- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More voters are likely to define Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton“s presidential bid as driven by ambition and power than those of both her Democratic rival and the presumptive Republican nominee, a new poll says.

Both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain are viewed more as running to serve and change the nation.

The Rasmussen Reports survey showed that 34 percent of respondents consider ambition and power the main reasons that Mrs. Clinton is running for office, compared with 27 percent for Mr. Obama and 21 percent for Mr. McCain.

But the survey results were significantly partisan-based, with 50 percent of those saying that Mrs. Clinton was driven by ambition and power identifying themselves as Republicans, compared with 25 percent Democrat and 29 percent “other.”

Forty-two percent of Republicans agree that Mr. Obama’s leading motivation for running was ambition and power, as well as 19 percent of Democrats and 20 percent “other.”

Thirty-three percent of Democrats responding said Mr. McCain was most driven by power and ambition, compared with only 9 percent of the Republicans and 19 percent “other.”

Thirty-seven percent of men and 31 percent of women responding said ambition and power were Mrs. Clinton’s driving force for seeking the White House.

The poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday. It has a margin of error of three percentage points.

Forty-two percent of those responding said Mr. Obama’s primary impetus for running was a “desire to serve and change America.” Mr. McCain was second in the category with 37 percent, followed by Mrs. Clinton with 30 percent.

Only 5 percent of those responding said Mr. Obama was running because it was the “next natural step” in the senator’s career, compared with 12 percent for Mrs. Clinton and 19 percent for Mr. McCain.