Utahns want a smart, moral, compassionate president. The question is, who fits that bill?
Pollster Dan Jones & Associates conducted a poll for the Deseret News and KSL-TV in an effort to find out what Utahns want in a presidential candidate. He found that above all, Utahns want a smart person in the Oval Office; 92 percent said intelligence is very important in their choice for president.Personal morality came in second, 68 percent said that is a very important attribute. Sorry, Gary Hart.
Compassion is also desired. Sixty-three percent listed that as a very important personality trait. Some political pundits say the reason Rev. Jesse Jackson has done as well as he has among Democrats is that he is seen as a compassionate man. Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, seen as a very bright man, is criticized for his stoic and dispassionate behavior.
Washington, D.C., experience is preferred, but not necessary, Utahns said.
Lastly, Jones found an interesting twist. In such a Republican state as Utah, 51 percent said a candidate's political party isn't important.
However, he found in the same poll that 43 percent of those questioned said the Republican Party is best suited to solve the nation's problems.
With the presidential race decided among Republicans Vice President George Bush will be their nominee and with Dukakis now the front-runner among Democrats, the electorate may not get all the personality traits they want in the two nominees. But they well get one thing a Republican and a Democrat. When it comes down to the voting booth, political party affiliation may play a greater role than the poll indicates.