfriend, now husband.I had pushed the switch down and then up before exiting the booth with the lever. I have always regretted that mistake.

Feb. 05 2008 11:56 PM
John from Brooklyn

I wish my voice and vote could count - but I'm a registered Independent in NYC, so I couldn't put my vote in for Obama waaaah! Why don't we have a California-style option here?

Feb. 05 2008 09:22 PM


Thank you for your comments. If you're still reading, I offer these retorts to key points of your argument.

"...because he's going to do the right thing when elected?"

Was authorizing the war the right thing?

"...then his behavior in the Exelon matter would only make that true if the right thing involves protecting large, moneyed interests over the interests of the people."

I have two names you should look up before accusing Obama of protecting "moneyed interests".

1. Mark Rich
2. Frank Giustra

I respect your opinion and your support of Mrs.Clinton. But if you're trying to convince people to follow suit, talking about who panders to big money isn't a can of worms you should open.

Feb. 05 2008 04:31 PM
Vicki from NYC

I support Obama because of his intelligence, political savvy and experience. While Sen. Clinton was wife to the President, Obama was active and respected in Illinois politics. As a community organizer, he helped get asbestos removed from public housing. As a Democrat in the Republican majority in the Illinois Senate for 6 of 8 years there, he gained passage of initiatives with bilateral support: e.g., middle-class tax cuts, public education improvements, and safeguards against wrongful convictions in capital cases. His Republican counterparts gladly worked with him because he would listen, disagree without offending, and persuasively support his positions.

On foreign policy, Senator Obama has experienced, knowledgeable advisors on board--including veterans of the foreign service, National Security Administration and other political offices of previous presidential administrations and prominent academicians (and dozens of Clinton Administration officials and staff). Like Clinton, in the US Senate Obama has been a formidable advocate for constituents, with impressive approval ratings (though his cut across party lines). And like Senator Clinton, Obama enjoys the backing of the Democratic establishment; but he also has commands the respect of Republicans (see Washington Post Op-Ed, "Why Republicans Like Obama").

On top of this, he is inspiring and consistent in supporting his beliefs.

Feb. 05 2008 02:00 PM

You were quite charming this morning Brian, enjoyed the show and did I detect a note of glee when you played that theme song..? Being a Legal Alien I can't vote,most frustrating.

Feb. 05 2008 12:39 PM
Paul from Brooklyn

The illusion of Democracy. How quaint.

Feb. 05 2008 12:30 PM


I don't know what causes independent voters to vote one way or another (and I'm not sure how you can either, unless you have some mind-meld capabilities you've witheld from this board). I do know that I trust what Krugman writes, and that it certainly helped to inform my decision. When discussing the issue with many of my friends (also not independent voters) Krugman's words have given some of the Obama supporters reason to pause. That and the article about Exelon make me very worried about an Obama administration.

I don't have any reason to believe, however, that my thought process on the matter is representative of any other group of people. (In fact, I have evidence that suggests the opposite conclusion.) But I do think that these are very important bits of information that people who are considering supporting Obama should consider. Are people supporting him because he inspires them, or because he's going to do the right thing when elected? If it's the former, then nothing these issues wouldn't change anything. If it is the latter, then his behavior in the Exelon matter would only make that true if the right thing involves protecting large, moneyed interests over the interests of the people.

Feb. 05 2008 12:16 PM
Judy from East Brunswick, NJ

I voted for Obama. I want a real change, I am tired of seeing the same two families in the white house for the past 20 years. With Clinton we will see the same old faces in her cabinet as her husband's. Obama aministration will be filled with experienced and talented people, supporters like Tom Daschle, Ted Kennedy, Kathleen Sebelius just to name a few.

As far as the healthcare plan, Clinton's will mandate payroll deductions. All these plans are just proposals, it is the congress that will have the final say.

I disagree with Clinton's stand on the war. She voted for the war and now does not have the courage to admit her mistake.

One last point, when Clinton says that she has run tough campaigns and is used to the republican attacks. I can't seem to recall any such race, the one against Guliani for senate was going to be tough one but unfortunately Guliani had to pull out because of health reasons.

Feb. 05 2008 12:16 PM


Took the words out of my mouth.

Feb. 05 2008 12:00 PM
Mark from Brooklyn

Linda, the Republican animus toward Hilary doesn't *have* a non-Rush dimension. It's irrational and unfathomable. And dangerous, IMO.

Feb. 05 2008 11:57 AM
Mark from Brooklyn

Ron Paul is the Ralph Nader of '08. Amazing how history repeats!

Feb. 05 2008 11:55 AM

What Paul Krugman writes won't win independent voters.

What David Brooks writes might.

Feb. 05 2008 11:53 AM
Elles Vilhms from Plandome, NY

Those democrats that live here voted for Clinton. If Obama is the democratic candidate, many of these democratic votes will go comfortably for Mc Cain.

Feb. 05 2008 11:51 AM
David from NYC


I understand your feelings perfectly!

Feb. 05 2008 11:50 AM
Linda from Long Island

Re: #19 - does anyone else think the feared response of the Republicans to fight Clinton like mad dogs is overstated? And can anyone who thinks the Republicans have a LEGITIMATE beef with the Clintons articulate it in a non-Rush Limbaugh way?

Feb. 05 2008 11:48 AM
jawbone from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

Part 2 of why I finally decided on Clinton:

Any Dem is going to bring huge change to the WH and the administration of the Federal government. Bill Clinton was adamant that good, effective people be in charge of programs--and he held them accountable. His FEMA worked. I believe Hillary Clinton will do this as well.

Then I read the NYTimes article about Obama's legislative effort in the Senate to require nuke power plant operators to tell the public when there were leaks, such as had occurred in IL when underground water was contaminiated with leaking radiation.

The bill began as a strong legal requirement for disclosure--it ended with the operators and the NRC coming to voluntary agreements. Bush lite! Obama said it was done to get Republicans on board. Which is part of his appeal....

So, given what I learned about his legislation in the Senate (which is incomplete I admit), what I've learned about the importance of a healthcare mandate, and my inability to get on the emotional wave--I'm choosing Hillary Clinton.

Feb. 05 2008 11:42 AM
jawbone from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

Demographically, I'm leading edge Baby Boomer. I just decided to vote for Hillary Clinton yesterday.

I supported Edwards--he had me with his healthcare announcement--and his announcement in New Orleans and all that symbolized.

I've been following the discussions about the healthcare plans very closely, and yesterday's Krugman op-ed piece finalized my decision. I do not want to vote for a Democrat who isn't committed to universal healthcare, and Obama's arguments for his non-mandate are Republican arguments (as are his statements that SocSec is in "crisis"--No, sir, Medicare will soon be in "crisis," but SocSec is definitely not). I don't need that after the damage done to this nation by years of Republican presidents.

Also, while I've tried to feel the Obama magic, I just can't. I listen to his beautiful, soaring speeches--and keep asking "What change are you talking about? Pleeeeeze, tell me!" But he doesn't.

Feb. 05 2008 11:41 AM
Mark from Brooklyn

16 -- There's tons of anecdotal evidence of Republican crossover to Obama. It's not a pipedream. Neither is the reality that the right will unite and fight like rabid dogs if Clinton wins the nomination. They have been waiting for years for the opportunity.

Feb. 05 2008 11:40 AM
David from NYC


Thank you for your response. You do raise interesting points. I don't know that a President H. Clinton would be able to bring about univ. hlth. care within a year, but I'd be very surprised if she were willing to push for a health plan that didn't include the entire population.

There likely are some Dems that want to punish the GOP. I don't want to punish anyone. I do worry about the true legacy of GW Bush: his judicial appointments. The Roberts Supreme Court has already begun changing the tenor of the nation, and we as a people will need to be prepared for many setbacks.

I still don't see Sen. Obama as a uniter, and while your point about his leadership of the Harvard Law Review does give me cause to think, I still haven't seen where he has offered plans with substance. He doesn't seem to have the "lightening rod" effect that Sen. Clinton does, but that effect also galvanizes the base.

I'm still for Clinton, but thanks for discourse.

Feb. 05 2008 11:37 AM
Tina Rodrigues from Hartsdale, NY

1. If you've voted for Bush in the past and you're voting for Obama, there you go. Obama, another wrong choice!

2. I'm an independent hence I cannot vote, However, if I could, it would be Hillary all the way. I want money in the treasury, I want Bill helping in the background, I want a tough cookie (and not Shakespeare) dealing with world thugs and dictators.

3. Obama: Bush with good diction.

Feb. 05 2008 11:36 AM
Jim from New York

Clinton is a stronger fighter and has more moderate and nuanced views acceptable to the general electorate. The concept that the Republicans are going to cross over and vote for Obama is naive! Or that they will make peace with someone who is raising their taxes?!? For a measure of how the wind is blowing look at the Connecticut senatorial election (a blue state). The liberal Democratic primary elected Lamont, the general election went for Lieberman. Look to Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, Minnesota and Florida to determine where this election will be decided and think seriously about who will win for the Democrats in ‘08.

Feb. 05 2008 11:32 AM
Naseem from Brooklyn

Brian, can you please let people know about the nationwide Election Protection Hotline? If they have problems at the polls today (with registration, ID, malfunctioning machines, etc.), they can call the hotline at:


The number directs voters to call centers run by non-partisan fair-election type groups, and the staffers at the call centers may be able to help people find a way to cast their votes in the face of logistical problems.

Also, this is a really helpful website: A voter can just put in her/his state and get all the necessary info. about how to vote in the primary.

Feb. 05 2008 11:20 AM


I understand that many important programs failed their first time out. But too many people believe that pulling the lever for Hillary means that within a year they'll have healthcare - that's simply not the case.

My points about health care and the Republicans are not mutually exclusive. The secret proceedings of the Health Care Task Force kept the AAPS away from the table and alienated the Republicans. Hillarycare was divisive to say the least and it underscored the tension between the Clintons and those who would oppose them, including members of their own party. It also handed the House to Newt Gingrich in 1994 and ushered in 14 years of partisanship. Obviously this sentiment was permeated through the recent Bush years and I understand that people want to punish the Republicans.

If you want revenge, vote Hillary. If you want peace, try Obama.

Feb. 05 2008 11:18 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Vanilla or french vanilla

Feb. 05 2008 11:14 AM
Ben Beaudoin from NYC

Coke or Pepsi?

I wish I could be as excited as some others.

Feb. 05 2008 10:56 AM
David from NYC

Your points about Sen. Obama's election as pres. of the HLR aside, I remember the first effort at universal health care. How many programs did not pass at the first attempt that were later added. Sen. Clinton, then First Lady Clinton, was not afraid to go to battle for all Americans, not just those who can afford it.

As for the eager anticipation of GOP candidates of a Clinton nomination, to choose another candidate because of that is nothing short of capitulation to the Republicans.

Feb. 05 2008 10:54 AM
MJ from Summit, NJ

I just voted for Obama. All of my Republican relatives have an irrational hatred/lack of respect for Hillary. That sort of attitude--no matter how good she is--will continue to divide the country for the first year or two of a Clinton administration. An Obama administration would start out with an huge advantage--not only ready and right on day one--but liked on day one.
Also, I don't understand the argument that Hillary would have a better Cabinet. If Obama wins, he is smart enough to surround himself with many of the same great people and they will want to be at his side.

Feb. 05 2008 10:54 AM
Chris O from New York

I disagree but can understand your support of Hillary. But for you to be "baffled" by Obama's support, then I can not trust your judgment.

Feb. 05 2008 10:48 AM

Who are these people that think that Barack is only using his talents as an orator to get him by?

Barack Obama was the President of the Harvard Law Review. Do you really think he won that position because he was all style and no substance?

If you want to vote for Hillary, might I suggest that you hit You Tube and watch the last two Republican debates. Watch Romney and McCain salivate at the thought of Hillary Clinton winning the Dem's nomination.

Then maybe look back about fifteen years into Hillary's first foray into Universal Health Care, with both the Senate and the House in Democratic control.

Then vote Hillary. And watch her lose the general.

Feb. 05 2008 10:45 AM
chestine from NY

I got up and voted for Hillary this AM at 6:30. My question has always been who will fight for me? Hillary's much maligned personality (bright and tenacious) is an asset! This Hillary-hating supported and amplified in the press is so unfair! A NY Times blogger is likening it to anti-Semitism in its total lack of basis in reality. Can you do something in the interest of balance, Brian?

But I am most interested really in the messaegs of the "fringe" candidates who take on the structural issues - visits to see friends and relatives in 3rd world countries and getting a non-tourist picture makes me most upset about the imbalance of wealth/power that exists in Latin America as a result of the same strategies that are creating it here. (A few very wealthy and multitudes of desperate people) - imagine life behind walls, with shards of glass imbedded atop, and guard dogs (who in turn get poisoned) - imagine needing to pay a car watcher if you want to eat out. And constantly devaluing currency... then imagine not even being able to afford the walls with the shards of glass and poisoned guard dogs! I want this trend acknowledged and stopped!

Feb. 05 2008 10:41 AM

I'm surprised no one mentioned it on the air this morning, but my decision to vote for Hillary (and actually against Barack) had a lot to do with Paul Krugman and what he's been writing about the differences in their healthcare plans. I was an Edwards supporter, and when he dropped out, was very unsure -- but healthcare is one of the top 3 three issues for me. It seems very clear that Clinton's plan (one with mandates) will actually cover more people, and according to Krugman, will not cost much more.

"Specifically, new estimates say that a plan resembling Mrs. Clinton’s would cover almost twice as many of those now uninsured as a plan resembling Mr. Obama’s — at only slightly higher cost."

There was also an article in the Times from yesterday or the day before about Obama's dealings w/ Exelon, a company that failed to report the leak of radioactive material from their nuclear power plant. Basically it comes down to Obama capitulating to the requests of Exelon and selling his constituents down the river. It sort of confirmed my worst fears about him -- that he will roll over for Big Business or Republicans without putting up much of a fight. And this one seems a no-brainer -- protecting people from leaks of radioactive materials -- I can't see what justification he can give for taking Exelon's side in this issue.

Feb. 05 2008 10:37 AM
Pete from Brooklyn

Leadership qualities, liking being able to sway people's hearts, is extremely important to the job of president.

I am voting with my heart - as well as my head - for Barack Obama.

And to think he won't hit the ground running or appoint smart people to his cabinet? That's crazy! Look at the New York Times today and the article about Tom Daschle - Obama supporter. Along with Ted Kennedy, how much more experience can someone surround him or herself with? Daschle will help Obama hit the ground running from Day 1.

Feb. 05 2008 10:35 AM
Allen from Long Island

I decided on Huckabee after reading more about his platform.

Feb. 05 2008 10:28 AM
jane silver timm from hudson valley, NY

I may have voted for Kennedy in 1960. I cannot remember for whom I voted, but I do remember voting. I had to struggle to get to the Postmaster General in Cincinnati to vote absentee.

There were not lots of TV's around back then to watch the debates, etc. Hard for young people now to imagine this.

I plan to vote for Hillary today.

Feb. 05 2008 10:26 AM
Elizabeth from Monmouth County NJ

Just back from voting in my first primary and I’m exhilarated at finally being able to influence who the nominee is, instead of being handed a candidate selected by people far from my home and reality.

I'm a Democrat and have struggled with my choice, but last night I decided to stick with Hillary. It's not that I'm not enraptured by the excitement of Obama, but in the end, I just don't feel he will be effective if he does in fact overcome the inherent racism of our society and actually win the presidency. He reminds me of Bill in ’92, full of hope and ideas, but as we all know, Bill was spectacularly ineffective upon taking office, making one mistake after another and believing that somehow his election made cooperation a congressional mandate. I don’t think we can take chances like that anymore. If Obama is in fact the nominee, I will do all I can to help him win, but with their policy differences essentially non-existent, I believe Hillary is the stronger, more tested and more effective leader and I hope she takes Super Tuesday to the bank, and then asks Obama to be her VP – how’s that for hope and change???

Feb. 05 2008 10:15 AM
David from NYC

I continue to be baffled by the support for Obama. He is a great orator, but I have yet to really hear anything of substance from him. Feeling good becomes meaningless without real results. Sen. Clinton has produced results. Her tireless efforts on behalf of 9-11 victims, her real efforts for universal healthcare, and her articulated understanding of foreign policy are just three reasons why my wife and I took our 5-month old daughter with us to the polls this morning at 6 and pulled the lever for Clinton.

Feb. 05 2008 09:24 AM

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