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Bizarre polling disconnect of the day

Public opinion is a strange and wonderful thing. CNN has a new poll out that finds a plurality thinks Congressional Republicans, not Dems, are the ones with solutions to our economic mess:

Whose economic policies are more likely to improve economic conditions -- the Democrats in Congress or the Republicans in Congress?

Democrats in Congress 41%

Republicans in Congress 47%

But when you dig into the poll's internals, you find that more respondents blame those same Congressional Republicans for our economic mess:

Who do you think is more responsible for the country's current economic problems -- the Democrats in Congress or the Republicans in Congress?

Democrats in Congress 35%

Republicans in Congress 41%

This disconnect is even more pronounced with independents: They blame the Congressional GOP for our current mess by a five point margin, but they prefer the GOP by a 13 point margin when asked which party is best likely to fix that same mess.

If I had to hazard an explanation for this, I'd say it's further proof that the current GOP has succeeded in achieving separation from the party of Bush. And that the public isn't listening to the Dem message that a vote for today's GOP is a return to the Bush policies that ran the economy into the ground. People are willing to blame previous GOP policies for the current crisis but are not willing to use that as the basis for their conclusions about the consequences of returing the GOP to power.

Or maybe this just shows that public opinion is very confused and volatile right now, and that we have no idea what voters are really thinking.

By Greg Sargent  | September 27, 2010; 3:26 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
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Comments

Education. Education. Education.

Election reform. Election reform. Election reform.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 27, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

If I had to hazard an explanation for this, I'd say it's further proof that the current GOP has succeeded in achieving separation from the party of Bush.

.........................

Actually, since they had their fingerprints all over the Bush Economic Melt Down, and the creation of massive budget deficits:

It appears that John Kevorkian Boehner, and Mitch Kevorkian McConnell have succeeded in achieving separation from John Kevorkian Boehner and Mitch Kevorkian McConnell.

If the polls are to be trusted, then a majority of people say that those two came close to euthanizing our economy, but those same voters feel that those Kevorkian twins should be called back to finish the job.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 27, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

These same polls need to ask which percentage of those that blame Dems rely on Fox for their daily dosage of propaganda so they can be excluded.

That would probably explain some of the disconnect. If you rely on them you're getting a view that is so discombobulated they won't know left from right or up from down any longer.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Two things:

The seperation aspect seems partially true. Dems haven't made it stick that the GOP hasn't changed...though that's not entirely their fault. The entire media culture in DC is geared against Dems winning the message war.

Also, I think it speaks to the GOPs low approval ratings - it's well below the Dems. You likely see some people giving a protest answer to the first question, "punishing" Dems for not fixing the economy fast enough, but still blaming the GOP for the mess we are in.

Despite all the polls that show so much anger, there's just as many polls out there that say people still loathe the GOP. One has to wonder how big a swing we'll see on election day when people are truely faced with having to choose one or the other...even if it's just 2-points worth of people, that's a 4 point swing compared to current polls.

Could end up being the difference between Dems keeping the House or not.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | September 27, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I think it all boils down to:

Look! A squirrel!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

It's my understanding that this polls sample is of adults. Not RV or LV so if you're trying to determine campaign strategy, it's not very helpful. What are the %'s in an LV model?  That might be more predictive of if the "blame Bush" strategy is working.  

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 27, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Greg

The ALTERNATIVE IS THINKING LIKE THIS:


From Woodward's article today:

"Can you support this?" Obama asked Gates. "Because if the answer is no, I understand it and I'll be happy to just authorize another 10,000 troops, and we can continue to go as we are and train the Afghan national force and just hope for the best."

"Hope for the best." The condescending words hung in the air.


_________________________________

Obama is simply NOT the guy you want in there making decisions.


The polling says that Republicans are BETTER than the democrats - because the POLICY OF THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF ARE WORSE.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Kerry was right! Stupid electorate! There should be an IQ test in order to vote!

Posted by: Jalenth | September 27, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I think the disconnect is easily explained: GOP policies caused current problem, but new Obama policies have not worked. Therefore I say go with the traditional fiscal conservatives - the GOP.

(In other words, public doesn't think GOP will push the same old policies - they think they've learned their lesson and/or that they can't possibly be any worse than what the Dems have brought us in the last almost four years.)

If more Dems would talk like Rubio then they might not be getting such "disconnected" treatment:

"Both the Republican and the Democratic parties are to blame for the country's problems.

"Rubio said that politics today is "full of people that think they can say or do anything, because once they get elected they think they'll raise so much money they can make you forget."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/09/26/marco_rubio_gop_as_much_to_blame_as_democrats.html

Posted by: sbj3 | September 27, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Greg writes:

"current GOP has succeeded in achieving separation from the party of Bush"

___________________________________


Yea but everytime the Tea Party wins a race the democrats SCREAM -


So do they want something DIFFERENT OR NOT


The Republicans HAVE CHANGED, they really have.


The country is ready to take them back.

The REAL PROBLEM is there is ZERO CONFIDENCE that Obama has the policies to get the economy OUT OF THE GREAT OBAMA STAGNATION.


OBAMA IGNORED THE ECONOMY FOR A YEAR AND HALF


And the nation is STUCK with a health care plan that does NOT help the economy - it is a drag on hiring, a drag on the economy.

SO WHAT DID THE DEMOCRATS EXPECT ???

There is no "disconnect" here - it is PERFECTLY LOGICAL.


,

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 27, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The Poll Results: In A Nutshell.

Sure The Republicans Destroyed The Economy, Turned An Annual Budget Surplus, Into A Massive Annual Deficit, and want to borrow Four Trillion Dollars To Further Enrich The Wealthiest People In America,

But at least they are not Nazi, Socialist Muslim Terrorist, Communist, Atheistic America Hating, Non White types,

So we would rather be broke and lose our homes and pensions, under Republican rule, than to do better under someone who looks different than all we real Amurkins!

Posted by: Liam-still | September 27, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@liam: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

Posted by: sbj3 | September 27, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

For anyone interested in what the conservative viewpoint trying to explain why in April of 2003, we were still experiencing job losses of over 150,000, look no further than.......Clinton!

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/206929/clinton-manufacturing-recession/greg-kaza

"Gross Domestic Product has expanded six consecutive quarters and industrial production grew in 2002. But total non-farm payroll employment has declined by 2.1 million jobs since its peak in March 2001, leading critics to pin the decrease on President Bush and to describe the current economic situation as a “jobless recovery.”

But closer examination of the employment data shows that if blame is to be awarded, it should go to ex-President Clinton. The data also reveal the need for the Bush tax cut....

...Far from a “jobless recovery,” the economy is suffering from the Clinton Manufacturing Recession, and is in need of fiscal stimulus. "

Fiscal Stimulus! lol

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Here is a chart displaying non-farm payroll job gains after the two recessions. This recent one ending June 09 and the one under Bush ending in Nov (I think...i got the info at home), 01.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Doh, here's the chart.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_59luVgxXa9Y/TJrTps-783I/AAAAAAAAAM0/4OcNidsR1_I/s1600/jobs.JPG

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Take a look at the demographic breakouts.

This is a poll of older Southern Whites. participation for the youngest two age groups was insufficient to report. Same for non-whites. And the only area of the country with sufficient participation was Urban and Suburban South.

So maybe what this says is what has been apparent for two generations, that Southern White Voters old enough to remember jim crow will cut their own throats rather than vote for a democrat.

At least CNN gives their demographics. Most such polls won't tell you that they only polled Whites in Southern Cities and Suburbs.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 27, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, Kathleen Sebelius has thrust herself into Nevada Senate race, rips Sharron Angle autism comments:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/sebelius_steps_into_nevada_sen.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 27, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I think it's these independant voters that are confused. Some voters are just plain stupid, but most have too many other concerns in their lives to keep up with the news and type out statements on political blogs. The GOP knows this. That's why they go in for symbolic photo opps like Bush mincing along the deck of a carrier and they repeat their same message over and over. Simple sound bites make it on the airwaves and the 10 o'clock news, so the casual listener will get a snippet from some talking point. The left is too involved in nuance, and/or rational discourse to appeal to this voting segment. We know by now that the MSM isn't going to make the case for the Dems, they are just too lazy, so it's just a case of he said/she said.

Posted by: filmnoia | September 27, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I keep on talking about Clinton's economic policies.


When a factory gets closed - and jobs shipped to China - WHO do you think the public blames Bush or Clinton ???


When the repeal of Glass-Steagall is talking about - a reasonable person KNOWS this happened under Clinton.


When the DEREGULATION OF DERIVATIVES MARKETS IS discussed - Everyone KNOWS we are talking about CLINTON


When the public thinks about the economy - THEY KNOW THE DEMOCRATS ARE TO BLAME


When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is discussed - EVERYONE knows they were filled with long-term CLINTON APPOINTEES - and even worse, Obama refuses to do anything about those two disasters.

So, what do you want from the public? Seriously?


WHEN THE DEMOCRATS LIE, DO YOU REALLY EXPECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO BELIEVE THOSE LIES ???

,

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 27, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

It appears that John Kevorkian Boehner, and Mitch Kevorkian McConnell have succeeded in achieving separation from John Kevorkian Boehner and Mitch Kevorkian McConnell. . . .

Posted by: Liam-still | September 27, 2010 3:42
-------

You need some new material, Liam. Something ceases to be amusing after you've posted it two or three thousand times.

Posted by: Brigade | September 27, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

These same polls need to ask which percentage of those that blame Dems rely on Fox for their daily dosage of propaganda so they can be excluded.

That would probably explain some of the disconnect. If you rely on them you're getting a view that is so discombobulated they won't know left from right or up from down any longer.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:46 PM
----

Or you could exclude MSNBC viewers. That way you'd only lose about .00000000001 of likely voters.

Posted by: Brigade | September 27, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I think it all boils down to:

Look! A squirrel!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 27, 2010 3:51 PM
----

No! It's a rat! No! It's Waxman!

Posted by: Brigade | September 27, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Kerry was right! Stupid electorate! There should be an IQ test in order to vote!

Posted by: Jalenth | September 27, 2010 4:05 PM
---

LOL. I think you'd have a lot tougher time selling this to Democrats than Republicans.

Posted by: Brigade | September 27, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Brigade.

It is not my problem that you are too dense to differentiate between a political message, and a humorous one. It is also not my problem, if you can not count, and think that a few repetitions of a political message, so that different readers, at different times get exposed to it, adds up to "thousands of times". For someone who keeps claiming that you are not a Republican, it sure is strange how you only chose to defend Republicans and attack Democrats. Me thinks you are one of those skulking right wing republicans who are too ashamed to admit what you truly are. You are how you vote.

The following is a political message, and just like political messages on TV, it requires repetition, in order for it to be seen by more people. This explanation has been provided strictly for to provide this Brigade dimwit with a clue.

It appears that John Kevorkian Boehner, and Mitch Kevorkian McConnell have succeeded in achieving separation from John Kevorkian Boehner and Mitch Kevorkian McConnell.

If the polls are to be trusted, then a majority of people say that those two came close to euthanizing our economy, but those same voters feel that those Kevorkian twins should be called back to finish the job.

Posted by: Liam-still | September 27, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

So maybe what this says is what has been apparent for two generations, that Southern White Voters old enough to remember jim crow will cut their own throats rather than vote for a democrat.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 27, 2010 4:35 PM
----

Even though the Civil Rights Act got more Republican votes than Democratic votes.

Do you suppose African-Americans would rather cut their own throats rather than vote for a Republican? I notice they continued to support people like George Wallace and Robert Byrd even after the CRA. Stockholm Syndrome?

Posted by: Brigade | September 27, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The category that broke hard in favor of blaming Republicans for the current crisis was non-college educated urban women with incomes under 50k.

Most honest people know it is simplistic to blame the recession on partisan memes like Republican Deregulation, or the Democratic CRA.

Posted by: sold2u | September 27, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Liam wrote,
"Me thinks you are one of those skulking right wing republicans who are too ashamed to admit what you truly are. You are how you vote."
-----

I've never met one of those Republicans "who are too ashamed to admit what they truly are." Are there any others here you can point to? Why should they hide? Is Obama going to raise their taxes if he finds out they're Republicans?

If there were many Republicans like you, then I could see your point. But you still need new material. Your post was neither a political message nor a humorous one. Just the usual Liam blather.

Posted by: Brigade | September 27, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

It is called the Fox effect...


They have us brained washed into thinking that garbage is logical. Like we're going to fix the deficit by cutting taxes...

Posted by: soapm | September 27, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Brigade attacks all Democrats, and defends all Republicans, but he does not have the same Palin Cojones as Jan Brewer has, so he is too yellow to admit he is a Republican.

S

Posted by: Liam-still | September 27, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

"This disconnect is even more pronounced with independents: They blame the Congressional GOP for our current mess by a five point margin, but they prefer the GOP by a 13 point margin when asked which party is best likely to fix that same mess."

Which begs the questions: how functionally bad, politically inept, or tactically incompetent to Democrats have to be for such a result?

The polling seems to be fairly consistent with my own thinking, quite frankly, and can be summed up thusly: "In politics, you know the only thing worse than a Republican? A Democrat."

Education, education, education ain't going to fix it. Unless you're planning on educating Democratic politicians.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 28, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

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