NEW YORK Director Ben Affleck and "Argo" may have been the big winners at the Golden Globes, but many Americans think Steven Spielberg and "Lincoln" should take home the top Oscars at next month's awards.
Nearly a quarter of Americans questioned in an Ipsos poll for Reuters thought the Civil War drama "Lincoln" should win the Oscar for best picture at the 85th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on February 24. Spielberg was also their top choice for best director, with 36 percent choosing him.
Only 4 percent of Americans thought "Argo," which depicts the rescue of American diplomats in Iran in the 1970s, should win the Academy Award for best picture.
The poll results have little if any implication for who will ultimately win the Oscars, which are voted on by movie industry professionals.
The Golden Globes are sometimes looked to for hints on the eventual Oscar victors, the biggest prizes in the film industry, as many Globe winners have gone on to Oscars success. But Affleck is not even in the running for best director after he was snubbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which announced its nominations last week.
Americans chose Daniel Day-Lewis as their clear favorite to follow up his Golden Globe win for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln with a best actor Oscar.
Twenty-two percent chose him over Denzel Washington in "Flight," who polled 16 percent while Hugh Jackman, who won a Golden Globe for his role in the musical "Les Miserables" was third.
But the choice for best actress was less clear cut. Twelve percent of the 1,158 Americans polled voted for Naomi Watts as the distraught mother in the tsunami drama "The Impossible," followed by 10 percent for Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings Playbook" and 9 percent for Jessica Chastain in the search for Osama Bin Laden thriller, "Zero Dark Thirty."
Lawrence won the Golden Globe on Sunday for best actress in a comedy or musical, while Chastain took home the prize for best actress in a drama.
"Lincoln" was also the top choice in the poll for the supporting categories, with Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field favourites for their performances in the film.
Comedians Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who won praise for their first stint hosting the Golden Globes, will be a hard act to follow but 42 percent of Americans approved of the choice of outspoken comedian and creator of "Family Guy" Seth MacFarlane to helm the Academy Awards.
If given the opportunity to select the host for the Oscars, 15 of people said they would opt for comedian Billy Crystal, followed by 12 percent who chose Ellen DeGeneres while 10 percent wanted Steve Martin.
To view the full poll results go to link.reuters.com/deh35t
The poll, which was conducted online from January 11-15, has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; editing by Cynthia Osterman)