Magazine article Drug Topics

Who Will Land Your Vote?

Magazine article Drug Topics

Who Will Land Your Vote?

Article excerpt

R.Ph. panel casts its vote for President and some of the controversial issues facing the country

What is it about pharmacists and Republican Presidential candidates? Once again, R.Ph.s polled by Drug Topics said they intended to vote for the GOP standard-bearer in the quadrennial race for the White House. By a margin of 59% to 20%, our respondents picked Texas Gov George W Bush over his Democratic rival, Vice President Al Gore. The Green Party's Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan of the Reform Party each scored 1%, and 19% were undecided as of late August.

But no matter who takes up residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. next January, he will have to deal with the same hot button issues. The Drug Topics pulse-taking of its Council of Pharmacists asked what they thought were the most important national agenda items the gird President will face. They also were specifically queried about President Clinton's impact on the pharmacy profession, a Medicare prescription drug benefit and other Rx issues, medication-error reporting, abortion, gun control, assisted suicide, and pharmacy association membership.

Pharmacists have favored Republican Presidential nominees stretching back to the first Drug Topics survey in 1980, when Ronald Reagan was the choice of 61% of the R.Ph. voters to 15% for President Jimmy Carter. (Reagan's support rocketed to a record 81% in 1984.) In political-year handicapping, the figures show R.Ph.s have backed the winner in three out of the past five Presidential elections. The results also show RPh.s are riding a two-contest losing streak, thanks to Bill Clinton's popularity with nonpharmacists.

With support nudging 60%, George W is running well ahead of the two previous Republican stalwarts, Sen. Robert Dole of Kansas and President George H. Bush, father of the current candidate. George W was most popular with men, Southerners, and practitioners with 10 years or less experience, according to the poll. Here's what some R.Ph.s had to say about why they are supporting their candidate:

* "Pro-gun, pro-life, pro-business."Missouri pharmacy manager, voting for Bush.

* "The next President will likely select/appoint three or four Supreme Court justices, and I believe that Bush will choose judges that have similar stances on issues as L"-Alabama staff RPh.

* "I own guns and raise tobacco. Need I say more?"-Kentucky staff R.Ph., backing Bush.

* "I am a registered Democrat, but don't really care for Al Gore." Kentucky R.l'h., still undecided.

* "Bush is unqualified. If his father had not been President, he wouldn't have a chance."-Iowa pharmacy manager, supporting Gore.

* "Character matters, stupid!"Louisiana pharmacy manager, supporting Bush

* "I see Mr. Gore as more stable, more intelligent, and more respected in world as well as national politics." Illinois supervising R.Ph.

* "Republicans have demonstrated more concern for and action on the part of business and wealthy constituents. They do not address the needs of working people adequately. Voting records show this trend."Michigan staff R.Ph., supporting Gore.

* "He's the best conservative who can win."-Colorado owner, voting for Bush

On a bipartisan note, a plurality of respondents (43%) said they would not cast their ballots for members of the 107th Congress based on party label alone. But 38% said they would vote exclusively for Republicans, and 17% said they would vote only for Democrats. Nearly all the respondents (98%) said they planned to vote on Nov 7.

By a wide margin, R.Ph.s rated health care as the most important issue facing the nation today There was little difference in responses from independent, chain, or hospital pharmacists. Two out of three responses cited health care as the burning issue, with females (72%) and Easterners (78%) most likely to do so. The economy was the clear second choice, especially among men, independent practitioners, and Westerners. …

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