Online Poll Says Majority of Low-Income Voters Favor Obama

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorNew York–A online survey recently conducted by ApartmentSmart.com reveals that Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama is more popular than Republican candidate John McCain among low-income renters. ApartmentSmart.com is an Internet directory for apartment shoppers searching for affordable rental housing.Seventy-two percent of low-income renters said they plan to vote for Sen. Barack Obama while 18 percent intend to vote for Sen. John McCain, according to the survey.Sen. Obama also leads among low-income homeowners, though by a much smaller margin. 52 percent of all homeowners surveyed intend to vote for Sen. Obama where 37 percent intend to vote for Sen. McCain.Another significant finding was that among Hispanic voters, nearly 65 percent intended to vote for Sen. Obama versus Sen. McCain’s sixteen percent.“They are both very different in their approaches, but from my understanding of their policies, Sen. McCain seems to be continuing the rhetoric that homeownership is the preferred choice of housing,” Linda Couch, deputy director of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, tells MHN. “On the other hand, Sen. Obama plans to expand availability of rental housing, preserve affordable housing and implement the National Housing Trust fund. He seems to be seeking a balance between the renting and owning models of housing.”Sen. Obama also wants to increase the federal minimum wage, says Couch. “Housing has become so expensive, so you need to increase the supply of housing so people can afford, increase their earnings or do a combination of both,” Couch explains. “Obama has also talked about housing programs for low-income residents and going back and figuring out the lessons from Hurricane Katrina.”Sharon Price, director of policy at the National Housing Conference, agrees. “Sen. Obama, in general, supports affordable housing and is more likely to implement policies beneficial to this sector. Under his administration, there is potential for increases in HUD programs, etc,” Price tells MHN.The ApartmentSmart.com survey was conducted during the month of October and polled more than 360 potential voters. It has a margin of error of six percent.