The race for the White House is a dead heat among Irish Americans, according to an exclusive Irish Voice survey of 180 Irish and Irish Americans (93 women and 87 men) from across the U.S. who were randomly polled to see who they would be giving their vote to in this year's election.
After days of phone calls and collaboration of information during the two week period ending on Friday, October 24, using subscriber lists for the Irish Voice and sister publication Irish America magazine, the results show that Senators John McCain Senator Barack Obama are neck and neck for the Irish American vote.
Of those polled, 43.4% (78 people) of Irish Americans across the country said they would be voting for Obama, and the same percentage of people (43.%) said they would be voting for McCain.
There were 24 poll participants who remain undecided.
The age profiles of those polled are as follows:
*6.7% of are under the age of 30.
*45% are between the ages of 30 and 60.
*48.3% were older than 60 years of age.
The age breakdown for those Irish Americans voting for Obama is as follows:
*11.5 % are under 30.
*43.6 % are between 30 and 60.
*44.9 % are over 60.
Voters for Obama said they were choosing the Illinois senator as their president because of his strong stance on various issues including, but not limited to, the economy, his promise to provide better health care, fairer taxes and a change of direction for the country.
A female subscriber from California between the ages of 30 and 60 told the Irish Voice that Obama is more "honest and regular on various issues and I like that. We need consistency right now," she said.
An over-60 male voter, also from California, said, "I would normally vote Republican but the McCain/Palin ticket is a joke so I'm giving my vote to Mr. Obama."
A woman between the ages of 30 and 60 in Illinois maintains that outgoing President George W. Bush "made a laughing stock of this country" so she is voting Democrat this time around.
The age breakdown for those Irish Americans voting for McCain is as follows:
*1.3% are under 30.
*44.9 % are between 30 and 60.
*53.8 % are over 60.
Those giving their vote to McCain are, like Obama voters, most worried about the state of the economy, with the issue of pro life also high on their agenda. McCain's experience also proved an important factor in their choice of candidate.
McCain voters also feel his sincerity and truthfulness are key factors in choosing him as their next president.
A male over-60 McCain voter in New York said the reason he was voting for McCain was because of his "long standing character and the time he served for his country."
A female voter between the age of 30 and 60 in Florida said she was sticking with McCain because she fears that "Obama is a socialist and will change everything dramatically, and the country is not ready for that yet."
Another female McCain voter from California between the age of 30 and 60 said McCain's "leadership skills and experience over the decades are enough for me to want him as my next president."
When asked which candidate would be better on Irish issues, 1.3 % more voters said Obama would do a better job than McCain in dealing with issues pertaining to Ireland and continuing the strong link that exists between both countries.
However, 30.9% of voters felt that Obama wouldn't be good on Irish issues, while only 24.4 % of voters felt McCain would also be bad.
Close to 18% - 17.9% - felt Irish American issues wouldn't concern Obama, and 23.1% of voters also felt that McCain would not be interested in Irish issues.
On Obama, a male New Yorker between the age of 30 and 60 feels that because "Obama has discovered he is half Irish," issues pertaining to Ireland will be dealt with immediately by him.
A male between the age of 30 and 60 from Washington State feels that "Irish issues are not going to be high on Obama's agenda."
An Ohio woman over-60 said that she hopes Obama won't "forget his Irish voters when he is elected."
A female McCain voter who falls into the over-60 bracket from Michigan said, "Ireland is doing great so McCain won't need to deal with anything over there for a while because the economy here will be his first priority."
Another over-60 female voter in Ohio said she has not heard McCain address Irish issues in any of his speeches, so therefore she "doesn't' feel he will do much for Ireland."
A male voter from Illinois between the ages of 30 and 60 said, "Yes, McCain will always look after Ireland. It is where his heritage lies."
COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
When voters were asked which presidential candidate would be better at enacting comprehensive immigration reform as president, 50% of Obama voters said he would, while 47.4% of McCain voters feel he is better for the job.
Immigration reform, though, wouldn't be a done deal in an Obama White House, according to 28.2% of Obama voters who feel he will not enact any sort of comprehensive immigration reform package; 21.8% of his supporters remain unsure if he will act on one of the most contentious issues facing the new White House occupant.
Though McCain took a leading role in trying to pass immigration reform legislation during the past few years, 23.1% of his voters feel he will not enact any kind of reform package while 29.5% of McCain voters still remain unsure.
On enacting comprehensive immigration reform, a 60 plus male voter from Wisconsin said that McCain "will have a lot of bigger issues to deal with now, and he is not sure if he will even touch immigration reform during his presidency."
A female voter from Georgia between the age of 30 and 60 said she feels McCain will follow through with his previous immigration reform plan to build fences. "He will get rid of the Mexicans and create more jobs for us here," she said.
On whether Obama, if he becomes the next commander in chief, will create a comprehensive immigration reform package, a man from New York between 30 and 60, said, "Of course he (Obama) will because he comes from foreign roots himself."
A male over 60 from Florida feels Obama will stay "well clear of the contentious issue if he has any sense."
The undecided voters varied in age.
Two of those polled were under 30. Eleven were between 30 and 60, and 11 of those asked were 60 or over.
All said they still had not made a decision on which candidate was the best person to lead the country. "I would have voted for McCain in the past but now I feel he is just all talk," said an under 30 male voter in New Jersey.
A male over 60 in Florida said, "I don't trust either candidate to tell you the truth, I just don't know who to vote for."
"I may very well be tossing a coin in two weeks," said an over 60 male from New Jersey.
(Additional research by Amy Feran, Garrett O'Dowd and Joanna Kelly)