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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
'Ejection' Latest: US Public Names White House Candidates They Most Want to 'Pilot,' 'Sit Next to' on, and 'Eject' From, Their Plane
Cheapflights Poll Names Obama Top 'Pilot,' 'Seatmate' and 'Ejection' Choices; Republican Favourite Reagan Beats Romney in 'Pilot' Poll -- Quayle Last; Bill Clinton Named Second Favourite 'Seatmate,' Reagan Third -- Quayle Last; Ford, Nader, Colbert, Reaga

LONDON -- (Marketwire) -- 11/05/12 -- With the Presidential Election just days away, US voters remain sharply divided in their view of President Obama, with almost equal numbers naming him as the candidate of modern times they would most like both to fly their plane -- and eject from their plane (with a parachute, of course)(1).

In the recent poll of 1,062 US adults by online travel search and inspiration site, Cheapflights, the President was both the most popular choice as pilot of their plane (20.4%) -- and the leading candidate to be ejected (22.3%). There was some solace for the President, with the US public naming him as the candidate they would most like to sit next to -- with a 15.9% share of the vote.

Governor Romney, meanwhile, only polled third place as 'pilot,' behind former Republican favourite, Ronald Reagan -- and was a distant seventh in the 'seatmate' poll, with just 5.6% of the vote. Romney ran closer to Obama in the poll that no-one wanted to win: 'the candidate people would most like to eject from their plane,' winning 16.6% of the vote, behind President Obama with 22.3%.

The 'just for fun' survey underlines the ambivalence of the US public towards presidential and vice presidential candidates, particularly in this election -- but also in modern political history.

Popular pilots
Just over a fifth (20.4%) backed Barack Obama to fly their plane -- with Republicans demonstrating their ambivalence towards current candidate Mitt Romney by voting party favourite Ronald Reagan into second with 12% of the overall vote, compared to 10.9% for Governor Romney, in third.

Former President Bill Clinton was a popular choice as pilot on 10.3% of the vote, ahead of George W. Bush (9.9%), Stephen Colbert (5.8%) and Hillary Clinton with 5.7%. Dan Quayle was the candidate who the public trusted least at the controls -- polling a mere 0.2%.

Seatmate shenanigans
The choice of who to sit next to probably gave the public the best opportunity to vote purely on personality grounds. Obama was the winner here, with 15.9% of the vote, 1.1% ahead of number 2 choice, Bill Clinton receiving 14.8% -- and another heavyweight, albeit at the other end of the political spectrum; former President Ronald Reagan, who was third on 12.4%.

Other popular choices were: Stephen Colbert, who polled fourth on 11.8%, Sarah Palin (8.6%) and Hilary Clinton with 7.9%. That left current presidential challenger, Mitt Romney, a distant seventh with 5.6% -- but still ahead of Dan Quayle, the man who no-one wanted to get to know; scoring no votes.

Just get them out: 'ejection results'
Perhaps with his 2008 campaign slogan still ringing in people's ears, Obama scored his highest share of the vote in the poll he is probably keenest to avoid -- which candidate would people choose to eject from their plane. The President was the person most people wanted to throw out by some margin, with 22.3% of the vote -- ahead of Governor Romney (16.6%), who narrowly beat Sarah Palin into third (15.7%). Other popular candidates for ejection were: George W. Bush (9.6%), Jesse Jackson (7.1%), John Edwards (5.9%) and Paul Ryan (5.2%).

Gerald Ford was the candidate most likely to avoid getting the push -- with just 0.1% of the poll voting to throw him from the plane. Other candidates who can be considered 'safe' when it comes to being ejected were: Ralph Nader (0.8%), Ronald Reagan (0.9%), Stephen Colbert (0.9%) Dan Quayle (1.0%) and Ross Perot (1.1%)

On the political fringe: other answers

  • 'Marvin the Martian' and 'Mickey Mouse' weren't even candidates, but jointly got the same share of the vote for 'pilot' as Dan Quayle (0.2%)
  • 'Sully' Sullenberger, hero pilot of the 'miracle on the Hudson' flight, wasn't a presidential candidate either, but nevertheless managed 0.2% of the vote for pilot by write-in votes -- the same as Dan Quayle
  • "No-one" and "no parachute" were unprompted additions to the answers on 'who would you most like to pilot your plane' and 'who would you most like to eject.'

Cheapflights spokesman Ben Rosier said: "This was meant as a fun poll, but it clearly also highlights the US public's love/ hate relationship with all politicians -- and their jaded view of the current campaign. We were genuinely surprised at the number of people who suggested taking the parachute from their choice of candidate for ejection."

He added: "It's been a long campaign, but with the end of the election now in sight, maybe it's time people consider taking a holiday from politics and getting away from it all? But remember to choose your airline and destination with care -- with the losing candidate not having access to Air Force One, they may just end up in a seat next to you!"

(1) The poll of 1,062 adults, conducted at the end of October, asked US respondents to select from a politically representative list of high profile presidential and vice presidential candidates -- or to name their own candidate. The options were: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Sara Palin, George W.Bush, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Herman Cain, Dan Quayle, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Stephen Colbert, Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, John Edwards, or 'other -- specify.'

About Cheapflights Media
Cheapflights Media is an international media network helping over 11 million visitors a month find top travel deals. Our Cheapflights brand was launched in 1996 and pioneered the online comparison of flight deals for users. Today, users compare a wide range of deals from hundreds of partners including online travel agents, consolidators and airlines to find the very best flight deals. With a mission to be the starting point for travel, Cheapflights works to deliver the industry's best airfare bargains, expert tips and inspiration. There are currently Cheapflights sites in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Germany, Australia & New Zealand, France, Italy and Spain. For more information, visit Our newest brand, momondo, is a leading travel search engine for finding comprehensive worldwide pricing and availability on airfares. Winner of several awards, the site is ideal for users on specific travel schedules. For more information, visit

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Ben Rosier
Global Head of PR Cheapflights
Direct line (UK): 020 3219 7553
Mobile (UK: add 44, subtract the '0'): 07740 251 147/ 07968 166 423

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