Free Markets, Free People

Indicators: WaPo poll says majority thinks government too big

As Dale points out in the podcast, while the election polls have yet to reflect it, the atmospherics of this electiongovtintrusion don’t bode well for Obama.  For instance, you have huge crowds turning out for Romney/Ryan events and you have the Obama campaign trying out “we purposely limit crowd size” on the media to excuse the comparatively paltry turnouts they are experiencing.  And then there’s the Newsweek cover story by Niall Ferguson telling Obama it’s time he hit the road.  It is almost like Newsweek is attempting a return to legitimacy by distancing itself from Obama.

Another indicator, much like the Gallup issues poll in which Obama had a 36% approval rating on the economy, is a Washington Post poll concerning the size and intrusiveness of government.

Call it a mood poll if you wish.  But again, taken with all the other polls, it does indeed begin to outline the “atmospherics” surrounding the election.  In this poll, a good majority of those polled said that government was both too big and too intrusive … not to mention way to expensive.  CNS has the story:

The poll asked: "Would you say you favor a smaller federal government with fewer services, or larger federal government with many services?"

Among all those polled, 55 percent said they wanted a smaller federal government and 40 percent said they wanted a larger federal government.

Among just the registered voters in the poll, 58 percent said they wanted a smaller federal government and 37 percent said they wanted a larger federal government.

The poll also asked: "Do you personally agree or disagree with the following statement. Government controls too much of our daily lives."

Among all those polled, 60 percent said they agreed and 39 percent said they disagreed. Among just the registered voters in the survey, the results were almost identical, with 60 percent saying they agreed and 38 percent saying they disagreed.

CNS points out that the Washington Post analysis says:

“… [T]he results show a deep partisan divide in America. "Partisan polarization presents a potentially insurmountable barrier to governing for whomever wins the White House in November."

Funny how the percentage of those who are for a larger and more intrusive government are at about the same percentage as the Democrats in the poll (35%).  So if it is “partisan polarization”, it would seem that the Democrats are losing the battle.  It would seem that the big middle is headed to the right.

Now we all know it’s easy to say you want smaller government with fewer services when it costs you nothing but an answer on a poll.  And we also understand that most people are fine with real cuts, as long as they effect someone else’s benefits and not theirs.  But that doesn’t change the fact that the mood of the country is inclined toward smaller and less intrusive government.

And that doesn’t bode will for big government Democrats – like Obama.


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40 Responses to Indicators: WaPo poll says majority thinks government too big

  • “It is almost like Newsweek is attempting a return to legitimacy by distancing itself from Obama.”

    Yes. And they are running out of time to do it. As I said over at Mike’s the other day:

    Remember the inner psychology of the media. In their own minds, they are not biased, and most certainly not in the tank for Obama. It’s just that he has brilliant, world-class temperament and all, and he deserved to win and make history.

    So, if it becomes sufficiently obvious that Obama is floundering and probably going to lose, they will need some fig leaves to point to so they can maintain their internal rationalization that they’re not biased. The relatively astute among them (not that very many of them are particularly astute) are starting to see the wave about to crash down around Obama. The economic figures, one gaffe after another from both Obama and Biden, half-full venues compared to huge crowds for Romney and Ryan, polls starting to show Obama behind – with just weeks to go, they are starting to realize that if they are going to put any markers down to support a pretense of objectivity, time is running short to do it.

    Now, these fools move as a herd. Once several of them start down that path, lots of others will get spooked and head in the same direction.

    As a preference cascade starts to build against Obama among the public, these guys are going to realize, perhaps subconsciously, that they’re carrying water for the losing side. They don’t mind the carrying water part; they just don’t want to do it, be seen doing it, and then lose anyway.

    I’m only marginally happier with Romney as I was with McCain. But it was pretty clear in 2008 that McCain was going to have a tough time pulling out a win. I thought after he got a bounce from Palin that he has a small chance, but the economic meltdown in September quashed that.

    Romney’s chances look much better, and I’m generally in agreement with those who think it won’t even be close. Seeing these deep-in-the-tank media outlets floating their anti-Obama fig leaves is just one more indication of that.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean he can fix anything substantial. One of the big dangers of a Romney presidency is an economic meltdown during his term that was already made inevitable by earlier mistakes from Obama/Bush/Clinton. If that happens, Romney will make a very convenient scapegoat, and the media will revert quickly to their “big government good, conservatism bad” default mode.

    • Except that the day after the election…if the Obami are turned out…the mood of the country will be reversed.  Finally, we will see Hope and Change.

      • Yep – and just a more positive attitude will help.    And Romney doesn’t even have to work hard to think, he just has to undo things Obama has done, like the moratorium on drilling, and seeing if he can find a way to convince Canada we DO want their oil, showing some guts on the border, calling off the EPA.   It’s not like Obama hasn’t set out highway flares where he planned the wrecks along the national roadway.

        • There are a thousand vagueries in whether people think the government is too large and too instrusive, and a partisan divide within. Many Democrats think that Republicans are the more intrusive party.

          If you want a poll question that is likely to impact how people vote, you might want to look at this question:

          Q: In general do you think the policies of the Republican Party mainly help or mainly hurt the economic interests of you and your family?

          Help 37%

          Hurt 51%

          Q: In general do you think the policies of the Democratic Party mainly help or mainly hurt the economic interests of you and your family?

          Help 45%

          Hurt 45%

          If the polling on the size and scope of government were to truly favor Republicans, and to truly be an indicator of how people would vote, Obama would not be leading Romney among Independents by an 11 point margin.

          • Heh Cap, you go right on believing Obama has an and 11 point lead, especially if it makes you feel better.

          • Wow, we no more conjure the Sophistry Demon…and POOF…there you are, complete with pure BS, sans any references!
            A tour d’main…of your typical bullshit.
            CONSERVATIVES…who are not the Republican Party…support smaller government.  (See the period, moron?)

          • “you go right on believing Obama has an and 11 point lead”

            It’s not a matter of faith, it’s just polling results. The results have changed in the past, and will change in the future, but my point is that the polling of size and scope of government does not track with voter polls, so it’s an interesting factoid, but irrelevant.

            From the the not liberal News Channel…

            “Obama’s advantage comes largely from increased support among independents, who now pick him over Romney by 11 percentage points. Some 30 percent of independents are undecided. Last month, Obama had a four-point edge among independents, while Romney had the advantage from April through early June.”

          • Boy, talk about your delusions supported by delusions…!!!
            A poll, PUBLISHED ten days ago, and admitting that it assumes Deemocrat voters outnumber Conservatives (which Gallup reports as being the INVERSE of the truth)!!!!  Toooooo funny!
            Yeah, you mumble that in corner where you go to rock and bump your head against the wall.

          • “Obama’s advantage comes largely from increased support among independents, who now pick him over Romney by 11 percentage points.”
            And like I said, if it makes you happy to believe that poll, you go for it.  I’m not particularly impressed that it’s a Fox poll, so don’t go there.  Nor am I particularly impressed that it’s a couple weeks old, and predates the VP pick, or Biden unleashed.

          • “I’m not particularly impressed that it’s a Fox poll, so don’t go there.  Nor am I particularly impressed that it’s a couple weeks old, and predates the VP pick, or Biden unleashed.”

            “A poll, PUBLISHED ten days ago, and admitting that it assumes Deemocrat voters outnumber Conservatives (which Gallup reports as being the INVERSE of the truth)!!!!  Toooooo funny!”

            Since this discussion is about polling on the size of government, and I don’t imagine that has change appreciably in the last ten days, my point in bringing up a poll that is a whole 10 days old was to show that poll respondents who want smaller government do not translate into poll repondents who want Rrpublicans, and more importantly, that any idiot would understand that a poll that shows the opinion of people regarding which party would be more likely to hurt their personal economic circumstances is MUCh more likely to translate iinto votes. The poll referenced in this VERY post was taken between July 25 and August 5th, more than 10 days ago, but yet I didn’t see anyone bitching about that?

            As to assumptions of democrats vs conservatives, no such polling has been done. There has been polling of conservatives vs liberals, and far more people self identify as conservatives (40% to 21%), but this mainly a function of polarization within the Republican party. Right now, 71% of Republicans self identify as conservative or very conservative and only 23% identify as moderate (virtually 0% liberal). The democratic party has had some polarization, but not nearly as much, such that only about 40% identify as liberal, about the same that identify as moderate, with a statistically significant number within the Democratic party that identify as conservative (20%).

            The reason this doesn’t translate into actual votes is that Republicans who will vote for Republicans have really just traded their self identification from moderate to conservative, while Democrats who still vote for Democrats have not. Let me explain what this means in real life. If you walked in to a Republican presidential nominees field office in 1996, you would find about 25% self identified as moderate, in a democratic candidates office, about 20% would self identify as moderate, today about the same fraction of Democratic activists identify themselves as moderate, but only 10% of Republican activists would self identify as moderates. Do you think Democratic activists will be voting for Republicans? As for the difference between the polling before Ryan and after, the Romney ticket got a 1% bump immediately after the announcement, the worst bounce since Dan Quayle. Ryan will have a chance to help or hurt the ticket in the weeks to come, but his impact so far is basically nil. Does this mean that polling before his announcement (which left the race unchanged) are no longer valid? I don’t think so. If the GOP got a 10 point bump from Ryan, I would agree that everything had changed, but it hasn’t, yet. It may in the future, in either direction, but 10 days has not changed a thing.

            This was not about Ryan, or any bump that may go along with his selection, this was about the lack of correlation between how people anticipate voting and polls of whether they think the government is too big.

          • Since you obviously have your finger on the pulse of the nation much more firmly than we do – tell us, what IS it about Obama that everyone thinks makes him so swell?
            Why is it that so many independents think Obama is going to fix their problems and make their life better?    I mean, despite the rational evidence of three years to the contrary.   Despite the evidence of complete opacity rather than transparency of the administration, the deliberate divisiveness he displays, rather than the unity he promised, the imperial Presidency with it’s appointed czars and executive orders?      Do you think few REALLY see this whole disconnect between his words and his actions?  Do I attribute this to his ability to cloud men’s minds like the Shadow?  Should I conclude they are, for all practical purposes on the national level, morons?
            And can I assume, come election time, you’ll cast your vote for smaller government by voting for Barack Obama and the Democratic party?     too many questions?

      • “the mood of the country will be reversed”

        Oh how I wish that were true. The reality, I am sad to say, is that while there would be a reversal, it would be more of a mirror image reversal in that the people who are bitching now will stop bitching, and the people who are not bitching will start.

        One of the best things about Ronald Reagan was that through his optimism and his sheer force of personality, he really was able to change the mood of the country, and while there were some loud liberals complaining, they were drowned out by people who WANTED us to be the country that Reagan said we were.

        Partisanship was a slightly different animal back then.

        Look at the healthcare debate that has raged, when a Republican plan, supported by a majority of Republicans long before it was adopted by Democrats, it suddenly became part of a liberal socialist  agenda. Republicans will gladly abandon their principles if Democrats begin to adopt them.

        Look at the Medicare debate. Republicans have passed TWO budgets (written by the VP nominee) that leave the Obamacare Medicare spending growth cuts intact, while repealing the rest of the bill, and are now running on repealing those same cuts and arguing that Obama is the Medicare cutter and they are they are the Medicare spenders.

        Why wouldn’t Romney just make the same argument that Ryan has been making for two years, that we need to reduce Medicare spending growth to save Medicare rather than pander to senior voters? You know the answer, he is trying to get votes, but he’ll be married to that position if he wins, and cuts that are considered prudent and do not impact care will have to be reversed. That would be the same as spending $800 billion to get votes, something that Republicans consistently accuse democrats of doing. It’s all BS politics as usual, from both sides.

        “The Congressional Budget Office concluded the cuts actually make Medicare more efficient and extend the life of the program. Additionally, all but four members of the house GOP voted for those same cuts in passing Ryan’s budget plan. ”$716b-medicare-cut-attack-is-dubious/

        • Wrong.  But it was ever thus.
          To borrow an Erpism (and may God have mercy on my soul) “watch and learn”.
          The mood of the nation will reverse, in that people will see we are not dialed into the Obamic Decline any longer, and that will lift the nation at large, sans Collectivist idiots like yourself.

        • The answer then is to stick with Obama and Biden.    Success almost assured, things will be great, or at least better than they would be if we elect Romney.
          Yes, that’s a good plan Cap, you keep along those lines, be the faux disloyal loyal supporter.  Perhaps a deck chair will float by for you to grab.
          You DO see that you show up here and consistently, while pretending you’re arguing against the status quo, continuously argue that the status quo is better than Romney.
          You see that, don’t you?   Because when you show up, all you ever do is tell us that Romney is sketchy, or his policies are bad, or the Republican policies are bad, implying I can only assume, that Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and the wonderfully successful government we have is preferable to Romney and the Republicans.
          You aren’t interested in slowing the train to hell, not really (note, I will believe the Republicans are going to stop it when it jumps the tracks, falls over, and explodes because of some action they’ve actually taken)   It will probably feel better if you stop pretending though.

        • “The Congressional Budget Office concluded the cuts actually make Medicare more efficient and extend the life of the program. Additionally, all but four members of the house GOP voted for those same cuts in passing Ryan’s budget plan. ”

          Still believing in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny after five years-old is NOT a good sign, dude.

    • I haven’t been a strong Ronmey supporter and he wasn’t my first pick, but as far as the economy,  I think Romney is probably the best choice this cycle.  I’m sure he will have occasion to disappoint, but we already know that Obama easn’t just a disappointment but rather a disaster.
      Obama has no clue economically, which probably explains why his college record is wrapped up tighter than a vigin’s knees. Post-partisan and post-racial promises now seem so utterly laughable now.
      So if we need business to come back,  we probably need the service of a Bain alumni.

  • “Partisan polarization presents a potentially insurmountable barrier to governing for whomever wins the White House in November.”

    What an odd statement!  If, as the poll shows, there is a clear preference among the people…especially the voting people…for smaller government, how is achieving that “insurmountable”?  Yeah, there will be politicians who fight it, but that is always true, isn’t it, regardless of what the issue?
    And if partisanship makes us ungovernable, let it be shown now.  Let us deal with that reality if it is demonstrated, and let the camps be divided and freed to pursue their visions.
    I see the problem being…not partisanship…but the Tyranny Of The Status Quo, as Milton Friedman wrote several decades ago.  THAT will be where the impediments will be, and where they have to be cut down.

  • Here’s my solution to partisan polarization: first, vote to eliminate the Democrats from public office entirely, at every level of government.  Then, strengthen Libertarians as a viable alternative to Republicans, and let those two groups be the new two-party system.  It could be good for a century, perhaps.

  • There are just too many folks fully invested in the idea of “splitting up the spoils” to make your dream a reality.

  • Did anyone else think Newsweek was pretty weak to include the author on their cover…like “hey, its not us, really, its this dude.”

  • Eh? He’ll just lie and get believed.It’s not like anyone fell for the “Cut the deficit in half in 4 years” line or anything.”I’ll right size government with the correct cuts” 99% of which are in defense.

  • Billy is 100% spot on about the media. As it becomes more likely Obama loses, the more markets they’ll lay down right now to deflect from the absolute firebombing they’ll unleash on Romney- in the name of fairness ( expect similar behavior from all our beloved hack Cimmerians as well)

  • Lol looks like autocorrect reads commedians as Cimmerians

    • You have the Conan the Barbarian spell checker turned on?   That must be the part of the new look that Erb added (since Dale didn’t build this himself and all).

      • Hey, since you have conjured the Erpish demon, where is he to offer sophistries to explain away these indicators…???

        • Perhaps rejoicing in the Democratic freedoms of Egypt?  Taking joy in the certain knowledge of his predictions of the non-hostile behaviors of the neighbors of Israel and their complete lack of war like, unceasingly genocidal rhetoric?  Reveling in the utter success of the pragmatic policies of the Golden One from Chicago?
          Or maybe he’s sitting in his moose guarded tower gloating over our complete inability to foresee the future of the Twitter Revolution, the EuroZone or the Republic.

        • Ah, I sullied my principles and have looked into the gazing glass at Stomach-Hurling Motion, his blog site.  It seems he has gone to Puerto Rico to spend some of his capitalist loot on himself without taking thought to how that money would be better spent helping the poor and down trodden of the 99%.
          It seems the government has arranged to ensure  “…the deals are great…” for him to take advantage of.  As we all know, it probably has nothing to do with market forces.

          • Ah…memories…
            I was a fan of Joan Baez back in the 60s.  Right up until I learned that the warbler for equality was on a big, fat vac-kay at exclusive resorts for the super rich.
            The beginning of wisdom…

          • Personally, I hope he comes back, and realizes how his decision to travel to Puerto Rico has only further degraded the poor people of that island.  Note how he flaunts his ill gotten gains and re-enforces their image of themselves as poor second class citizens fit only to serve “the rich” who can afford to jaunt from place to place on the globe.  There they are, practically chained to their colonial life style, carrying bags, making beds, serving food and providing local color for the greedy wants of wealthy college professionals from Maine who are there to satisfy their pursuit of earthly pleasure at the expense of other poorer humans and the sacred environment.  After all, it’s not like he took a green sail powered vessel out of Portsmouth, no, he admitted he was flying on a nasty fuel guzzling polluting aircraft out of “Banger” so he could selfishly get there faster and belittle the locals with his high living greedy capitalist ways.

          • Dirty carbon criminal capitalist running pig…  The 99% will feast on his porcine flesh after the revolution.

          • Oh, so that’s where he went. I vacationed in Maine last week and stopped by his office to see him, but he wasn’t there. So, I just pissed on his chair.

          • Was the line long?

  • Funny how simple polls like this one shows the participants think one way, but when you start taking their services away, they change their minds.