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Harris Poll 2000: Religious Affiliation and the Presidential Election

Original source: News.Excite.Com, April 18, 2000

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (BUSINESS WIRE) - The most recent Harris Interactive Election 2000 survey reveals that religious affiliation and beliefs will play a major role in determining the outcome of the 2000 presidential race. With most Protestant denominations tilting decisively towards George Bush, and both Jewish and secular voters leaning heavily towards Al Gore, Catholics are emerging as the key swing vote in an extremely tight race. Overall, in a two-person race, George W. Bush leads Al Gore by 48% to 47%, with the balance undecided. In a three-person race with Pat Buchanan representing the Reform party, Bush and Gore each get 45% and Buchanan 4%, with the balance undecided.

The survey was conducted from April 4th to April 10th among 13,224 registered voters selected at random from the Harris Interactive Internet panel of more than 5.6 million respondents.

The following table shows how various religious groups would vote if the election were held today. The size of the sample, possible only because the study was conducted over the Internet, yields hundreds of respondents even for such groups as Jews and [Latter-day Saints] who are normally represented by a mere handful of cases in traditional surveys.

Overall, Bush carries the Protestant vote by a 52% to 39% margin over Gore in a three-person race. (The one Protestant group that Gore carries--Other Baptists--is very heavily, though not exclusively, African-American in composition.) Gore as decisively carries Jewish voters (71% to 22%) and those who describe themselves as Atheists or Agnostics (61% to 27%). Catholics clearly emerge as the swing group with divided allegiances (48% for Gore and 47% for Bush).

                                TABLE 1

                        Base: Registered Voters

    "If the Presidential election were held today between George W.
Bush for the Republicans and Al Gore for the Democrats, who would you
most likely vote for? (IF NECESSARY: Well, if you had to say, would
you lean toward George W. Bush or Al Gore? Even if you only have a
very slight preference, we would like to know what it is.)"
    "If the Presidential election were held today between George W.
Bush for the Republicans and Al Gore for the Democrats, and Pat
Buchanan for the Reform party, who would you most likely vote for? (IF
NECESSARY: Well, if you had to say, would you lean toward George W.
Bush, Al Gore, or Pat Buchanan? Even if you only have a very slight
preference, we would like to know what it is.)"

                      Two-Person Race          Three-Person Race
                   Bush Gore  Undecided   Bush Gore Buchanan Undecided
                     %    %       %         %    %    %          %

All Registered
 Voters (n=13,224)  48   47       5        45   45    4          6

All Protestants
 (n=6,544)          55   40       5        52   39    4          5

  (n=221)           59   39       2        57   38    4          1

  (n=336)           57   36       7        54   38    2          6

  (n=515)           50   46       4        49   46    2          3

  (n=1,081)         49   45       6        46   44    4          6

 Southern Baptist
  (n=933)           68   30       2        64   29    5          2

 Other Baptist
  (n=767)           42   53       5        42   50    4          4

 Other Denominations
  (n=1,674)         56   40       4        49   40    6          5

  (n=1,016)         63   33       4        58   31    6          5

 Latter-day Saints
  (n=186)           65   34       1        57   33    9          1

  (n=2,629)         48   48       4        47   48    2          3

  (n=305)           23   71       6        22   71    2          5

  (n=944)           30   62       8        27   61    4          8


1. Read percentages across.

2. This table does not include respondents who declined to state a
   religious preference (10% of the total sample and those who indicated
   that they subscribed to an "other" religion (also 10% of the total


This Harris Interactive Election 2000 study was conducted between April 4th and April 10th with a national sample of 15,331 respondents, including 13,224 registered voters, from the Harris Interactive Inc. panel of Internet users. Data were weighted by age, sex, education, income, race/ethnicity, and region, as well as propensity to be online, a composite of several factors, in order to generalize the results to the national population.

In theory with a randomly chosen sample of this size and after weighting the data, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus 2 percentage points of what they would be if the entire adult population of the United States had been polled. The sample used by Harris Interactive is not a random sample. While individuals have been randomly sampled from our database for this survey, they have previously chosen to take part in the Harris Interactive database.

There are several other possible sources of error in all polls or surveys that are probably more serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. These potential sources of error include question wording and question order, non-response, and screening (e.g. for likely voters). It is difficult or impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these factors so the words "margin of error" should be avoided when reporting all survey data.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive (NASDAQ:HPOL), a leading global market research firm, uses Internet-based and traditional methodologies to provide its clients with information about the views, experiences, behaviors and attitudes of people worldwide. Known for its Harris Poll, Harris Interactive has over 40 years experience in providing its clients with market research and polling services including custom, multi-client and service bureau research, as well as customer relationship management services. Through its US and Global Network offices, Harris Interactive conducts research in over 85 different countries in more than 30 different languages. Harris Interactive uses its proprietary technology to survey its database of more than 5.6 million online panelists. For more information about Harris Interactive, please visit our Web site at

Safe Harbor Statement

This media release includes statements that may constitute forward-looking information. We caution you that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Additional detailed information concerning a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ is readily available in the "Risk Factors" section of our Prospectus, dated December 6, 1999 and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to the Securities Act of 1933.


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