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Members of All Political Parties Predict That Caroline Kennedy Will Win NY Senate Seat Despite Arguments Made Against Her


Caroline Kennedy Senate Race
After viewing a video of conflicting opinions regarding Caroline's qualifications, respondents from all political parties overwhelmingly believe she will prevail in the race for the vacant NY Senate seat

Flemington, NJ, December 19, 2008 – A new national study asked 310 self-proclaimed Democrats, Republicans and Independents to view a video clip that provided opposing arguments for Caroline Kennedy’s interest in the vacant New York Senate seat.  The study revealed that an overwhelming majority (81%), despite the arguments made against her, believe Caroline will likely be chosen to fill the seat.  Almost the same percentage (80%) felt that if Caroline were not related to other historically prominent Kennedys in American politics, her chances of winning the open senate seat would greatly decrease.

The study was conducted by HCD Research on December 18 to obtain the opinions of Americans’ from all political parties regarding Caroline Kennedy and her likelihood to win the open US Senate seat vacated by Hilary Clinton.

When asked to choose from a list of attributes outlining the top reasons why Americans feel that Caroline Kennedy will win the open seat, respondents’ top three answers were: Her family name (78%), the Kennedy family’s historic presence in the US Senate (70%) and her family’s overall achievements in US politics (60%). Attributes describing Caroline’s personal achievements, professional experience and qualifications scored significantly lower. Although most agree that Caroline will in fact fill the open seat, her likelihood is attributed to her family’s accomplishments and political reputation rather than her own. 

"The most revealing portion of the video measured by the automated response curves was the Republican spike in agreement to the voice over statement by the reporter "But some Democrats in New York have questioned her qualifications" said Glenn Kessler, President of HCD Research.

Respondents’ scores for Caroline on scales of likeability, believability and sincerity varied greatly among party affiliation. Democrats were more inclined to view Caroline as likeable, believable and sincere while Independents and Republicans scored her much lower on all three scales.  Aside from Caroline’s dissimilar scores on the scales mentioned above, all parties still believe that she will become the next US Senator representing the state of New York.

Among the findings:

Of those who responded that Caroline Kennedy is likely to fill the vacant US Senate seat:
“Please indicate the factors that you think mostly attribute to her likelihood
of winning the vacant senate seat?”

 

Total

Registered Democrats

Registered Republicans

Registered Independents

Her experience and qualifications

25%

35%

14%

24%

Her professional accomplishments

33%

42%

20%

38%

Her family name

78%

67%

88%

80%

Her gender

21%

25%

14%

25%

The Kennedy family’s historic presence in the US Senate

70%

80%

62%

66%

Her family members’ overall achievements in politics

60%

65%

56%

59%

Other

3%

4%

1%

3%

None

0%

0%

1%

0%

 

“If Caroline Kennedy was not related to former Kennedys that were prominent in US politics (John F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, etc.), do you think her chances of filling Hilary Clinton’s vacant US Senate seat would increase or decrease?”

 

Total

Registered Democrats

Registered Republicans

Registered Independents

Increase

4%

6%

3%

2%

Decrease

80%

76%

86%

78%

Stay the same

13%

15%

8%

15%

Not sure

4%

4%

3%

5%

 

“Do you think Americans would feel more or less secure having a
Kennedy fill the open US Senate seat?”

 

Total

Registered Democrats

Registered Republicans

Registered Independents

More secure

26%

44%

14%

22%

Less secure

14%

3%

23%

14%

The same

44%

41%

45%

47%

Not sure

16%

13%

18%

16%

While viewing the video clip, participants indicated their levels of agreeability by moving their mouse from left to right on a continuum. The responses were recorded in quarter-second intervals and reported in the form of curves. The participants were also post-viewing questions.

The Media Curves web site provides the media and general public with a venue to view Americans’ perceptions of popular and controversial media events and advertisements.

Editors/Reporters: For more information on the study, or to speak with Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research, please contact Vince McGourty, HCD Research, at (908) 483-9121 or (vince.mcgourty@hcdi.net).

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