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Who is better for tech: McCain or Obama?

In terms of our nation's ability to compete in the global marketplace, which presidential candidate would be better for the technology industry.

A long time ago - I think it was 1995 - I was seated at a long dinner table in a rather nice home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Around the table were all the officers and directors of Cyrix- the microprocessor company that was later acquired by National Semiconductor.

One of our directors was Jack Kemp, quarterback and politician extraordinaire. Jack, who can really work a room, eventually turned the conversation to politics. The question put to the table was whom did we like in the upcoming Republican primaries and why.

I instantly panicked. I didn't even know who the candidates were. I wasn't a Democrat; I just didn't care much about politics. Back then, my opinion of political candidates was based solely on the effect they would have on my taxes.

Thankfully, the inquisition went the long way around the table. By the time it got to me, I was able to fudge a pretty good answer.

I'm more politically astute these days - which isn't saying much - but I'm still not sure if it matters to the technology industry who wins the upcoming presidential election.

Greg Sandoval/Declan McCullagh/

A March phone survey of 600 technology employees had Obama and McCain tied.

I also checked out the CNET Technology Voters' Guide, which had Barack Obama's and John McCain's answers to a questionnaire. There was some good content regarding specific issues there, but it wasn't what I wanted to know.

All I care about is our nation's ability to compete in an increasingly global world economy. To be more specific, these are the top three technology-related political issues I'm interested in:

1. Protecting the intellectual property rights of U.S. companies overseas;
2. Helping to improve the competitiveness of U.S. companies overseas; and
3. Helping to prepare our children for an increasingly competitive and global marketplace.

Sure, there are other issues, but I think they pale in comparison to these three.

So I ask you - the ever-knowledgeable and opinionated CNET reader - which candidate will be better for our nation's global competitiveness? Or, if you think there are bigger issues, please enlighten us.

Note: the first part of this post is based on a story originally published here.