** Netroots Nation 2009 Straw Poll Results **
* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.
NETROOTS see health care reform as top priority, prefer Sestak over Specter for SENATE nomination PITTSBURGH, Aug. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Progressive bloggers and activists are focused on pushing comprehensive health care reform this year and overwhelmingly support Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., over Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., for the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nomination, according to a straw poll at this year's Netroots Nation convention conducted by the Campaign for America's Future and Democracy Corps. Sixty percent of respondents said overhauling the nation's health care system is one of their top two priorities. Fifty-three percent said they will not support a health care bill that does not include a public insurance option. Passing clean energy and environmental protection measures came in second with 22 percent. President Clinton, former Gov. Howard Dean and White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett all spoke at this year's convention, which attracted more than 1,500 progressive bloggers and activists. Sen. Specter and Rep. Sestak both addressed the convention on Friday. Sen. Specter, who did not support a public health insurance option before, told the audience he supports it now. In a match-up between the two candidates vying for the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nomination, neither candidate reached 50 percent. A third remained undecided while 48 percent choose Rep. Sestak and 10 percent choose Sen. Specter. Rep Sestak was viewed more positively with a favorability rating of 46 compared to 15 for Sen. Specter. President Obama received a 95-percent approval rating among the group. Not surprisingly, Sarah Palin was extremely unpopular with participants. Only 1 percent of attendees rated Palin favorably while 88 percent rated her unfavorably. Thirty-six percent rated Palin as the easiest Republican presidential nominee to defeat in 2012, followed by former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., who was rated as easiest to beat by 20 percent, and Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., who was the choice of 12 percent. This year's conference marked the second year that Campaign for America's Future and Democracy Corps conducted a straw poll at the Netroots Nation bloggers convention. More than 250 attendees participated in this year's straw poll between Thursday, Aug. 13 and Friday, Aug. 14. **NOTE: An electronic copy of the straw poll results are available online at http://www.ourfuture.org/fact-sheets-briefs/2009083314/netroots-nation-straw-poll-health-care-no-1-issue.** CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE & DEMOCRACY CORPS' ANNUAL NETROOTS NATION STRAW POLL RESULTS Thursday, Aug. 13 to Friday, Aug. 14, 2009 Frequency questionnaire with 252 responses from nearly 1,500 conference participants: Please indicate if you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president? Total Strongly approve 51 Somewhat approve 44 Somewhat disapprove 3 Strongly disapprove 2 Total approve 95 Total disapprove 5 Please indicate your feelings toward some people using a scale from 0 to 100, with one hundred meaning a VERY WARM, FAVORABLE feeling; zero meaning a VERY COLD, UNFAVORABLE feeling; and fifty meaning not particularly warm or cold. Use any number from zero to one hundred, the higher the number the more favorable your feelings are toward that person or organization. Warm % % % % % - Mean Warm Cool >75 <26 ID Cool Stephen Colbert 84.3 76 2 71 1 95 74 Barack Obama 85.3 85 2 79 1 100 83 Rush Limbaugh 1.55 - 88 - 87 99 -88 Jon Stewart 88.4 82 2 76 1 97 80 Sarah Palin 3.81 1 88 - 85 100 -87 Arlen Specter 42.7 15 44 8 24 98 -29 Joe Sestak 64.1 46 8 27 8 83 38 Of the two candidates who have declared they are running for the Democratic nomination for the Senate here in Pennsylvania, who do you currently support? Total Joe Sestak 46 Arlen Specter 10 Neither 7 Don't Know 33 Please indicate which TWO you think progressive activists should be focusing their attention and efforts on the most. Total Passing comprehensive health care reform 60 Passing green energy policies that address environmental concerns 22 Working to enact progressive economic policies 19 Working to elect progressive candidates in the 2010 elections 17 Working to enact President Obama's agenda generally 16 Countering right-wing attacks on Obama and his agenda 13 Increasing accessibility to quality education for all 9 Passing legislation to make it easier for workers to organize 8 Working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan 8 Working to expand rights to those in the LGBT community 6 Passing comprehensive immigration reform 5 And which ONE of the below do you, personally, spend the most time advancing currently? Total Passing comprehensive health care reform 23 Working to elect progressive candidates in the 2010 elections 16 Passing green energy policies that address environmental concerns 12 Working to enact President Obama's agenda generally 10 Working to expand rights to those in the LGBT community 7 Countering right-wing attacks on Obama and his agenda 6 Working to enact progressive economic policies 5 Increasing accessibility to quality education for all 4 Passing comprehensive immigration reform 3 Passing legislation to make it easier for workers to organize 3 Working to end our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan 1 (No Answer) 10 Please indicate on a scale from 0 to 10 how willing you would be to contribute your own money, time and/or efforts in order to help President Obama and the Democrats pass legislation on specific issues with 10 being extremely willing and 0 being not at all willing. Mean 10 8-10 5-10 0-4 Comprehensive energy reform 7.4 27 48 74 10 Comprehensive health care reform 8.3 39 65 84 5 The Employee Free Choice Act 6.5 18 38 70 17 Of the main contenders for the 2012 Republican nomination for President, please indicate who, in your opinion, would be the easiest to beat. Total Sarah Palin 36 Rick Santorum 20 Bobby Jindal 12 Ron Paul 7 Rudy Giuliani 5 Jeb Bush 4 Jon Kyl 3 Mike Huckabee 2 Tim Pawlenty 1 Mitt Romney 1 (No Answer) 9 Please read the pairs of statements below and for each indicate if the FIRST statement or the SECOND statement comes closer to your own view, even if neither is exactly right. 1st 1st 2nd 2nd Total Total 1st Stmt Not Not Stmt Nei- DK/ 1st 2nd - Strng Strng Strng Strng Both ther Ref Stmt Stmt 2nd I will support a health care reform bill even without a public option as long as it expands affordable coverage to all Americans and prevents insurance companies from denying coverage. OR A public option is the only way to truly hold insurance companies accountable and bring down costs and I will not support a health care reform bill without it. 10 16 11 42 5 4 12 26 53 -27 I support the House compromise on the energy bill because it's an important first step to capping carbon emissions and averting a climate crisis. OR I oppose the House compromise on the energy bill because it creates too many loopholes for fossil fuel interests and doesn't do enough to address the climate crisis. 18 28 12 15 8 8 11 46 27 19 I'd support legislation that makes it easier for workers to organize, even without so-called "card check" provisions, because the other measures take important steps in protecting workers. OR I can't support legislation to make it easier for workers to organize without the so-called "card check" provisions that will ensure workers can organize without intimidation or harassment. 22 23 12 16 4 11 12 45 28 17 The best way to move a progressive agenda forward is for progressives to generally support Obama on his key initiatives, taking on his enemies and coordinating messages against Republicans and the corporate special interests standing in the way of reform. OR The best way to move a progressive agenda forward is for progressives to criticize President Obama when necessary and take on the Democrats, as well as Republicans and the corporate special interests, when they also stand in the way of reform. 27 14 12 23 12 2 10 41 35 6 Now, some final questions for background and statistical purposes. What is your gender? Total Male 52 Female 38 DK/Ref 10 What year were you born? Total 18 - 24 10 25 - 29 15 30 - 34 15 35 - 39 6 40 - 44 8 45 - 49 7 50 - 54 7 55 - 59 8 60 - 64 2 Over 64 4 (No answer) 18 Please choose the term that best describes how you think of yourself in political terms. Total Liberal 26 Progressive 54 Moderate 9 Conservative - (Don't know/Refuse) 11 SOURCE Campaign for America's Future Toby Chaudhuri at email@example.com, +1-978-884-8626 (cell) or Jennifer Ettinger at firstname.lastname@example.org, +1-850-766-1267 (cell)
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