Our “issues election” at BookExpo America 2007 focused on the issues that most concern this year’s attendees
This year at BookExpo America, we polled the attendees about which issues were most important to them. In keeping with the idea of the forthcoming book Opportunity 08: Independent Ideas for America’s Next President, the poll focused the discussion on today’s pertinent issues rather than the presidential candidates and their views. Members of the Press whittled the 26 topics presented in Opportunity 08 down to 5: climate change, health care, homeland security, immigration, and Iraq.
Our booth at BEA had five canisters, each labeled with one of the five topics. Attendees were asked to place a marble in the canister for the issue that was of most importance to them; this type of voting eliminated the possibly partisan stance of the voter and solely measured the amount of interest in the topic itself. Climate change, the winner of our marble poll, received 31.55% percent of the votes, beating out Iraq by 3 percentage points. Health care came in third with 26.13% of the votes. Surprisingly (to us, at least), immigration received just 7.82% of the votes and homeland security garnered only 6.04%.
The goal of our issues election was to focus on the issues that matter to voters in this unusually wide-open presidential election. The results indicate substantial interest in more dialogue on climate change, the situation in Iraq, and the health care system.
Citizens are clearly saying they want to hear more from candidates about the issues and less about partisan politics. Opportunity 08 aims to help presidential candidates and the public focus on critical issues facing the nation, providing ideas, policy forums, and information on a broad range of domestic and foreign policy questions.