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Election-Eve MedPage Today(R) Poll Gives Obama Double-Digit Lead Among Clinicians

Although lead has eroded since previous poll, Democratic contender still enjoys broad support

LITTLE FALLS, N.J., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- In the waning days of the 2008 Presidential Campaign, healthcare providers still favor Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by a sizable margin, according to an online poll conducted by MedPage Today, LLC (

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Asked to choose which candidate they would vote for "if the election were held today," 56% of 2,598 medical providers picked Obama, while 39% pulled the virtual lever for McCain. Two percent picked "other," and 2% were undecided.

This MedPage Today poll shows some interesting differences from one conducted a month ago. In the earlier poll, Obama's support was three points higher at 59%, while McCain's was lower by four points (35%) among those queried. During the last four weeks, the spread between the two candidates shrunk from 24 percentage points to 17. Results also differ starkly from a year-ago poll of visitors, when the clear frontrunner was Hillary Clinton (31%), followed by the Republican "other" slot (19%) and Obama (14%).

"MedPage Today conducted this poll to take the pulse of readers going into Election Day," said Robert Stern, President and CEO of MedPage Today. "It's not surprising that we see some movement this late in the race, as more voters--healthcare providers among them--make up their minds and grapple over the candidates' positions on the most pressing issues."

Comments left by many of the respondents reveal where they agree and disagree with the candidates. Those who disagree with McCain mention taxes and the economy.

Robert DeWeese, M.D., says, "Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress (till recently) have already bankrupted the United States. The borrow-and-spend Republicans make the tax-and-spend Democrats look like tightwads. Republicans have lost the right to call themselves fiscal conservatives or to try to paint Democrats as free-spenders."

For Obama, personal traits such as his level of experience, as well as abortion, elicited opposing viewpoints.

A D.O., Dr. Babcock, notes, "Like Hilary said, '[Obama] gave a speech.' He is well spoken, and there is a place for an orator, but what has he demonstrated regarding leadership style that can give us confidence? His people 'exposing' Joe the Plumber? His willingness to step forward and contribute in person to the economy debate last month?"

"I have always voted on one issue, abortion," adds another M.D. "It is a mortal sin to vote for a candidate who would increase the killing of children. The fact that Obama wants to turn this country into a Marxist state seals his fate for me."

Another physician touts McCain's experience, saying, "Senator McCain is an American hero who...did what was right for [his] fellow Americans without regard to personal sacrifices. So I believe he will do the same as President for those in their need."

MedPage Today polls are not scientific samplings of reader opinion; they are, rather, a snapshot of current thinking among the healthcare community. Totals may not add to 100% due to rounding and sample size.

Multimedia available: Online editors can link to the results of the three polls mentioned in this release:

Survey from Week of Oct. 24, 2008

Survey from Week of Oct. 07, 2008

Survey from Week of Nov. 09, 2007:

About MedPage Today

MedPage Today is the only medical news service for physicians that links consumer medical news and the professional medical analysis needed by clinicians. Co-developed by MedPage Today and The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Office of Continuing Medical Education, each article alerts clinicians to breaking medical news, with summaries and actionable information enabling them to better understand the implications.

Physicians and other healthcare professionals may also receive Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits at no cost by completing these educational programs. CME is required of physicians in approximately 30 states, and utilization of electronic CME is growing at an estimated 80% annual rate.

SOURCE MedPage Today
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