FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The economy. The war in Iraq. Health care. Immigration. Terrorism. Those are the issues on the minds of Americans as they cast ballots on this Super Tuesday. But the issues are not “the issue” this election day.
The Wall Street Journal reports that voters are placing a higher priority on intangible qualities like leadership ability and governing style instead of ideas. It seems to be a reflection on the country's mood at the moment: people are sick and tired of the partisan wars and gridlock in Washington and are looking for someone to rise above it and lead. This is part of the reason why candidates like Barack Obama and John McCain are doing so well.
The Journal says: "To many voters, precisely what gets done seems less important than the prospect that something actually will get done."
One pollster says on the Democratic side there's been no correlation in exit polls between the issues people say are important and the candidate they vote for. As for the Republicans, a recent poll found that the characteristic on which McCain – who's now the front-runner – ranked the lowest was "shares your position on issues".
Of course, once we get past the primaries, this is likely to change assuming there are significant differences on top issues between the Republican and Democratic nominees. But for now, it looks like the American people are hungry for a candidate who can bridge the partisan divide and lead this country back onto the right track.
Here’s my question to you: What matters more to you in this primary election: issues or character, and why?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Character is far more important than issues. In addition to character, our next leader needs to have curiosity, be creative, be able to communicate, have courage, conviction, charisma, be competent and have common sense. All lacking in the current White House. Select your candidate carefully this time.
On the Democratic side, a vote for one candidate's issues is essentially a vote for the other's. What citizens should be looking at is each candidate's leadership character. Obama will bring a passive leadership that he thinks will spark change through unity and compromise. Clinton realizes the truth, and promises a fight against our conservative government. At this point in time, Clinton's leadership character wins her my vote.
I am a conservative and I voted for George Bush. I count myself as a person who is dismayed and disgusted at the state of the U.S. in the world, and in our capital. I disagree with Senator Obama on most every issue. But I am supporting him because I believe it is more important to have someone in Washington with whom I can civilly disagree than continue to see the nonsense that has been our national direction and leadership.
Kristy from Missouri writes:
This time around, I would have to say character, and I don't mean is he a nice guy or does he like interns. I mean, can he work with all these crazy factions and achieve some sort of consortium that can begin to heal the nation and get some issue, ANY issue, resolved. We don't need a Democrat or Republican, we need an American who can say the hell with these bratty party-cliques and represent WE THE PEOPLE.
The character of a candidate is a very important detail, which is more than likely why Rudy Giuliani is no longer running. However, character doesn't make the economy any better than it is now, and doesn't bring our troops home any sooner. By far, a candidate's stance on the issues is more important.
If you ask me, Jack, they're all characters, and they all have issues!