A debatable choice?

Our scientifically-conducted national telephone survey results are reported below. This box contains a ballot for our companion online poll, which provides unscientific results.

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A debatable choice?

A majority of Americans say it is inappropriate for a serious presidential candidate to not participate in a presidential candidate debate.

In a Poll Position scientific national telephone survey 51% said it is inappropriate for a candidate to choose not to participate, 30% found it appropriate for a presidential candidate to make that choice and 20% had no opinion.

The campaign for Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has indicated the Texas Governor might choose to skip some of the upcoming debates against fellow GOP presidential candidates. Perry’s campaign suggests the governor would prefer to spend his time with the people. Some of Perry’s fellow GOP candidates wonder if he would like to skip debates due to less than stellar performances in previous debates.

Almost a third of Republicans polled, 32%, think it is appropriate for a serious candidate to skip a debate, but 49% said it is not appropriate with 20% having no opinion. Democrats were firmly against skipping a debate with 57% calling it inappropriate to 24% who thought it was appropriate. Nineteen percent of Democrats did not have an opinion. Independents were against the idea but by a more narrow margin with 46% calling it inappropriate to 34% saying it was OK. Twenty percent of Independents offered no opinion.

Poll Position’s scientific telephone survey of 1,082 registered voters nationwide was conducted October 27, 2011 and has a margin of error of ±3%.   

What do you think?  Vote in our online companion poll and comment below.

The online companion poll in which you can vote provides unscientific results, meaning it’s a tally of participating Poll Position users, not a nationally representative sampling.

Poll Position is committed to transparency and upholding the highest professional standards in its polling, explaining why we provide you with the crosstabs of our scientific polls. Crosstabs provide a breakdown of survey participants by age, race, gender, and political affiliation. Here are the crosstabs for this poll: Poll Position Crosstabs-debate participate

You can learn more about our polling methodology here.

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