Kiwis prefer Obama as next US president

01:43, Jan 31 2009

New Zealanders prefer Barack Obama to run as the Democrats presidential candidate in the United States election.

A poll of New Zealanders asking who they would like to see run against Republican John McCain in the US election revealed 47 per cent chose Obama, compared to 31 per cent supporting Hillary Clinton.

A further 22 per cent were unable to offer an opinion.

The telephone survey involved 750 people aged 18 and over, interviewed between April 24 and May 1.

Results showed trends in the US, where Obama's core supporters are black, wealthy and the young, while Clinton's are white, working class and older, were mirrored in New Zealand.

Maori and Pacific Island voters preferred Obama, as did New Zealanders under the age of 45.

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Clinton was more popular amongst blue collar voters.

There was not much difference between genders.

The poll found National and Labour voters recorded almost identical results with National voters preferring Obama 44 per cent to 33 per cent and Labour voters preferring him 47 per cent to 33 per cent.

And it seems National voters in New Zealand swing to the left when contemplating US politics, with 55 per cent preferring Obama over McCain (20 per cent) and 53 per cent preferring Clinton to McCain (25 per cent).

The results come on a day when a split in crucial presidential contests in Indiana and North Carolina indicates the long battle between the two Democratic hopefuls is not yet over.

Clinton was expected to win in Indiana, while Obama swamped Clinton in North Carolina.

The two Democrats have battled for months for the right to represent the party in November's presidential election against Republican McCain.

Indiana and North Carolina, with a combined 187 delegates to the Democrats' convention at stake, were the biggest prizes left in the Democratic race. Only six contests remain with a combined 217 delegates at stake.

- NZPA