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Pew Survey: "Democrats lead on every specific problem..."
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, January 12, 2006

Yes, I'm aware of the purported leanings of the Pew Foundation. However, read the results and discuss/analyze. This is the "generic Democrat" ballot which was mentioned here. As the Pew summary states:
The Democratic Party leads on every specific problem mentioned, with the lone exception of security and terrorism, and in most cases its advantage has grown significantly compared with a year ago. Half of those who cite the war in Iraq say the Democratic Party is better able to handle that problem while 31% cite the GOP; a year ago, the Democratic Party held a slight five-point edge on the war in Iraq.
Take a look at the particulars of the survey and give us your comments and analysis.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
I’m afraid I’m not the best person to offer intelligent analysis, but I think there are a lot of registered Democrats out there who still believe in the party, but don’t have confidence specifically in the people currently leading it. So if you ask them which party would be better at various issues, they of course will answer that their party would. But if you asked them if Democratic Senator X is doing a good job, I don’t think they’d be quite so sanguine. So we have it that the party in general is perceived to be good at these issues, but none (or perhaps very few) of the party’s leaders are.

I should note that I’m basing this on my anecdotal experiences with my own family members. The extended family is about half registered Democrats, and most of those Democrats disagree with just about everything on the Democratic party platform. They stay Democrats out of sheer force of habit. That’s human nature for you.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
The survey seems to confirm that the country is still deeply divided and that political perceptions are largely driven by what’s happening in Iraq. It also seems to show that across most demographic divisions (other than old men) people think things aren’t going that well in Iraq. If the trends continue, Republicans will pay some price at the polls in 2006. If by some miracle things actually begin to improve in Iraq, the Rs just may beat the hell out of the Ds. The other factor that is in play but is hard to measure is "governing party" fatigue. After 5+ years of total R control of government, many centrist voters are getting sick of the Rs and want change. Since I believe that a divided government will do less harm than one with either party in charge, the best we can hope for in 2006 is for the Ds to control the Senate and the Rs to control the House. The other way would be an unspeakable horror with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, but thanks to gerrymandering, it is unlikely to happen.
 
Written By: Steven Donegal
URL: http://

  • as you point out PEW has some serious credibility issues when it comes to bias. PEW demonstrably leans to the left at every opportunity. Always have, doubtless always will.


  • Democrats always do quite well in non-specific polling. It’s when you start bringing up specific Democrats that their ratings fall to the ground and along with them, their ability to get elected. The Hermit’s point about leaning Democrat out of habit comes up here, too; such people tend to hold their nose and vote Democrat out of habit. This changes, however, when they’re actually forced to look at the people that they’re voting for, and the gag reflex takes over.


  • In the end, security and our response to terrorism will continue to be the most important issue on our plate. After all, without those two being covered, the rest are moot. Within that frame, Democrats have demonstrated that they are not to be trusted with our security. They’ve been clearly demonstrating such since the 60’s. Even assuming that between now and November 2008, after all this time of working against our security, they had a change of heart that would turn their position around 180°, would anybody but the staunchest of Democrat supporters believe them? I think not, and that point is one that this survey is not qualified to tell given the baseline leanings of PEW in the first place.


  •  
    Written By: Bithead
    URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
    Poll a jury after only one side has presented its case and you get these kinds of numbers. The public only hears the GOP side during election campaigns. The rest of the time, as even Michael Barone contends, the MSM is 24/7 in full scale Bush-bashing mode.
     
    Written By: stan
    URL: http://
    My own impression is that Democrats generally lead on most domestic spending issues, while Republicans generally lead on domestic tax issues. I’m not at all suprised to see Dems expanding their lead on these issues, considering the ineptitude of the Republican Party. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the GOP lose their lead on tax issues, since they rarely seem to be of much permanent use on it.

    My own theory is that people like "more stuff" and they also like "tax cuts"; that those two things are not entirely compatible escapes the general public. So, they vote for tax cuts and more spending. Republicans offer the former, Democrats offer the latter. Republicans can stay in control so long as they can be competitive with the Democrats on the latter, but that’s simply not a sustainable or responsible governing philosophy.

    So, the Democrats will offer subsidy, largesse and a minimum of competence and they’ll take charge again for awhile. That’s the way of things.
     
    Written By: Jon Henke
    URL: http://www.QandO.net
    Unintentional accuracy in the Headline, perhaps? I know I agree with it, and I’m Republican.
    As in: Democrats are the biggest part of every problem we face as a nation...
    [grin]
     
    Written By: Nathan
    URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
    Poll a jury after only one side has presented its case and you get these kinds of numbers. The public only hears the GOP side during election campaigns. The rest of the time, as even Michael Barone contends, the MSM is 24/7 in full scale Bush-bashing mode.
    True. And, perhaps that’s the bigger story here... that this is as good as they can do, even with all that help.
    As in: Democrats are the biggest part of every problem we face as a nation...
    Amen, and Amen.

     
    Written By: Bithead
    URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
    Jon, your tax cuts versus spending is soooo 1990’s. Under Bush/Delay we now have tax cuts AND huge spending. I guess this is the republicans attempt at Clintonian triangulation.

    Did you note the change in who would handle the economy best? BOTH parties numbers have declined in the last year. Politically, the economy is in play. Of the other questions, the most striking to me is the collapse of the republicans in regards to foreign policy. If Rice really has energized foreign policy, why does this number continue to go down? Is the good PR Rice is getting a republican spin bubble?

    All political movements eventually stall. After a while, what ever problems the movement can fix are fixed and you are left with the problems that the movement can not fix and the new problems the movement created. I would have hoped the Regan revolution would have lasted longer than it did but Bush/Delay drove a stake through its heart, cut off its head and filled it with garlic and buried it under a cross road.

    If the democrats have a left wing version of Regan or even a charismatic Clintonian like Blair waiting in the wings, they can make real progress the next few years. I am not holding my breath. The politician in the best position to exploit this is McCain assuming that the republican orthodoxy is not so entrenched that it can block him from the nomination.
     
    Written By: lighthouse
    URL: http://
    Poll a jury after only one side has presented its case and you get these kinds of numbers. The public only hears the GOP side during election campaigns. The rest of the time, as even Michael Barone contends, the MSM is 24/7 in full scale Bush-bashing mode.
     
    Written By: stan
    URL: http://
    This is the "generic Democrat" ballot

    Too bad for them that they have to run specific candidates, which don’t seem to do that well...

     
    Written By: shark
    URL: http://
    Pew Survey: "Democrats lead on every specific problem..."

    ....boy, how shocked will the Pew/NYTimes crowd be when the Dems fail to retake either chamber of congress in 2006?

     
    Written By: shark
    URL: http://
    Actually, Shark, I don’t think anyone will be surprised if the Ds don’t retake either chamber. Given the gerrymander of districts in the House, there aren’t enough competitive seats for any significant change to occur. In the Senate, the Ds have too much ground to make up and the seats up for re-election tend to favor the Rs. But if the Pew poll is correct (and if remains correct through the elections), even if the Ds don’t get control of either chamber, the popular mood will not be particularly conducive to a Republican domestic agenda prior to the 2008 elections.
     
    Written By: Steven Donegal
    URL: http://
    But if the Pew poll is correct (and if remains correct through the elections), even if the Ds don’t get control of either chamber, the popular mood will not be particularly conducive to a Republican domestic agenda prior to the 2008 elections.

    Again, the problem is the Dems don’t get to run some nameless "generic" candidate for 2008. The nameless, generic candidate probably could’ve beaten Bush, too bad they had to pick someone named Kerry.


     
    Written By: shark
    URL: http://
    And Kerry knew it too, which is why he refused to articulate a coherent opinion on just about anything. He wanted to stay as "generic" as possible.
     
    Written By: SaveFarris
    URL: http://

     
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