HAMDEN, Conn. – Voters would rather flip burgers and drink beer at a backyard barbecue with President Bush than Sen. John Kerry (search), according to a national poll that found Bush leading Kerry on "regular guy" qualities.
Half of the registered voters surveyed said they would rather have a barbecue with Bush, while 39 percent chose Kerry and 11 percent either didn't know or would not answer the question posed by Quinnipiac University (search) pollsters.
More voters also would trust Bush, 46-41, to run the family business. But voters were evenly split on whether they would rather have Kerry or Bush teach their children.
Mickey Carroll, the director of the Quinnipiac Polling Institute, said these offbeat questions were asked to try to get a peek at the personal, regular-guy qualities of each candidate.
On the question of whom to vote for, though, voters were evenly split — 43 percent picked Bush, 42 percent chose Kerry, 6 percent chose Ralph Nader (search), and the rest said they did not know, would not answer, would choose someone else or would skip the election.
"On the likeability, regular-guy quotient, probably Bush comes out a little bit better, but with who are you going vote for, it's a standoff," Carroll said.
Carroll said the regular-guy quotient factors in to how voters make their choices, along with the candidates' stance on the issues and their experience and leadership qualities.
"Does a guy's personality matter? The answer is yes," Carroll said. "To what extent? We don't know. When you vote for a president, everything gets stirred into the mix."
The poll questioned 1,160 registered voters nationwide by telephone from May 18 to 24. The poll has a sample error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.