Poll: In 2008, Age More Important Than Race, Gender

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A Washington Post-ABC News poll out this morning found that candidates over the age of 72 -- like, say, Sen. John McCain, who will turn 72 about a month before Election Day -- face a much larger handicap than those who are female or black. Candidates who are Mormon -- in other words, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney -- face the second highest hurdle.

The poll asked about six major factors that have come up as stumbling blocks for major presidential candidates:

Percentage less likely to vote for a candidates who is...

Age (McCain), Mormonism (Romney), two divorces (Rudy Giuliani), being a smoker (Barack Obama), gender (Hillary Clinton), and race (also Obama). Gender and race were the two characteristics least likely to have a negative impact on the candidate's chances, according to the poll. Age was the most likely to be a factor.

The poll was conducted February 22-25, and surveyed 1,082 adults. The margin of error is 3 percentage points. The trend document with all questions and answers is available here.


Etc.: A list of presidential candidate websites, on USNews.com