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Friday, March 5, 2021   

Debtsmart Presidential Survey Results
by Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker is the author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, Credit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. He's also the founder of DebtSmart.com. More about and DebtSmart can be found in the online media kit.
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Scott Bilker This survey originally ran in the 9/8/04 DebtSmart Email Newsletter.

The results are very interesting. For example, most people responded that Kerry is more on the side of consumers and that he would be better at protecting us from the banks. However, most feel that they have a better chance of getting out of debt under a Bush presidency.

The bottom line is that DebtSmart readers give Bush a 12-point lead! And that lead is about 20 points in matters of national security which is about the same lead for having him over for dinner.

Here is the shocker--the majority of responders, by less than one percent, said that Kerry is not a war hero. I suppose his focus on Vietnam has tainted people's feelings about his service.


Gender of respondents

62.45% Female

35.63% Male

1.92% no_selection


Who will you vote for, for President?

53.64% Bush

42.15% Kerry

2.68% Other

1.53% no_selection


Who would be the better leader?

53.64% Bush

41.38% Kerry

4.98% no_selection


Who would be better at handling terrorism?

58.24% Bush

34.1% Kerry

7.66% no_selection


Who would be better at handling Iraq?

55.56% Bush

37.16% Kerry

7.28% no_selection


Who would be better at handling the economy?

47.51% Bush

46.74% Kerry

5.75% no_selection


Who would be on the side of the consumer?

48.66% Kerry

41.38% Bush

9.96% no_selection


Who would better protect us from credit card banks?

40.61% Kerry

35.25% Bush

24.14% no_selection


Under what President do you feel you have a better chance of becoming debt free?

44.44% Bush

39.08% Kerry

16.48% no_selection


Do you blame Bush for your personal economic problems?

78.16% No

16.86% Yes

4.98% no_selection


Is John Kerry a war hero? 

45.59% No

44.06% Yes

10.34% no_selection


Who has flip-flopped more often?

59% Kerry

25.67% Bush

15.33% no_selection


Who cares more about the "middle class"? 

46.74% Kerry

40.61% Bush

12.64% no_selection


What is your party affiliation?

42.53% Republican

32.18% Democrat

16.48% Other

8.81% no_selection


Have your taxes gone down under Bush? 

54.02% Yes

37.16% No

8.81% no_selection


What do you think would happen to your taxes if Kerry is the President?

59.77% Up

25.67% No Change

8.81% Down

5.75% no_selection


Who is more on the side of big corporations? 

65.52% Bush

22.61% no_selection

11.88% Kerry


Who would you rather have over to your house for dinner? 

54.02% Bush

36.4% Kerry

9.58% no_selection


Your general comments about the candidates and the upcoming election.

"One of the biggest problems I have with Bush is the attitude that he knows what is best in all situations. Presidents are, by necessity, generalists, and should lean on others a bit more and if mistakes are made, admit it, then adjust course. Bush doesn't seem to ever want to admit that he made a mistake or erred in any way. Kerry sees the grey-areas and is willing to hear others views, then make a decision and stand by it."--Seth

"A lot of the problems we are having now started under the Clinton Admin. Kerry is saying what people want to hear, there is not a whole lot he can do in 4 years to make a difference. I have a son in the military who serves proudly, it is too bad the media does not dwell on some of the good that is happening rather than all the negative! Kerry can't seem to make his mind up, I don't want him making decisions for our military. "--sskumler

"This country has suffered and I have personally suffered because of Bush being in the White House. We have to get him out of there!"--Kristina

"Bush has messed-up everybodys business, even his own !!!"--Anonymous

"W is by far the best since the "Gipper" He believes in our country & our people. He believes in personal responsibility. His consistency is a wonderful trait"--Bob W. B.

"My son is an Army Tank Commander, served in Iraq, now in Korea, but will probably be going back to Iraq. I want Bush as his Commander in Chief."--Anonymous

"Kerry calls himself a Christian but favors abortion. I'm also concerned about marriage and the laws Kerry proposes which will change the true meaning of marriage (between a man and a woman)."--Anonymous

"I think President Bush is too fixated on war. It really scares me. Plus I am very unhappy with his views on homosexuality. I wonder how his VP can work with him on a daily basis with his views considering the VP's child is gay. I believe there has to be anamosity there. I do not know if the economy will get better under Kerry, but I think we have a better chance of getting out war and lowering the deficit."--Jessica

"My main concerns are NOT those mentioned in the survey. Bush/conservatives seem to be more compatible with my interests. I will vote for Bush."--Anonymous

"To be politically fair, I had a Texas grown steak for dinner, and Waffles for breakfast."--Robert

"National Health destroyed Britain's economy. Government aide hand-out programs have seriously hurt all other economies in Europe - take a look at Sweden's 'cradle to grave' program and their open border policy. One survey revealed that by the year 2056, native born Swedes will be the minority! Get off your lazy butts, America. Stop looking for a hand-out and reach for a hand-up. Get a job, work hard and pay your bills. Be responsible for your own spending. Keep America strong and independent. THINK before you cast your vote! "--Betsy

"It bugs me that Bush is blamed for all the jobs that have been lost due to American companies leaving and going to other countries. Clinton is the one who started that, not Bush."--Anonymous

"I am thrilled that Kerry is pushing for a curb on credit card companies hiking rates to loan shark rates. About time!"--Anonymous

"The thought of having to listen to Teresa for four years makes me cringe."--Mary

"This administration used fear to lead us into War. I do not believe in Supply side economics. "--Bruno

"It's ridiculous to think that President Bush is solely responsible for the shape of our country's economy. This mess has been going on for years before the President had ever stepped foot into office. President Bush knows where he stands on issues, makes decisions, and then backs them up. I believe President Bush made the decision for the war on Iraq with faulty information from the C.I.A. And this is solely the President's fault? I don't believe the President holds as much power as what's often portrayed on the media. Now, Congress does have massive power. Maybe we should be criticizing it a little more."--Karen

"We have the largest amount of debt ever under Pres. Bush and he is celebrating because he says it could be worse!"--Anonymous

"Only the most selfish vote for someone just because they think their taxes will be lower. Taxes are for the good of the society as a whole."--Anonymous

"I had very little debt before Bush took office (I don't believe he was legitimately elected). I hope that Kerry can do for the economy what Clinton did."--Anonymous

"GO BUSH!"--Carrie

"Kerry doesn't stand a chance and he knows it! Go for it Dubya! :o)"--Carole

"Unfortunately, Bush has surrounded himself with some right-wing zealots who scare the bahoovies out of me. I don't trust them. The question about flip-flopping is telling. Sometimes a person should flip flop rather than continuing to go down the wrong path, and in this case, as the country's leader, take the whole population of the US with you! I fear the Bush administration can never admit they make errors, that's why they attack Kerry for changing his mind. If you are supplied with more intelligence and facts, I would hope that a leader could learn from their mistakes and change their mind and take corrective measures, rather than insisting on staying the course. Our lives are in their hands. I trust Kerry. I don't trust the motives of the people who have surrounded Bush. They may think they're acting in our best interests, but I think they pander to the wealthy and the powerful right wing. We should learn from history what happens in the nations of the world when church and state are not kept se

"I do not trust Kerry, he seems to change his opinions based on what he thinks the listener wants to hear. That is a slimy tactic. Bush is handling the more important things better, security, war, and safety. I disagree with some of his policies, but I trust him to come right out and say what he means and plans to do."--Fred

"Bush will lead America toward one world socialism at a much slower pace than Kerry. If Kerry wins America will gallop towards one world socialism like the European model. "--Ric

"This is difficult vote for me, although I believe that the democrats have been more concerned with the low-income, lower middle class issues and thus, I shall vote for democrat. Republicans are all about big business, tax breaks for the rich and cutting social service programs. When you participate in these social service programs (i.e., low income housing, etc), it is scary to think it could disappear. I also believe democrats have more interest in health, education and some of the values I believe in."--Sue

"Economically we are much better off now."--Anonymous

"President Bush is not too bright and that is troubling to me. "--Anonymous

"I can only vote pro-life."--Karyn


"I think that tax cuts, mainly benefitting the richest Americans, during a time of war, is the height of irresponsibiliy and greediness. Real patriotic Americans should be willing to put their money where their mouth is."--cherie'

"Actually, I am not very pleased with either choice. Both of them come to the table with agendas, clear and hidden. Both of them want to identify with the "ordinary" American. But, both really come out of similar backgrounds--rich kids. I really have no use for grown rich kids."--John

"I believe Bush is unable to leave his religious views out of the White House. He lets his personal feelings get in the way of what is right for all. Too much of a Big guy attitude- does things without first getting approval of anyone except himself."--Mara

"I think the worst thing that could happen to our country would be to have Kerry as president - he believes in taxes, throwing money at problems and the UN. I don't. Thanks for allowing me to express my opinion!"--Anonymous

"We need a change so i suggest everyone vote for kerry."--Rebecca

"Both the Democrats and the Republicans have been moving further and further to the left or more liberal view when it comes to big government. The Republicans are to catering to the religious right. Both of these positions are unacceptable. It is time for a strong third party -- that is why I am a Libertarian!"--Anonymous

"Here we go again lots of mud slinging instead of showing/telling us what they really plan to do if elected. Either way its the same old same old country being run by very rich people how do they know how the "little" guy feels about the economy except they cope the best they can! The present pres. in my opinion was not elected!! And I think he is "enjoying " the war we are in. He is not dodging bullets. Just my opinion!!"--Anonymous

"In general, I feel as if we no longer even get a choice for president. It's almost like I'm voting for whom I feel will do the least amount of damage to an already deteriorating country and not who will do the most good!"--Anonymous

"Both candidates will always look out for the rich reguardless of their affiliation, because all presidential candidates are wealthy and they in turn will benefit the rich."--Anonymous

"Bush should never have started war with Iraq. Weapons were never really found and what is he doing for the economy. Diesel is at its highest ever and we are in the trucking business. He really doesn't seem concerned that the oil is out of control. Jobs are not that easy to find. I have a college graduate who graduated almost 9 months ago and still cannot find a job in his profession."--Anonymous

"Bush is a puppet for corporate greed. I want a president who can think for himself."--Anonymous

"I believe Bush is a liar and a thief. He cares nothing for the little guy on the street. But boy his cronies are making money hand over fist! I am not that crazy about Kerry -- would have preferred Edwards/Dean --- however, even though I know even 8 years won't help what Bush has done to this country, he's still a better choice than that lying thief. I thought I had never disliked a president more than Reagan but I have nothing but loathing for the dictator that calls himself President Bush. He has destroyed our natural resources and eroded civilo liberties since day one of his administration. "--Lynn

"I feel Kerry is too indecisive, too wishy washy. When in war you don't change command in mid stream. Bush has made some mistakes but not the kind that would want me to change leaderships. When put into scales, Kerry is found wanting. Check his voting record and there is no way he should be president. Even though I am a registered voter, I don't vote party, I vote for the one I feel is the best qualified. Sometimes the best one is not of the same party and to vote for that person, for me, is not right in conscience."--Anonymous

"The candidates are discussing their own views & ideas. The truth is somewhere in the middle for both. Republicans have legimate views (morality) & the democrate have good ideas economy, middle class, & the poor. Now we need a party which encompanses both."--Anonymous

"John Kerry and the democrats still haven't figured it out. If you take money away from the rich to give to the poor, the rich simply stop employing the poor. We must find a way to encourage the rich to pay better wages for the services of the poor without taxing them or raising minimum wages, because the latter hurts all employers and consequently lowers the number of employees."--Anonymous

"In these dangerous days of war and political gaming, I think Kerry is Silly Putty and Bush is a Tonka Truck. I am putting my faith in Tonka!"--Elizabeth

"Both candidates are rather frightening. It comes down to the lesser of two evils. I personally wish Gov. Dean were still in the hunt!"--Leslie

"It angers me that Bush is being blamed for the economy. No one could forsee 9-11 and the impact to our economy. I feel certain that had Sept 11 not happened, our economy would be in better shape."--Maryann

"Bush is a robber baron."--Anonymous

"I have no doubt about President Bush. Sen. Kerry makes me very nervous."--Jon

"President Bush is living in a fantasy world if he thinks that he's kept his original campaign promise of being a "uniter." I've never seen a country so divided due to the "vision" of one man. "--Billy

"I just don't see Kerry as the president for the common man or woman. He comes across as a condescending elitist who doesn't give a care about the little guy. Bush comes across as being a person that you could count on in times of crisis - a man with true compassion. So for me there is no doubt who I should pick. "--Glenda

"Terrorism and the safety of this country are primary issues. Bush will do a better job of protecting us here. Kerry would rather work with the UN and Europe to promote America's safety. France who? This election is crucial for that reason. "--Anonymous

"john kerry has not really given us specifics, only comments about the Iraq war. The government can't make jobs. But just the same if the corporations get a tax cut they should use it to make jobs and if not they should not be given tax cuts or penalized. Most candidates are gutless wonders."--joy

"I voted for Nader last election, but won't do that again. Bush is just as dumb as I feared, but much more dangerous. He doesn't even recognize when he has reversed his own positions. he only recognizes when Kerry does it. Kerry isn't perfect, but he does have a better grasp of the big picture in our dangerous world."--Barbara

"I don't think Kerry represents me or other working people but Bush for another term terrifies me."--kathleen

"Kerry flip-flops / Bush lies and doesn't blink and eye and keeps smiling..."--sharon

"neither candidate will represent consumers or the middle class. Neither will stand against big money."--David

"I am working very hard to pay down my debt, and should be debt-free in about 18 months. I know that John Kerry will raise income taxes, which will seriously hurt my plan and cause me to be in debt much longer."--Anonymous

"Many promises made, but few come to fruition."--Anonymous

"Bush has had four years to lead this country and the result has been too many young dead Americans, $200 billion spent on a fiasco which has spawned more terrorists and a record budget deficit. As an American, I have never felt so sad and afraid. Kerry will be stuck with this mess but, hopefully, he can stop the downward spiral and turn things around."--Joan

"Bush has perverted 9-11 for his own campaign on Iraq. 3,000 dead people should not be exploited to reelect anyone. Kerry will get us out of Iraq - a place we shouldn't be in to begin with. Bush has done nothing against corporate offshoring, white collar IT workers are losing their jobs to less experienced cheap labor. Kerry plans to take away any corporate tax benefit to companies that offshore. What good does it do to educate children ("no child left behind") for careers that will be outsourced to foreign countries due to this administration's policies on offshoring? The issue of Kerry's flip flopping may not be entirely accurate as there are so many attachments made with any senatorial bill that any bill he may have rejected may have had nothing to do with the bill's main issue. The two things you can blame Kerry for is voting for war with Iraq and voting in the P.A.T.R.I.O.T act. An act proposed by the Bush Administration. Bush's credit for 9-11 is moronic for three reasons: 1)Any president or le

"I'm sick of the attack adds by both candidates. They should outline their Presidential goals then back them up with some details rather than rhetoric. With this approach the people can make a much more informed decision. They would be voting more on "facts" rather than on "push button" emotional issues."--Anonymous

"I am a middle class American and can find no reason to vote for Kerry. If we do not defeat the terrorists all other issues are of no consequence. Bush will defeat terrorism. "--Anonymous

"Unfortunately, I do not care for either candidate. I think it is very sad that I feel I have to vote for whom I think will do the least damage to our country. I actually would vote for Ralph Nader because he has always been for the people, however a vote for Nader is like a vote for Bush. I am voting for Bush."--Anonymous

"It is time that every choice during an election include the following choice, " I do not support any of the canidates running for this office." I think the politicians would find this choice perhaps getting the most votes so it will never happen. However, I do feel until we have such an option, the whole mess is just going to get more out of touch with the common citizen, the presidency will cost more to be bought than it does now and we will see even more lies and personal attacks issued by both sides."--Anonymous

"Bush is leading this country down the road to financial and ethical ruin"--Anonymous

"Since your web site offers sound financial advise, perhaps you could give a little to President Bush. I have serious concerns about the huge deficit that this administration has created. When Greenspan speaks of problems with medicare and social security, everyone should be listening. I was raised Republican, but can no longer relate to their values. What happened to "fiscally conservative"? I don't like the go-it-alone Iraq policy. I feel that had the war been handled differently, many other nations would be supporting America in the war effort. As it is, Americans will be paying the social and economic price for many generations to come. "--Anonymous

"My debts have nothing to do with who is president. I believe both will do the best they can, but I really feel that Bush is the best candidate and the best leader. Kerry has made such a big deal about his military background and his purple heart, that if I hear it once more I may be ill! At least Bush has the sense to not talk about his military experience. And Kerry telling our enemies that if he becomes president that he will withdraw our troops in 6 months, what kind of smart strategy is that?!! Not good military or leadership strategy that's for sure! "--Mary

"If one stays in the bushes sooooo long one would pr obably get cut. Only a joke! Get out and vote for JOHN KERRY!!!!!!!!!1"--ronald

"The lesser of two imbeciles."--Anonymous

"it is very hard to chose a candidate for every number or stat that is brought up there is an opposite number there is not a good choice and the only concern every American should even be thinking about is keeping the homeland secure"--STEVE

"I think that President George Bush is by far the better candidate... he cares more for the American people and he is a good christian leader. I vote for "4 MORE YEARS!""--Susan

"Bush needs to read your books regarding controlling debt as he has created a hugh deficit(I believe it now stands at 422 billion) in his 3 years in office. It seems this debt always falls on the middle class to pay off. Also he is allowing the largest corporations to outsource jobs that belong to American citizens and get tax credits to boot. It pains me everytime I go to get a prescription to see the elderly who worked hard to build this country & these large corporations and fought bravely in WWII, Korea & Vietnam not be able to afford the medicine that they need. Something must be done now before we become a third world country as the majority of us won't have jobs and the government will be broke. "--Anonymous

"I think the Republican Party is entirely too intolerant of different life styles and cares only for the status quo of business and power-brokers...."--Molly

"I'm not sure I would really like either one of them for president."--Anonymous

"Kerry is a phoney. If you have three purple hearts ----you should be in a wheel chair, not wind surfing and riding $10,000.00 bikes. He has no record in the senate and has already promised to raise taxes if elected."--Brian

"I am all for a Godly man in office. That man would be Bush. He and his lovely wife is welcome over for dinner anytime!"--joann

"I'd much rather have you over for dinner!"--Tom

"I am concerned that my taxes would go up if Kerry were elected and that I would see no benefit in services to correlate with that tax increase. However, I worry far more about terrorism than whether or not I can afford extras for my family. I am thankful to have a roof over my head and food on my table--anything else is gravy. To me, I would feel greedy and selfish to care more about my money than our nation's security."--MJ

"Bush is a puppet for corporations. He does NOT lead our country for the benefit of the American people but for the benefit of corporations. He has made ALL the wrong choices in the last years, regardless of the rhetoric that is spoken, and our great country is in worse shape. American MUST speak up and get him OUT. Kerry/Edwards will make choices FOR Americans."--Anonymous

"I believe that President Bush follows the guidance of Jesus Christ, he's more responsible than Kerry gives him credit for. He follows through on his promises, because he has to answer to Almighty God. He is keeping terrorism at bay here in the US. He has improved education for all children. The innocent people over in Iraq, have a hopeful future, because of our armed forces and President Bush. "--Beverly

"Bush's tax cuts have not been enough for people like me to make much of a difference, so he does not win me over on that point. But the collective effect of his tax cuts has been to cause our wonderful country to plunge into a record deficit in very short order. Just as we all as individuals must work toward becoming debt free, so must our nation. Bush has done just the opposite."--Cynthia

"The Presidency is such a complex job; I'm willing to give the incumbent 4 additional years to further develop ideas and programs. So much time and money is spent on campaigning--I think an eight year presidency without re-election option would be a more productive plan."--Anonymous

"I've heard Kerry has a "plan", but I haven't heard exactly what that plan is. Has anyone?"--Lisa

"I guess we're back to picking the lesser of the 2 evils. Wish someone else was running also!"--Anonymous

"Bush tempers some of the trials he faces as President with prayer and can weigh things based on the bigger picture. That's pretty important, because there definitely is a bigger picture. We all answer to the one above."--Pat

"We need to keep Bush in the White House. He has a lot of unfinished work to do and speaks for most of my positions."--Anonymous

"Bush has the same moral base that I have. I don't want a president that feels that he needs other countries blessings before he acts. I want a president that is pro life and pro marriage and does not follow the latest polls to decide what he should do."--Anonymous

"Bush is the mouth and feet of corporate America, particularly the Bush oil and armament interests. Kerry is a career politician learning how to sew stronger pocket seams. It's a shame the Green Party has no more possibility of earning the popular vote than I do."--norman

"No matter what he SAYS, Bush is all for "special interests" and enhancing the rich at the expense of everyone else. My main bugaboo with him is his relentless attacks on a woman's right to choose. Kerry can only be better."--Karen

"Great survey! I had a few no selections mostly because I think either would be equally bad. Too bad John McCain didnt make it in 2000. Things would be alot different. "--Keith Pounds

"I believe that Bush is for the wealthy and his Vice President has had underhanded dealing in big business in many factors oil, enron and on and on. I also do not believe we needed to go to war when we did. So many young Americans have lost their lives and many familes weep for the son, daughters and child needed their fathers and mothers, but this war has taken many away."--Bonnie

"President Bush is a man of moral integrity, honesty, and conviction. "--Peter

"Bush's so-called "tax cuts" really only help the 1-2% of wealthiest Americans. His fiscal policies are driving this country into the worst debt it's ever seen, not to mention his lack of concern for our society, education, environment, and getting along with the rest of the world."--Michael

"i really do no like bush or kerry but i would vote for bush.I do not like kerry because he is for the gay rights and several other issues that i think is morally wrong."--quada

"It makes me angry that Bush and Cheney are making millions from the oil wars and the reconstruction of Iraq while most Americans are struggling to make ends meet. There has to be a better choice. "--Carol

"#19. Kerry maybe a hero to some, but not one of mine. It's funny that you don't hear Kerry talk about his 19 years as a Senator. He didn't do very much during those years or nothing very important. I guess."--Anonymous

"I don't trust anything Kerry says because of his background of voting against important security measures. I also don't trust a life-long politician and it's very odd that his former comrades in service are so very much against him and basically recall Vietnam very differently than Kerry. He's also too rich to ever get down on my middle class, full of debt lifestyle."--Anonymous

"It sure would be nice to have a President capable of forming complete sentences! Oh, and a President who isn't hell bent on forcing his beliefs on everyone in the nation. "--Anonymous

"Although I don't want Bush for another four years, I'm also unsure about Kerry."--Anonymous

"I think it's time to have more choice in our presidential elections. Although I am a registered Republican, I am not happy with Bush and I have no other alternate available in that party. I don't like Kerry either. I feel that other parties should be able to stand a chance at getting elected. I like the Constitutional party and a couple others."--Anonymous

"Kerry is rich person who only wants to meet his own ego needs, he could give a damn about any one but himself. If he would release his tax records you would see how much he gives to charities. The bottom line he could care less about you unless it advances himself. "--John

"I still don't know what Kerry is for or about. All he does is rant about how he thinks pres bush is lying. Pres bush did not lower taxes, congress did. All he can do is recommend and congress passes the tax laws. I feel the democrats are hateful and are not looking for solutions to the problems facing our country. Pres bush did not let the terrorist go when he was in custody, clinton did. Pres bush is not without errors. Anyone who makes decisions also makes errors and then looks for new ways to solve problems when new info is available. I am scared when i think what kind of a pres gore would have been when the planes hit the towers. How could bush steal the election when our supreme court made the decision of who won. Pres bush had no say in the matter. More democrats should have voted if they wanted gore for a president. I pray for the people of the nation that they will make the decision that is best for our country. I live in ut and we will not decide. It will have to be other states.



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