Free Markets, Free People

Townhall Protesters Winning Public Relations Battle

Despite being called “brownshirts”, “un-American” and a “mob” of “astroturfers”, a Rasmussen poll indicates the public believes the townhall protesters to be a genuine reflection of the concerns of their neighbors:

Forty-nine percent (49%) have a favorable opinion of those opposing the health care reforms at town hall meetings. That’s up eight points from 41% a month ago. Thirty-five percent (35%) have an unfavorable view of the town hall protesters, unchanged from last month.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) now say the town hall protesters are citizens reflecting the concerns of their neighbors. That’s up ten points over the past month.

Thirty percent (30%) believe the protests are phony efforts drummed up by special interest groups and lobbyists.

Those are phenomenal numbers – within a month, the favorables for the protesters move up 8% despite an organized effort to demonize them while those who see the protesters unfavorably remains both flat and in the minority.

Another encouraging sign is the fact that most of those polled think that Congress members ought to shut up and listen:

Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters nationwide say that it’s more important for Congressmen to hear the view of their constituents rather than explain the proposed health care legislation. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 37% hold the opposite view while 7% are not sure.

The desire for Congress to listen may stem from the fact that voters believe they understand the legislation better than Congress.

Apparently Americans are in the mood to remind Congress members it is they who are the hired help and it is time they remembered it.

People ask, “what is the utility of a poll like that”? It is a temperature check, a mood indicator, a warning, if you will, that whatever is being contemplated by legislators and the president had best be checked against this trend. It isn’t a favorable trend for what they want to do and the utility comes in realizing that an tailoring something which won’t see them ushered unceremoniously out of office in a year or so.

Like, for instance, ramming something through that their constituents don’t like, but the party base does. The point to be taken here is if the protesters are the tip of the iceberg and most feel they truly represent the feelings of their neighbors, what do you suppose might happen in November of 2010 if legislators disregard the very strong signals being sent?

The president’s speech next Wednesday should be very interesting given these polling indicators. Will he continue to plow ahead trying to force a square peg in a round hole (and pay the political consequences) or will he bow to political reality and radically modify and shrink his goals for health care insurance reform?



Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

4 Responses to Townhall Protesters Winning Public Relations Battle

  • “Will he continue to plow ahead . . . ”

    One of the interesting sidelines of this whole controversey has been, in my estimation, the effectiveness of the grassroots movement and how it is viewed by the so-called “Democratic Strategists” in the talk shows on and off cable. Almost 100% of these “experts” (atleast from my viewing) have called the actions Astroturfing, a poor attempt at masking a coordinated effort at resembling a grassroots movement. Time and again they cite some unnamed poll of the american people that indicates continuing demand for health care reform.

    Now who do the Democrats believe? Their strategists who insist this is all a ruse conjured up by the dregs of the Republican far right wing or a true grass roots movement. My sense is they believe their strategists. Why? Because they have never seen a grassrotts movement. Their own attempts to do the same against the war and other worthy efforts died and they were force to emulate a grassroots movement by paying argainizers and providing transport and protest paraphenalia (signs and such) to their conscripts. So if they can’t conjure up such an effort and they trully represent the people, how can the wingnuts do the same? Can’t Be!

    Now, who does Obama believe? If I were a betting man, and I am, I would put my money on Obama believing in his own infallability. In his mind he will say, “These teabaggers will just melt away once I put my real mojo to work here.”

    Plow on! Heh!

    • SShiellAlmost 100% of these “experts” (atleast from my viewing) have called the actions Astroturfing, a poor attempt at masking a coordinated effort at resembling a grassroots movement. Time and again they cite some unnamed poll of the american people that indicates continuing demand for health care reform.

      I suspect that the dems know that the opposition to their schemes is genuine grassroots, and that’s WHY they are trying so hard to convince people that it’s astroturf. They know that the opposition, though vocal, represents SO FAR a fairly small fraction of the electorate. The last thing they want is for the opposition movement to gain credibility and, through it, numbers. Since they can’t fight the opposition with facts and truth, they are trying with might and main to discredit it by claiming that it’s ginned up, “extremist”, a tiny minority, etc, etc.

      I would also add that the dems understand that the opposition to health care takeover has the potential to expand into an opposition to large, intrusive government in general. If a majority of Americans (or even a sizable, well-motivate minority) adopt the general principle of small government, the dems are finished.

  • Exclusive Photo of Zombies Attacking Obamacare Protester here,

  • In observing the so called experts voicing there opinions, I come away with the feeling that they are trying to convince themselves, and us that they are correct; but I am not convinced, nor are many of the people that I talk with.

    The people speaking up at the Town Hall meetings are really just the representatives of a larger majority than we think, the tip of the iceburg so to speak. Till now, their greviences have been on Health Care;
    but we still need to confront the Congress on other issues as well. Social Security reform, Immigration, and their antics that seek to degrade the operations of organizations that are responsible for maintaining the Countries security.

    The Congress needs to be monitored closely on their activities, as well as bills proposed, and passed. How each Rep is voting is important for us to know, in order to make voting decisions in the mid term elections of 2010.

    I think that it would be a mistake however, to only consider candidates along party lines. Supporting conservatives, and moderates of all political affiliations, and eliminating the liberal and Marxist reps would result in a better functioning Government. Those that listen to the constituency are the Representatives that we need.