July 12, 2004

Character Themes and Associations with the Candidates

George W. Bush John Kerry Neither Both D.K./Refused
Twists the facts 33% 28% 23% 8% 8%
Wealthy elitist 27% 20% 24% 14% 15%
Flip-flops 22% 36% 24% 9% 9%
Strong and decisive 48% 18% 21% 6% 7%
Stubborn/will not admit mistakes 44% 13% 25% 7% 11%
Personally tough and does not give up 53% 15% 17% 8% 7%

The character themes embedded in the coverage of the candidates in the spring leading up to the conventions tended to emphasize negative attributes of George Bush and John Kerry.