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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 10:13 AM ET, 04/21/2008

McCain's Temperament

Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain's temperament came under close scrutiny in Michael Leahy's big piece in yesterday's paper, and his disposition may be a factor in the November election. Nearly half of voters in the new Post-ABC poll believe his temperament would hamper the Arizona senator in the White House.

Overall, 48 percent of all Americans in the poll released last week said McCain's temperament would hurt his ability to serve effectively as president. Fewer, 37 percent, said his often strident tenor would make him more successful.

Three in 10 Republicans and about four in 10 conservatives and white evangelical Protestants alike think McCain's temperament would prove to be a negative factor as president. Among independents, the crucial swing voters, nearly half said his temperament would hurt his effectiveness, with independent women particularly apt to take the negative view. (About two-thirds of Democrats agree.)

For McCain, his temperament ranks with Barack Obama's experience and Hillary Clinton's political style as potential limiting factors in the White House. Overall, 51 percent said Obama's level of experience would impair his effectiveness, and 49 percent said Clinton's political manner would damage hers.

By  |  10:13 AM ET, 04/21/2008

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