Zogby International did a poll asking respondents about the West Wing's campaign, with the results showing that Matthew Santos is most popular with Viewers:
"Santos, an Hispanic character played by Jimmy Smits, would win in a landslide over Vinick, played by Alan Alda, capturing 59% of the popular vote, compared to 29% for Vinick, the poll shows.
The survey comes as the characters prepare to face off in an unprecedented live debate to be broadcast during Sunday’s episode of The West Wing. It also shows that 72% of respondents, all viewers who have been following the current season of the program, believe the show’s writers will give the win to Santos. Just 20% said they think Vinick will come out on top.
On the program, Santos and Vinick are campaigning to replace Josiah Bartlet, the two-term Democratic president played by Martin Sheen. Though Sheen’s character has faced numerous troubles during his made-for-television administration, he is held in high esteem by viewers – with a job approval rating at a stratospheric 75%.
Overall, 85% said they have a positive opinion of him."
The survey showed that Santos is trusted more than Vinick to handle most current issues, including immigration, health care, Social Security, abortion, race relations, education, and the environment. Vinick is trusted more to handle international relations, tax cuts, and terrorism. Viewers think both candidates would handle the federal budget with equal aplomb.
Both candidates are well-liked by the audience. Santos carries an overall approval rating of 88%, while three of every four say they have a positive opinion of Vinick. A majority said they agree with Santos’ political philosophy, but Vinick is seen as more “presidential” and has a background better suited for the presidency, the survey shows.
While the show is entertaining, a plurality of respondents (41%) said they prefer watching real presidential campaigns. Asked if they would support one of the actors if they ran for public office in real life, respondents said Alda and Smits should keep their day jobs – just 36% said it was somewhat or very likely they would vote for Smits, while 44% said they would vote for Alda."
A very snarky Washington Post article reveals, that MSNBC paid for the poll.
MSNBC has posted a related poll from Zogby with more general questions about Hollywood and Politics.