2008 Democratic Campaign: Perceptions of the Obama-Clinton Nomination Struggle
The 2008 nomination battle between Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama was the closest in modern Democratic Party history, and attracted the close attention of the public. There seemed to be so little difference between the candidates in terms of issues and policy, and the split among voters appeared to be related to the perceptions of the candidates by these voters. Were voters motivated in their choice by Senator Clinton’s “experience,” Senator Obama’s “judgment,” ties to the administration of Bill Clinton, “post-partisanship,” gender, race, “electability,” or some other factors.? A strategy was thus employed to exploit the advantages of Q methodology in order to reveal a structure to these subjective viewpoints. Ultimately, a 45-statement Q sample was culled from internet blogs maintained by pundits and administered to participants in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania (27 respondents) and Syracuse, New York (24 respondents). Factor analysis revealed three distinct viewpoints in Pennsylvania and two distinct viewpoints in New York. A second-order factor analysis was undertaken to determine the degree of similarity between these factors.