Friday, February 1, 2008

Focus-group women unchanged post-debate

clipped from
If Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama wanted their last debate performances before Super Tuesday to change minds, it didn’t work.
The panel at the Democratic debate at the Kodak Theatre

At least not for 10 undecided California women who gathered for a focus group aimed at assessing the suddenly slimmed-down Democratic options.

Six came into the Thursday debate favoring Obama. Four leaned toward Clinton. They walked out feeling the exact same way. Half even said they would be happy with either candidate as the nominee.

Clinton won points for her smarts and self-assurance; Obama, for being inspirational and trustworthy. Clinton took hits — and even lost a vote — for negative campaigning. And her repeated suggestions throughout the campaign that Obama lacks the experience needed to be president didn’t resonate.

Clinton and Obama draw few contrasts on policy, so the women explained their decision as more a reaction to gut feelings, personality and the candidates’ spouses.
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