Free Markets, Free People


Some interesting poll results

As we enter October, now is the time to begin to pay close attention to election polls.  As the November election date approaches, more and more people will turn their attention to them and the polls will begin to more accurately reflect the probable outcome.

But there are other polls out there that are interesting as well.  They give indicators, moods and trends which, when combined with election polls help better explain why one candidate is surging and the other faltering.

Two of those catch my notice today.  The first is the POLITICO-George Washington University Battleground Poll.  While it may mean absolutely nothing in 2012, the most important year for Obama, it does provide a snap-shot of the mood of the electorate.  In it pollsters found:

  • Only 38% say Obama deserves re-election and 44% will vote to oust him out
  • Voters trust congressional Republicans to create jobs more than Obama by an 11-point margin
  • Republicans hold a 4-point edge in generic ballot

The significance is the difference in his job approval rating (42% – an all time low) and his "deserves reelection" rating. The latter is the most significant, and it says he’s a one term president – for now.  Remember, in politics, it is all about the confidence one has in the leadership.  This poll could be considered a lack of confidence vote as it concerns Obama right now.

The fact that voters ‘trust’ Republicans to create more jobs than Democrats by 11 points isn’t so much an endorsement of Republican economic policies, but a rejection of Democratic ones. They’re deemed to have failed (and that failure, I would claim, is directly connected with Obama’s reelection number).

You have to wonder if Republicans are able to do a marginally better job on the job front (or the economy begins to rebound naturally and they get some credit) whether it will also pick up Obama’s reelection numbers.

The last number – 4% on the positive side for the GOP on the generic ballot – simply reflects the facts the other two numbers do. Voters are deeply dissatisfied with Democrats. That doesn’t mean they’re wild about the GOP though.

Some other news from the poll concerns the media preferences of the electorate:

  • 81% of those polled get midterm election news from cable news channels
  • 42% say Fox News is their main source – more than CNN (30%) and MSNBC (12%) combined
  • Bill O’Reilly seen to have greatest "positive impact" of opinionated media personalities with 49%, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are second and third
  • MSNBC personalities largely unknown – 70% have never heard of Ed Schultz, 55% haven’t heard of Rachel Maddow

Now this is interesting stuff for many reasons.  One is it provides proof that the left’s attempted demonization of Fox News has not worked at all.  I wonder how that’s going to sit with the White House.  In fact, it seems to have been a dismal failure.  What the left would characterize as “right biased media” apparently rules.

Secondly, I find it hilarious that the “stars” of the left are unknown to the majority of those polled.  And remember, the 30% who say they have heard of Ed Schultz (I’d be one of those) don’t necessarily listen to him (I’d also be one of those).  John Stewart, however, did quite well on the “positive impact” side of things.

Last – is Limbaugh’s star being eclipsed by O’Reilly and Beck?  I realize that O’Reilly, for some reason, has held the top spot on cable opinion shows for some time, and Beck does both radio and cable while Limbaugh only does radio, but that’s interesting info if correct.  However, regardless as to the ranking of those three, they apparently convincingly own the “positive impact” category of “opinionated media”.  Wonder what Hannity thinks about all this (and not being really in the running?)?

And as an aside, despite their declining circulation numbers, newspapers remain the most important news source for likely voters:

Despite steady declines in circulation over the past decade, newspapers are more influential than national news broadcasts when it comes to news on the upcoming election, with 72 percent of respondents saying they turn to newspapers or their websites.

Local news did better, at 73 percent, and conversations with friends and family was the second-most-cited source, at 79 percent. Radio was cited by only 58 percent of respondents, and non-newspaper websites and blogs by 39 percent.

Anyway, all of this makes sense when you view the results of the other poll.  And, given the majorities who’ve never heard of the liberal show hosts, I’m not sure it would be any different if it was the Republicans in control and failing as dismally as the Democrats are.  When that was the case, those folks were on the air and apparently few were tuning in to hear what they had to say.

Why?  Because for the most part, Limbaugh, Beck and O’Reilly talk about getting government out of our hair, making it smaller and less costly.  That resonates.  That reflects the mood of the country.  It is also something you’re not going to hear from the Ed Shultz’s and Rachel Maddow’s of the world.

There’s a free clue (and one that should be obvious by now) to any politician or political party that wants it. 

~McQ

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9 Responses to Some interesting poll results

  • Limbaugh eclipsed by O’Really?  No.  Hardly.  Bear in mind what the question was.  Limbaugh is a polemicist…and a highly polarizing personality.  O’Really at least partly paints himself as a jouro, and a moderate.  Please

    • Intentional misspelling of O’Reilly?

      One of my favorite forums is ar15.com. Hardly an objective, centrist site, but on there O’Reilly gets about 0 respect. Well, getting respect there is hard, but Rush and Beck both get much more of it than O’Reilly, for what it’s worth.

  • I’m beginning to think Hillary will resign her SoS position after November, and start building up her political machine. Obama’s poor showing in polls and her relative good showing in polls are the key reasons. Adding to that, I think she’s been constrained in her SoS role and she has quite a bit of pent up resentment for that as well as the 2008 primary. Further, she now has the additional benifit of actual executive experience as SoS.

    She can’t do this pre November without upsetting the Party, and she will have to do is soon after November if she is going to be on track for 2012.

    • In fact, post-November, the party may be thankful for her resigning and running. I still think Obama may not go for the second term.

  • Obama’s poor showing in polls and her relative good showing in polls are the key reasons.

    I am not going to put a date on Hilary’s resignation but rather a milestone – when Obama’s favorable numbers drop into the 30′s and stay there for 3 consecutive months.

    • Well, I’m not putting a date on it, except that it will happen after Nov 4 but not too far into the new year.

      She really can’t do it before Nov 4., and she can’t let too much of 2011 slip away before she jumps.

  • Well, I guess this shows that the geek hasn’t inherited the earth yet. When I stray from the political blogs, all I hear about is Faux News and all that kind of stuff.

  • I don’t want to get too mesmerized by the polls, Polls have been notoriously wrong in recent election cycles.

    I think that the Republicans will win big in the House, and furthermore, those republicans who are elected will be of a much more small government mindset.

    However, I doubt they will take the Senate, and the old guard party hacks will still be in place there.

    So the most we can hope for is a stalling of the Obama agenda for the next two years.  But I guess that is better than blowing full speed to hell.

  • McQYou have to wonder if Republicans are able to do a marginally better job on the job front (or the economy begins to rebound naturally and they get some credit) whether it will also pick up Obama’s reelection numbers.

    The GOP can hardly do worse than The Dear Golfer on the economy, but with people like Grahamnesty, Yosemite Sam, and the Maine Gals in senior positions, it’s certainly possible that they won’t do a darned thing to improve matters.  Further, the GOP will be under tremendous pressure to be “moderate” as The Dear Golfer will be beating the “Party of No” meme to death, and MiniTru will take good care to make damned sure that John Q. Public knows that the GOP is in charge of Congress whenever there is any bad news.  Look for the deficit to take center stage as The Dear Golfer has an apparent attack of fiscal responsibility, which means he’ll be pounding the podium to repeal Bush’s “tax cuts for the rich” and raise taxes generally.  “We’re broke because of the failed policies of the past, but the GOP won’t take sensible measures to keep the government on a firm footing blah-blah-blah.”

    The sorry thing is that, IF the economy improves, The Dear Golfer will be the first beneficiary of it.  MiniTru will see to that.  It’s really “Heads I win, tails you lose” for him: good news will be because of his policies; bad news will be due to McConnell, Boehner, Palin, Limbaugh, Fox News, etc.

    McQ - One is it provides proof that the left’s attempted demonization of Fox News has not worked at all.  I wonder how that’s going to sit with the White House.  In fact, it seems to have been a dismal failure.  What the left would characterize as “right biased media” apparently rules.

    I’m sure that The Dear Golfer is furious about the success of Fox News, but I’m guessing that he is in accord with Jean-Francois Kerry: the American voters are a pack of rubes and dupes who are easily fooled by Fox New’s slick right-wing propaganda.  At any rate, he won’t stop his routine attacks: it’s about all he knows how to do.  Oh, that and order wagyu beef for dinner.
    As for the left’s paranoid belief in “right biased media”… Well, compared to their preferred outlets, anything to the right of World Worker’s Daily is “right biased”.

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