Dammit, I’ve got Congress duty

by lestro

There’s a series Rasmussen Polls out that really takes Congress – and especially the Democrats, who are trusted less every day to handle the affairs of the country – to task.

Generally speaking, Congress has a lower approval rating than the president, but since Barack Obama assumed office, this has been even more staggering.  President Obama hovers at an approval rating of about 65 percent while Congress languishes in the 20s and 30s.

Now, the language used in the questions is a bit loose and would seem to create a more wild response just by its nature, but there is no denying a few key facts:

Although an $800-billion-plus economic rescue plan has now passed both the House and Senate, the overwhelming majority of voters are not confident that Congress knows what it’s doing with regards to the economy. Fifty-eight percent (58%) agree, too, that “no matter how bad things are, Congress can always find a way to make them worse.”

and:

Two-thirds of the nation’s voters (69%) lack confidence that Congress knows what it is doing when it comes to addressing the country’s current economic problems. Just 29% are even somewhat confident in the legislators.

and:

When it comes to the nation’s economic issues, 67% of U.S. voters have more confidence in their own judgment than they do in the average member of Congress

but my absolute favorite bit of polling data is this:

Forty-four percent (44%) voters also think a group of people selected at random from the phone book would do a better job addressing the nation’s problems than the current Congress, but 37% disagree. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

Forty-four percent think that a random selection of Americans could do a better job than our elected officials. Considering that every member of the House and a third of the Senate was elected in November, I wonder why voters didn’t do a goddamn thing about it then. But no matter. Why throw the bums out when it’s easier to just complain?

Then again, everyone hates Congress but loves their own rep, I guess…

But the poll does raise the interesting specter of picking representatives like jury duty.

Imagine, checking your mail one day and getting notification from the federal government that you have been selected to serve in Congress. People would be forced to meet at the courthouse for pool selection and try to get out of having to move to DC.

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Halloween Greetings

by twit

From the Drudge Report:

ZOGBY: MCCAIN MOVES INTO LEAD 48-47 IN ONE DAY POLLING

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Maybe America is only 37 percent stupid

by lestro

John McCain calls that 37 percent his base.

A new NY Times/CBS poll says that by a margin of 65-37 percent, Americans believe Barack Obama is more likely to bring change to Washington than John McCain.

Still a stupidly high number given the facts and all (and up from 28 percent before the conventions), but not as high, I am sure, as the Republicans had hoped.

But two weeks after the Republican convention, with public sentiment starting to settle into place, there are indications that Ms. Palin might not be accomplishing what Mr. McCain had hoped in choosing her.

A New York Times/CBS News poll this week found that Ms. Palin had accomplished one crucial goal for Mr. McCain: She helped raise the enthusiasm level markedly among Republicans: 47 percent of his Republican supporters said they were enthusiastic about the ticket, twice as much as before.

But so far, the poll suggests, the boost has not gone far beyond that. The poll found that even now, voters are much more likely to identify Mr. Obama — and not Mr. McCain — as someone who would bring change to Washington. He is widely viewed as someone who would continue or expand President Bush’s policies in office.

Ya think?

But to me at least, there is a bit of a surprise in the numbers:

Polls taken immediately after the convention had found evidence of a sharp increase in support for Mr. McCain among white women, but this poll suggests that that effect was, so far at least, limited. White women were evenly divided between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama; before the conventions, Mr. McCain led Mr. Obama among white women, 44 percent to 37 percent.

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JFK knocks Reagan out of the top spot

by lestro

Since we already know why the various candidates are fighting to claim the legacies of former presidents, there’s probably no need to go through that again.

But yesterday’s annual Presidents Day poll may give a little indication of a change on the horizon and good news for the Obama campaign. Last year, the top four most popular presidents were, in order, Lincoln, Reagan, Kennedy and Clinton.

With Lincoln a mythic figure, each of the candidates hitched themselves to a wagon, Clinton stuck with No. 4 whether she likes it or not, every Republican cozied up to Reagan’s mantle as much as he could and then, in a stunning shot to leapfrog the Clintons, the Kennedys themselves bestowed the mantle onto Obama.

While the top four have not changed in this year’s “greatest president” poll, a second poll released yesterday asked Americans which president, living or dead, they would most like to bring back as president to lead the country today.

In that poll, John F. Kennedy came out on top, besting Reagan 23 percent to 22 percent (though technically a dead heat). Clinton comes in third at 13 percent.

The fact that Americans seem to recognize that it is once again time for the sort of change those two president brought can only bode well for the Obama Campaign…

Obituary for the Clinton Campaign

by twit

Ramussen reports on Feb 14, 2008 that Obama is polling as the favorite for the Democratic nomination and the general election.

… Obama is the most popular candidate at the moment, viewed favorably by 55% and unfavorably by 43%.

Clinton is viewed favorably by 44% of Likely Voters nationwide, unfavorably by 53%.

McCain’s is viewed favorably by 50% and unfavorably by 47%.

Opinions about Clinton are more strongly held than opinions about either Obama or McCain.

While Hillary’s shining personality may be a key factor in the stumbling failures of her campaign, there are also reports of massive planning failures within the campaign itself. From the New York Times on Feb 14, 2008:

She and her team showered so much money, attention and other resources on … Feb. 5 that they have been caught flat-footed — or worse — in the critical contests that followed, her political advisers said.

She also made a strategic decision to skip several small states holding caucuses, states where Mr. Obama scored big victories, accumulating delegates and, possibly, momentum.

Her heavy spending and relatively modest fund-raising in January compounded the problems, leaving the campaign ill-equipped to plan after Feb. 5, advisers and donors say.

The Clinton campaign appears to be working from a playbook that reads like a strange blend of the Bush “Mission Accomplished” strategy and the Guiliani “New York and Florida” death-rattle. Focus on the big states, ignore the rest, and expect that it will be smooth sailing to the coronation nomination, because Hillary will be greeted as a liberator, of course.

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de ja vu all over again

by twit

what lestro said, now with recent polling data indicating that men are significant swing voters this election season:

Obama does better than Clinton with men when paired against McCain, splitting the male vote with the Arizona senator. Obama does especially well with men under 45: He defeats McCain by 9 points among younger men, while McCain defeats Clinton with those voters by 7 points.

… When she is paired against McCain in a general election matchup, she gets 46 percent to his 45 percent, a tie, according to the poll. Obama edges McCain, the Arizona senator, 48 percent to 42 percent in their pairing.

… One reason McCain holds his own against Clinton is his support from men, who prefer him to the New York senator by 9 percentage points. That compensates for her 11-point advantage among women.

AP via MyWayNews Feb 11, 2008