Archive for ‘polls’

May 15, 2009

Patriarchal misogyny triumphant!


More Americans “Pro-Life” Than
“Pro-Choice” for First Time

And why? Because they hate women! Because abortion is the most important part of a woman’s existence, anyone who opposes abortion is an oppressive hater. (You tell ’em, Amanda Marcotte!)

Too bad Gallup couldn’t have announced this poll during National Offend A Feminist Week.

(H/T: Memeorandum.)

April 7, 2009

GOP ‘brand damage’ not repaired

Since I don’t want to be accused of existing inside an “echo chamber,” I feel obligated to link this item by Christopher Orr at TNR:

The latest New York Times poll is loaded with good news for the Obama administration and news that would be devastating for the GOP if it were ever able to penetrate the conservative-media echo chamber. . . .
Obama has a 66 percent approval rating, which is the highest this poll has recorded, while the GOP’s favorability is at 31 percent, the lowest the poll has recorded in 25 years of asking the question. Arguably more remarkable still is that, asked whether Obama or the GOP Congress would be more likely to make “the right decisions about the nation’s economy,” respondents broke for Obama 63 percent to 20 percent. That means that even within the 31 percent rump that holds a positive view of the GOP, at least a third trust Obama’s instincts on the economy equally or more.

Uh, “the GOP Congress”? Was this a “push poll”? But never mind that. What did the polls say about Bill Clinton in April 1993?

We are barely five months past the last election, the biggest Democratic victory since 1964, and Obama’s been in office less than 90 days. It would be truly startling if polls showed Republican Party voter ID surging in popularity at this point. More importantly, economics is not public relations:

Don’t you people understand that it doesn’t matter how “popular” you and your policies are, if what you are doing is the wrong thing to do? And that it doesn’t matter how clever and persuasive your arguments are, if your policies bring disaster?

As a question of electoral politics, it matters not a whit, in April 2009, whether a poll shows that people “trust Obama’s instincts on the economy,” if Obama’s instincts are wrong, and they are. It Won’t Work.

Opponents of Obamanomics ought not be worrying about polls at this point. Organize! Raise money! Identify and support promising candidates in promising districts. When the Dow is below 6,000 and unemployment is near double digits on Labor Day 2010, then we’ll see what the polls say about who’s been living in an “echo chamber.”

March 24, 2009

Obama at 50-50

Jules Crittenden had this as a blog exclusive last night: New Zogby poll has the job approval numbers for Obama at 50 percent. See commentary by Jeff Goldstein, Pam Geller and Moe Lane.

This has got to scare Democrats to death, because the whole point of hitching their wagons to Obama’s star was that Obama was popular. In fact, one might say that Plouffe, Axelroad & Company developed a formula in which “popular” was an acceptable synonym for “successful.” But the gross incompetence of the Obama administration can’t be solved by P.R. gimmicks. Five weeks ago, when the polls were looking good for Obama, I said:

Idiots. Economics is not public relations. Don’t you people understand that it doesn’t matter how “popular” you and your policies are, if what you are doing is the wrong thing to do? And that it doesn’t matter how clever and persuasive your arguments are, if your policies bring disaster?

In three words: It Won’t Work. Or, in more words . . .

UPDATE: Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey reminds us that Rasmussen has been showing steady declines in Obama’s approval numbers.


P.S.: Be sure to check out MELTDOWN, Professor Thomas Wood’s new bestseller about the financial crash and why Obamanomics won’t work.

March 13, 2009

‘Increasingly significant doubts’

(BUMPED; UPDATES BELOW) Doug Schoen and Scott Rasmussen in the Wall Street Journal:

It is simply wrong for commentators to continue to focus on President Barack Obama’s high levels of popularity, and to conclude that these are indicative of high levels of public confidence in the work of his administration. Indeed, a detailed look at recent survey data shows that the opposite is most likely true. The American people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the Obama administration has advanced. . . .
Mr. Obama has lost virtually all of his Republican support and a good part of his Independent support, and the trend is decidedly negative.

Read the whole thing. And remember: It Won’t Work. Did I mention that yet another Obama appointee at the Treasury Department has pulled out? Or that Americans have lost 18% of their net worth?

Liberals should just relax. Keep bashing Rush Limbaugh. Focus on important issues like gays in the military and pandering to union bosses. Don’t let the vaunted Right-Wing Noise Machine deceive you. Obama still has the support of The Republicans Who Really Matter: David Brooks, Meghan McCain, Arlen Specter, David Frum, Kathleen Parker, Olympia Snowe . . . uh, I’m sure I can think of some more. Just give me a minute.

UPDATE: Carin in the comments suggests adding Andrew Sullivan to my list of The Republicans Who Really Matter, but Sully’s an immigrant and I’m a xenophobic nativist, so . . .

UPDATE II: Lots of The Republicans Who Don’t Really Matter are now commenting on this poll, as well as on Obama’s new it’s-not-really-that-bad flip-flop.

UPDATE III: Why do I always get wisenheimers in the comment fields? Thirteen28 wants me to count “Mr. The-Grassroots-Needs-Elites-Like-Me” among The Republicans Who Really Matter. Having sworn a Lenten vow, I can’t punk-smack the kid again until Easter, although my Catholic friends tell me that one is released from such vows on Sunday. Since my family is Seventh-Day Adventist, that means I’ll be gritting my teeth until sundown Saturday (7:17 p.m. EDT, to be exact), at which time I can offer further hearty congratulations to Ross for his recognition as a Republican Who Really Matters.

BTW, am I correct in guessing that “Thirteen28” is an allusion to the Treaty of Edinburgh in 1328 A.D., whereby Edward III recognized the independence of Scotland? (Blogger Jeopardy!)

UPDATE IV: Young Dan Collins is a Republican Who Doesn’t Really Matter. Splendid fellow, young Dan. Organized the big shindig for old Hawkie, you know. I’m busy blogging (no time for “research” today), but I understand one of The Republicans Who Really Really Matter is on his way to the luncheon soiree for the old Burgemeister. Frequent Commenter Smitty — of the Alexandria Smiths, you know — says the sharpest, most innovative heterodox thinker of his generation, Brooks Rossington Frumdreher III is supposed to file a report soon. Assuming he’s not already too heavy into the gin and tonics . . .

UPDATE V: Commenter Carin at Is This Blog On? gets linked by Kate at Small Dead Animals, a Rule 2 that qualifies them both as Republicans Who Don’t Really Matter.

March 4, 2009

Random freaking adults, again

Big headline at MSNBC:

Poll: Obama’s rating at all-time high

And Mark Murray’s story begins:

After Barack Obama’s first six weeks as president, the American public’s attitudes about the two political parties couldn’t be more different, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds.
Despite the country’s struggling economy and vocal opposition to some of his policies, President Obama’s favorability rating is at an all-time high. . . .
By comparison, the Republican Party — which resisted Obama’s recently passed stimulus plan and has criticized the spending in his budget — finds its favorability at an all-time low. It also receives most of the blame for the current partisanship in Washington and trails the Democrats by nearly 30 percentage points on the question of which party could best lead the nation out of recession.

What Murray doesn’t tell the reader until the 15th paragraph is who was polled to get these results:

While the poll — which was conducted of 1,007 adults from Feb. 26 to March 1, and which has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points — finds Obama in a strong position after his first six weeks as president, the same isn’t true for Republicans.

Random adults! Not “registered voters.” Certainly not “likely voters.” Just random adults. Look at the poll details (PDF): No effort was expended to determine the voting habits of the respondents. There was no screen at all. Just whatever 1,007 people answered the phone and said they were 18 or old.

This is important. The pollster, Peter Hart, and the folks at NBC/WSJ who commissioned the poll are not so stupid that they don’t understand the importance of the distinction between “random adults” and actual voters.

Anyone who knows anything about public opinion polling knows that non-voters are different than voters. Everything we know about the behaviors and attitudes of non-voters shows that these are people disengaged from, and ignorant of, the political process. Compared to voters, non-voters tend to have lower levels of income and education, to be less informed about politics and current events, to score lower on every measure of civic involvement.

And guess what else we know about non-voters? If they could be motivated toward engagement with the political process, they would overwhelmingly vote Democrat and support liberal economic policies. So when news organization commission random-adult polls about political questions, the results will always skew substantially leftward, giving the false impression that Democrats and liberal policies are more popular than they actually are among actual voters.

Nobody knows this more than Democratic Party political operatives, who expend massive resources to register the unregistered, and to get as many as possible of these unengaged and uninformed people to vote. If you go back and look at 2008 exit polls, you find that Obama got 73% of voters with annual incomes under $15,000, and his strongest educational cohort was high-school dropouts (63%). Yet even with a historic level of Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts in 2008, there were still many millions who could not be bothered to go to the polls on election day.

Non-voters are irrelevant to the political process. Taking a random-adult about political questions and turning it into a major news story is therefore a fundamentally dishonest action. Polling random adults is fine, if you’re asking about Coke vs. Pepsi, McDonald’s vs. Burger King. But to do a random-adult poll about politics — without even endeavoring to find within the respondents a subsample of registered voters or likely voters — is not honest journalism.

And the fact that Murray buried in the 15th paragraph the fact that the NBC/WSJ poll was of random adults tells you that he understands, and wishes to conceal, the essential bogusness of the result.

March 4, 2009

So, a socialist, a Marlboro smoker and the President of the United State walk into a bar . . .

. . . and they were all the same guy!

“Nearly one in six Tennesseans has told a joke about Barack Obama’s race, and three-fourths say they’ve heard or read at least one, even though only 15 percent of Tennesseans say they would find such a joke funny.”

But seriously, folks — I just flew in from Nairobi and, man, are my arms tired!

BTW, yesterday was my best traffic day in the past 30 days — 17K+ visitors, 20K+ page views. So while I’m thinking about traffic, let me do some belated Rule 2 for Rule 5 Sunday bloggers, as The Patriot Room brings you Danica Patrick bikini AND Faith Hill upskirt.

Also, if you want to hear me on PJM Radio, click here.

March 2, 2009

Minor blogging milestone

Just collected my second check from Google Adsense. I got my first check back in November, as I recall. So it took eight months to get the first, and only another three months to get the second.

A small check, obviously — not that giant check they give to Powerball jackpot winners — but it is actual income from mere blogging. This gives me a thin pretext of legitimacy when I tell my wife that blogging constitutes “work.”

Also, my “this is work” argument got a boost from certain readers/tip-jar hitters who haven’t asked to be acknowledged for their contributions to the pre-CPAC fund-raising drive. It’s a subject of debate whether I still owe Little Miss Attila more martinis. I did indeed give her a $20 for lunch Friday.

Plus, I introduced Attila and Melissa Clouthier to a young protege, Josiah Ryan of, whom I suspect by merely flashing his crooked grin helped them get in touch with their inner cougars. And that’s gotta be worth something, right?

L-R: Melissa Clouthier, Josiah Ryan, Little Miss Attila.

February 17, 2009

Canadian advice to ignore

(BUMPED; UPDATE BELOW) David Frum advises:

In every poll I’ve seen, hefty majorities approve of President Obama’s economic performance. Approval numbers for congressional Republicans remain dismal.
If we’re to make progress in 2010, we have to look serious. This week we looked not only irrelevant, but clueless and silly.

Again with the “we” — as if he and John Boehner and Tom Coburn are sitting around plotting Republican strategy. But the real problem with Frum’s argument is something I pointed out Sunday: Opinion-poll numbers in February 2009 don’t mean zip if what you are “popular” for is passing a neo-Keynesian stimulus that won’t work.

Ross Douthat echoes Frum, pining to see Republicans “articulating an actual alternative to Obamanomics.” But why should they propose an “alternative” that can’t possibly be voted into action given the current overwhelming majority? At this point, Boehner should just tell Ron Paul to keep denouncing central planning and Keynesianism, and let the main GOP message on economics be one of repeated warning: The Obama/Pelosi/Reid plan is leading the U.S. economy into a fiscal trap.

Trying to “win” news cycles in February 2009 is not what the Republican Party needs to be worried about. Let’s see what the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the inflation rate and the unemployment rate are on Labor Day 2010 before deciding who looks “serious” and who looks “silly.”

More blog reactions at Memeorandum.

UPDATE: Kathy Shaidle once again reminds us that not all Canadians are evil. And hey, a dead-cat bounce in congressional approval ratings! Wonder what that means?

UPDATE II: Linked at Conservative Grapevine.

February 15, 2009

Popularity vs. reality

Ben Smith in the Politico:

Obama’s approval rating remains well above 60 percent in tracking polls. A range of state pollsters said they’d seen no diminution in the president’s sky-high approval ratings, and no improvement in congressional Republicans’ dismal numbers. And that’s before the stimulus creates billions of dollars in spending on popular programs, which could, at least temporarily, further boost Obama’s popularity.
“It’s eerie — I read the news from the Beltway, and there’s this disconnect with the polls from the Midwest that I see all around me,” said Ann Seltzer, the authoritative Iowa pollster who works throughout the Midwest.

Prompting Jonathan Singer to exult:

Perhaps more than ever, there is a real divide between what the chattering class inside the Beltway is saying and what the people of this country are saying. . . . [T]he establishment media focuses on the less meaningful back and forth while at the same time overlooking the larger picture being grasped by the public — that is that President Obama is succeeding, in terms of both moving forward his policy agenda and bringing two-thirds of the country along with him in his effort.

Idiots. Economics is not public relations. Don’t you people understand that it doesn’t matter how “popular” you and your policies are, if what you are doing is the wrong thing to do? And that it doesn’t matter how clever and persuasive your arguments are, if your policies bring disaster?

Think back to late 2002/early 2003, when Bush was soaring in popularity and even Democrats like Hillary Clinton were publicly insisting that military action against Iraq was an urgent national necessity. As even David Frum now admits, however popular Bush and his policy were, it was still a bad policy. And the result of bad policy . . . well, here we are, eh?

Idiots. And here’s another one — Daniel Gross playing armchair economic psychologist:

Psychology plays a big role in all sorts of economic decisions. And at times like these, when people are gripped with fear, it plays an even larger role.

Gross seems to assume that the public’s economic mood is so divorced from economic reality that all we need is an injection of economic self-esteem and — no matter what the underlying reality — this “all must have prizes” approach will assure recovery.

Well, I’m sorry, sir: It Won’t Work. Economics doesn’t operate that way. People can’t spend money they don’t have — unless they can borrow it, and they can’t borrow it when they’re already overleveraged and the financial industry is collapsing.

So, you say, “We’ll rescue the financial industry with TARP.” Fine. What’s the price-tag and where will you get that money? Oh, you’ll borrow that, too. Fine. Go talk to some people who know a bit about the bond market, and see how they think the global investor class — U.S. debt is a commodity traded globally — will react to the prospect of still more deficit spending piled on top of all the deficit spending for the $152 billion “stimulus” in May, $350 billion for TARP I, and now $789 billion for more “stimulus.” Another $350 billion for TARP II? Oh, they’re going to love that.

If the world’s investor class believes that your Keynesian pump-priming will work, they’ll be happy to buy up all those Treasury notes, just like they’ll be happy to buy stock in U.S.-based corporations. Do you think those people are stupid, sir?

Hell, no. They’ll be putting in more “sell” orders on Monday, and at least one analyst expects the Dow Jones Industrial Average to sink to 6,000 soon. As bad as the stock market is, God help us if the bond market goes wobbly. (And they’re starting to sound a bit skittish to me.) And never mind that, at some point, the debt holders will expect repayment. Seriously, we could be on the brink of Weimar America.

What none of you “progressives” seem able to get through your thick skulls is that this recession — the massive losses in the Dow, the massive losses of home values in the collapse of the “bubble” — represents a loss of capital. The American economy doesn’t need psychological confidence, or a few dribs and drabs of pork-barrel programs and tiny “tax credits” to favored constituencies. It needs fat chunks of cash — investment capital. And the disastrous policies being enacted will only serve to drive capital out of the U.S. economy.

If you start walking in the wrong direction, every step you take leads you farther from where you’re supposed to be. U.S. economic policy has been going in the wrong direction, and every additional step in this direction only compounds the damage. Poll numbers and public relations cannot trump the forces of the market. The law of supply and demand cannot be repealed.

You idiots can talk about poll numbers until you’re blue in the face and try to blame Bush for everything bad that happens, but like it or not, you own this one, and it’s going to be a millstone around your necks.

UPDATE: The fiscal trap of Hope.

February 9, 2009

Random freaking adults!

Matthew Yglesias does a happy dance over a Gallup poll showing higher public approval for Democrats than Republicans on handling the “stimulus.”

Yglesias is exactly right that what the poll shows is, “People hate Republicans.” That is to say, Bush-inflicted “brand damage” causes people to give negative answers to any poll question involving the word “Republican.” There are two big problems with this poll as a guide to what policy Republicans (or anyone else) should support:

  • Rational ignorance — One of the most interesting polls of the past year was the one showing that 41% of CNN viewers didn’t even realize Democrats had taken control of Congress. What voters knew was that Bush was a Republican and they hated him, and therefore an overwhelming majority was eager to vote against Republicans. These voters — independent “swing” voters being a particularly ill-informed segment of the electorate — were operating on the principle that Ilya Somin dubbed “rational ignorance.” Given the vastness of their ignorance, it is likely that many of them (a) still don’t realize that Democrats hold the whip hand in Congress, and (b) don’t have a clue in hell what’s in the stimulus or what the GOP position is.
  • “Random adults” — Gallup says, “Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,018 national adults, aged 18 and older.” Not likely voters, not even registered voters, merely random adults. As everyone who knows anything about polling knows, non-voters always skew left of the actual electorate, especially on economic issues. Why? Because non-voters tend to have very low levels of income and education. The whole point of the massive Democratic get-out-the-vote drives every election year is to counteract the extremely low level of political involvement by the poor and ignorant, who would vote Democrat, if only they weren’t too stupid and lazy to vote. (Obama got 63% of the vote among high-school dropouts, his best performance among any educational demographic. ) So polls that don’t screen out non-voters will always show that feeble-minded welfare parasites want more welfare giveaways, and the parasites are at least smart enough to know that Democrats are the Welfare Giveaway Party.

Let Yglesias do his happy dance, and ignore those stupid “random adult” polls. Nothing Republicans do will gain them many votes among the parasite/deadbeat constituency, and certainly the GOP has nothing to gain by supporting a “stimulus” that won’t work.