Geeks prefer Senator Barack Obama for U.S. president — at least that relatively small cross-section of geeks who read The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society’s Web site and its JOM member journal.
An online poll, up since Sept. 19, has Democrat Obama leading his Republican counterpart, Senator John McCain, by a 61 percent to 37 percent margin as of late Thursday.
By late Thursday, more than 185 people had voted in the poll, which is open to anyone. Yes, that’s 185 — no zeros missing. The poll continues until Oct. 15.
So the poll may not the most scientific, but it has received more than double the number of votes than an average poll at TMS.org, said James Robinson, publisher of JOM. The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society focuses on promoting the science and engineering professions connected to minerals, metals and materials.
Robinson wasn’t sure why his readers were trending to Obama by a larger margin than the general U.S. population. With a global readership, some of the voters may be from outside the U.S., he said. And the Democratic Party seemed to have the jump on Republicans on scientific issues such as global warming, he added.
Robinson called his readers an astute group. “Our readers do follow the political situation carefully because a lot of them receive funding from federal agencies,” he said.
A poll of 600 IT workers by the Computing Technology Industry Association, or CompTIA, released in March found that group of geeks split between McCain and Obama. Each received 29 percent of the votes in that poll, with other candidates still in the race getting less support.
Recent national polls have put Obama ahead by single digits.
Both candidates can talk about strong ties to technology and science issues. Obama has been shown on the media frequently checking his PDA, and he put out an extensive technology policy paper late last year.
McCain published his own tech policy paper in mid-2008, and he’s a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which deals with many of the tech issues that pass through Congress.