A New York Times article (4/23/10) by Peter Baker and David Herszenhorn remarks of Barack Obama: With his poll numbers sagging, the choreographed confrontation seemed aimed at tapping the nation's antiestablishment mood as well as muscling financial regulation legislation through Congress. While Obama's confrontation with the financial industry was no doubt choreographed, are his poll numbers really sagging? This chart from Pollster.com, averaging out all the major national polls, reveals instead that opinion on Obama's job performance is remarkably steady (and remarkably evenly divided, too). It's hard to turn a line like that into exciting news, which isn't to say [...]
Is theTea Party movement actually more politically diverse than the "liberal media" would have you believe? Andrew Malcolm, a blogger for the L.A. Times who used to be Laura Bush's press secretary, thinks so. He wrote yesterday (4/5/10) about a pair of polls that came out about the Tea Party movement: For upwards of 12 months now members of the so-called Tea Party protest movement have been stereotyped, derogated and often dismissed by some politicians and media outlets. They've been portrayed variously as angry fringe elements, often inarticulate, potentially violent and merely Republicans in sheep's clothing or disgruntled pockets of [...]
One of the main assumptions of the final weeks of coverage of the congressional debate over healthcare reform was that the public was opposed to the White House plan. But some polling analysis shows that this wasn't the case. Barry Sussman noted this at the Nieman Watchdog on March 5. A McClatchy/Ipsos poll from late February told the usual tale: 41 percent supported the plan, 47 opposed. Sussman wrote: But the pollsters went a step further, asking those opposed–509 people in all–if they were against the proposals because they "don't go far enough to reform healthcare" or because they go [...]
Blogger Matthew Yglesias (2/9/10), responding to a Des Moines Register poll that found "a third of Iowans from across the political spectrum say they support the 'tea party' movement, sounding a loud chorus of dissatisfaction with government": Thirty-eight percent of Americans have a favorable view of Cuba and 36 percent are favorably disposed toward socialism, but I don't see anyone writing newspaper articles about how a populist wave of socialism is sweeping the country.
The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is getting attention for one rather unusual finding: that the right-wing Tea Party movement is more popular than either the Democratic or Republican parties. The point was made on MSNBC's First Read website and on the channel's Morning Joe program this morning (12/17/09). Don't buy it. The MSNBC headline– sure to be repeated everywhere on Fox News today– is straight-forward: "Tea Party More Popular Than Dems, GOP." The numbers tell you that Republicans are viewed positively by 28 percent of the public, the Democrats are at 35 percent, whilethe Tea Party is at 41 [...]
Yesterday's Washington Post (12/16/09) reports that the public isn't sold on healthcare reform. As the headline puts it: Public Cooling to Healthcare Reform as Debate Drags On, Poll Finds The story by Dan Balz and Jon Cohen explains that "there is minimal public enthusiasm for the kind of comprehensive changes in healthcare now under consideration." Now, how "comprehensive" the reforms under consideration are is certainly debatable, but these conclusions seem to be drawn from questions about costs and Barack Obama's handling of the issue. But the Post did ask other, more interesting questions–and then buried the results. Deep into the [...]
Useless caveat of the day, courtesy of the New York Times (12/19/08): Mr. Bush, one of the least popular presidents in recent history, if public opinion polls are accurateÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢”Å¡Â¬Ãƒâ€šÂ¦ Yes, perhaps it's all a mirage.
Joshua Holland (AlterNet, 11/10/08) offers "more evidence that much of the traditional media's analysis of American politics is utterly worthless, and should probably just be ignored out of hand": Only moments after the networks declared Barack Obama the winner of a dramatic realignment election, William Bennett, the conservative icon, declared on CNN that "America is still a center-right nation, no matter what anybody says." Implied was that it also didn't matter what exit polls, mountains of public opinion data, shifts in partisan identification and changes in the country's demographics say. That stuff's apparently for the "reality-based" community to worry about. [...]