Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘polls’

Udall is losing … or not

Posted by Richard on September 18, 2014

The latest Quinnipiac poll of likely Colorado voters must have Republicans cheering. GOP challenger Cory Gardner leads Sen. Mark Udall by 8 points, 48-40%. That’s well outside the 2.8% margin of error. Independent Steve Shogan, who recently began running TV ads, gets 8%. With Shogan out of the race, Gardner’s lead jumps to 10 points (63% of Shogan supporters say they may change their mind, and they prefer Gardner as their second choice by 10 points).

But wait. Three other recent polls have significantly different results:

  • The Suffolk/USA TODAY poll gives Udall a 1-point lead,  43-42%, well within its 4.4% margin of error.
  • The Myers/Project New America poll has Udall leading 48-46%, within its 2.7% margin of error.  PNA is a “progressive” political consulting firm. (By the way, if you want a good laugh, open their press release (PDF) for this poll, scroll to the bottom, and check out where the link to really goes.)
  • The SurveyUSA/Denver Post poll (9/8-9/10) shows Udall leading 46-42%, with a 3.9% margin of error.

Three of the polls show Udall with significantly higher negatives (from 47-50%) than Gardner (from 36-42%). Even Myers has Udall’s negatives slightly higher at 43% versus Gardner’s 39%. This surprises me, considering that I’m seeing about a bazillion highly negative anti-Gardner ads a day.

According to the Secretary of State’s August voter registration numbers (PDF), active voters’ party affiliation is approximately 35% Independent, 33% Republican, and 31% Democrat. The Suffolk sample mirrors that almost exactly. The other three slightly undersample Independents. Quinnipiac slightly oversamples Republicans, and the other two slightly oversample Democrats.

Of course, turnout is likely to be more important than the party affiliation percentages. Today, most analysts see GOP voters nationwide as more energized/engaged. But the leadership of the stupid party is certainly capable of destroying that advantage.

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How to get the poll results you want

Posted by Richard on April 23, 2014

In every poll, the Arkansas Senate race has been extremely tight, with most showing challenger Tom Cotton (R) with a slim lead over incumbent Mark Pryor (SD). Until now. A new New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows Pryor leading by 10 points. Bill Kristol looked beyond the headline at the polling questions, and discovered something interesting in question 12.

That question asked poll respondents if they voted for President in 2012 and if so, for whom.  32% didn’t vote, 26% voted for Obama, 27% voted for Romney, and the rest voted for someone else, didn’t know, or wouldn’t say. Kristol explained the significance:

In other words, the Times and Kaiser have produced a sample in Arkansas that reports they voted in 2012 for Romney over Obama–by one point. But Romney carried Arkansas in 2012 by 24 points. …

The whole point of question 12 is to provide a reality test for the sample. That’s why they ask that question–we know what happened in 2012, so the only thing to be learned by asking the 2012 question of the sample is to ensure that it’s a reasonably accurate snapshot of voters in the state. Of course there’ll always be some variance between reality and the sample’s report of its vote a year and a half ago–but not a 23 point variance.

A reputable news organization would have looked at question 12 and thrown the poll out. But then again, it was the New York Times.

It’s entirely possible that they paid a great deal of attention to question 12 — to ensure that the sample was not a reasonably accurate snapshot of the voters.

Heck, if they really wanted an accurate snapshot of the voters, a third of their sample wouldn’t be non-voters in 2012.

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America’s message to GOP: don’t cave!

Posted by Richard on April 7, 2011

The President’s meeting with John Boehner and Harry Reid ended a short time ago with no agreement, but all three claimed they were getting closer to averting a government shutdown. That concerns me, because if past history is any indication, getting closer to an agreement means the Republicans are giving ground.

Before they indulge in their natural inclination to cave and compromise, I hope Boehner and the GOP leadership take a deep breath and consider some recent poll results. For instance, this Rasmussen poll released Tuesday (emphasis added):

In the ongoing budget-cutting debate in Washington, some congressional Democrats have accused their Republican opponents of being held captive by the Tea Party movement, but voters like the Tea Party more than Congress.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters say when it comes to the major issues facing the country, their views are closer to the average Tea Party member as opposed to the average member of Congress.  Just 22% say their views are closest to those of the average congressman. Even more (30%) aren’t sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This shows little change from a survey in late March of last year.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters think the Tea Party movement is good for the country, consistent with findings since May 2010. Twenty-six percent (26%) disagree and say the grassroots, small government movement is bad for America. Sixteen percent (16%) say neither.

Or this one from last Friday (emphasis added):

A majority of voters are fine with a partial shutdown of the federal government if that’s what it takes to get deeper cuts in federal government spending.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters think making deeper spending cuts in the federal budget for 2011 is more important than avoiding a partial government shutdown. Thirty-one percent (31%) disagree and say avoiding a shutdown is more important. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Or this Fox News poll from today (emphasis added):

American voters would rather shut down the government than raise the debt limit, even though most believe a shutdown would have a dramatic effect on everyday Americans.

A Fox News poll released Wednesday asked voters to imagine being a lawmaker in Washington who had to decide whether to increase the debt ceiling. The poll found 62 percent would vote against raising it — even at the risk of shutting down the government.

About one-in-four voters (26 percent) would raise the limit to allow the government to spend more.

Or this Tarrance Group poll from a couple of days ago (underlines in original):

Voters have turned the corner and have made clear their support for deep cuts to the budget. Nearly three quarters of voters (73%) say it is very important that the budget include “significant” spending cuts.  When it comes to $100 billion in cuts, only 23% say this percentage is too high, while a majority (63%) says $100 billion is too low (34%) or about right (29%). This is virtually unchanged from February, when 21% said $60 billion was too high, and a majority (67%) said the figure was too low (36%) or about right (31%).
Supporting $100 billion in cuts would result in a net positive political impact for members of Congress.  A majority (55%) are more likely to support their member of Congress if he or she supports these cuts, while only 24% are less likely.  This is also similar to February, when 52% were more likely to re-elect their member if he or she supports $61 billion in cuts.…

When presented with three arguments about raising the debt ceiling, less than a quarter of voters most agree with the argument that the debt ceiling needs to be raised in order to avoid things like a shutdown and Social Security checks not being mailed.  In fact, a plurality chooses to NOT raise the debt ceiling at all:

30%:  Some people say that Congress should only raise the debt ceiling if it can also guarantee real, significant spending cuts starting this year.  We will never balance the budget until we drastically cut the amount of money we spend.

22%:  Other people say that Congress must act to raise the debt ceiling regardless of whether it includes spending cuts, or else the United States government will shut down and will default on its obligations, such as not being able to make Social Security checks and salaries for police and teachers.

 42%:  Still other people say that we should NOT raise the debt ceiling even if spending cuts are made because the nation must eliminate the trillion dollar debt we face instead of adding to it.

The message to the GOP leadership is clear. The American people (at least those most likely to vote) have recognized the utter seriousness of this nation’s fiscal crisis and want bold action, even if it involves temporary pain. The Democrats are in complete denial, whistling past the graveyard. If the GOP wants to be taken seriously as the party willing to address our fiscal problems seriously, they must resist the urge to compromise, wheel, and deal. Stand firm for once, you bastards!

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Polling 101

Posted by Richard on March 7, 2011

Legal Insurrection is featuring a three-part series this week on polling by guest poster Matthew Knee. The first part appeared Monday, and based on it, the series looks to be a very valuable primer on the subject: 

Analyzing polls with only what polling companies release is a tricky business. Near-ideal poll analysis requires a database of actual, person-by-person responses, expensive software, and advanced mathematics. Ideal poll analysis requires actually being the pollster and having an overstuffed budget. However, there are a number of rules, tips, and tricks that anyone – with a bit of logic and a calculator – can use to draw meaningful conclusions from flawed polls and incomplete information.

I will be addressing these issues in three stages. In the first section, I will talk a bit about how people answer polling questions. In the second, I will discuss samples and biases. In the third, I will discuss techniques for evaluating the seriousness of bias.

All-purpose disclaimer: This series will include approximations and simplifications. It is for understanding media polls, not for writing articles for scholarly journals. It is also not exhaustive. The list of specific problems that can arise, especially in poll wording, is, obviously, enormously long.

Read the whole thing, and read parts 2 and 3 when they appear. You'll be better equipped to understand all that polling data that the MSM throw at you — and to view it with the appropriate amount of skepticism. 

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Colorado governor’s race gets interesting — and I switch candidates

Posted by Richard on October 23, 2010

I caught the tail end of a live debate among Colorado's top three gubernatorial candidates on KDVR tonight. For those of you not in Colorado (or not paying attention), the candidates are:

  • Dan Maes, a political neophyte with lots of baggage. He's a conservative Republican.
  • John Hickenlooper, mayor of Denver. He's a liberal Democrat who talks about "social justice."
  • Tom Tancredo, former Republican Congressman. He's the American Constitution Party candidate, and generally described as very conservative (a "right-wing extremist" according to his critics). 

When asked about marijuana, two of those candidates trotted out all the tired old anti-marijuana myths and scare stories and took a hard-line pro-drug-war stance. The other one forcefully argued that marijuana prohibition was a failure and unequivocally supported legalization. Can you guess which candidates embraced the "reefer madness" rhetoric and which was the enlightened, reasonable, and tolerant one? 

Yep, it was the "right-wing extremist" Tancredo who supported a sane approach to pot. Maes and Hickenlooper both sounded like every lame ONDCP ad you've ever seen.

A few months ago, when it became clear that Maes was a deeply flawed candidate and Tancredo jumped into the race, everyone — absolutely everyone — assumed that the race was over, and that Hickenlooper would cruise to an easy victory.

Surprise! The latest independent poll shows a statistical tie: Hickenlooper 44%, Tancredo 43%, Maes 9%. (If Maes gets less than 10% in the election, the GOP becomes a minor party under Colorado law.)

And that poll was taken before Michael Sandoval unearthed a Hickenlooper quote that's gotten a lot of negative attention. The mayor, responding to a question about why the Matthew Shepard Foundation was locating in Colorado instead of Wyoming, said (emphasis added): 

I think a couple things, I mean, you know, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard occurred in Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming are very similar. We have some of the same, you know, backwards thinking in the kind of rural Western areas you see in, you know, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico.

According to Kelly Maher, the mayor's campaign suffers from an enthusiasm gap (and Hickenlooper himself has lamented his small crowds), while Tancredo events are "wall-to-wall packed" and full of "political energy." Tancredo seems to be surging and may peak at just the right time. If so, he could make history — a Tancredo victory would be perhaps the most stunning event in a year full of surprising political events.

If Tancredo falls short, people can point to Maes as the "spoiler," and for a change we can accuse the die-hard Republicans who voted for him of "wasting their vote" and "helping the Democrat win" — accusations they've hurled at Libertarians in the past. Oh, the delicious irony…

Me? I'd planned to vote for Libertarian Jaimes Brown, but with the race this tight, I've changed my mind. I'm going to support Tancredo. I know him somewhat — he used to speak at Denver LP meetings back when I was active in the party, and we bumped into each other at other liberty-related activities from time to time. I think he's sincere, principled, articulate, and funny. Not at all the angry right-wing ogre some people paint him as. And he definitely has a libertarian streak.

I'm inclined to agree with Rossputin, who explained why he, who wouldn't support McCain, is supporting Tancredo:

First, I believe Tancredo is much more principled than John McCain. I believe he’s a real conservative and, more importantly for me, I believe he has a libertarian streak in there somewhere.  While I’ve said repeatedly that I have a big problem with Tanc’s views on immigration, especially legal immigration, I’m hard pressed to find validity in the argument of some that I should not vote for Tancredo for an office which will have precisely zero impact on legal immigration policy, but which has huge impact on how the state of Colorado will spend its money and tax its citizens.

Second, I was OK not supporting McCain and knowing that was effectively a vote for Obama because my belief was that people need to learn what “Progressivism” really is, who “Progressives” really are – namely dictatorial haters of liberty who think that everyone but them is stupid – in order to finally rebel against it.  It was the “boiling the frog” story; McCain and Obama would both keep us on the path to big government, it’s just that Obama would drive the road so fast that it would scare the passengers whereas McCain would make our ride to our own economic death much more pleasant for the average American and therefore much more likely to be completed.

But Americans have learned that lesson (at least for a little while) and I don’t need a leftist Governor of Colorado to add an extra helping of watermelon (green on the outside, red on the inside) to the shit sandwich that is our federal government.  There is no important additional valuable lesson to be learned by electing Hickenlooper.  There is only pain and damage for the state.

Tancredo for Governor. Let's make history! 

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A Republican win in Honolulu??

Posted by Richard on May 13, 2010

Boy, this is looking like a tough year for Socialist Democrats running for Congress. Voting is already well under way for the May 22 special election in Hawaii's 1st Congressional District, and the latest poll shows fiscal conservative Republican Charles Djou with a commanding lead :

Djou leads with 39.5 percent of the vote, followed by former Congressman Ed Case and Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, who are tied at 25.5 percent, according to the poll by Aloha Vote, a Hawaii subsidiary of Merriman River Group (MRG), a Massachusetts research organization. Nearly 10 percent are undecided….

The automated telephone poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points. The poll of 1,081 likely voters was conducted on May 6 and 7.

More than half the respondents — 52.6 percent — had already voted. And of that group, Djou got 45 percent of the vote, one reason it's so difficult to imagine trends changing in any significant way between now and May 22….

Djou leads among voters who believe limiting government power or national security are the most important issues in the election. They are "through the roof" for Djou, Rosenthal said.

Hanabusa wins among voters who identify education as the most important issue, while Case wins among voters who pick energy independence and environmental protection.

The 1st District covers Honolulu, so it's Obama's "home congressional district." It's been lopsidedly Democratic since the last ice age, and would probably remain that way in a two-way race. But Djou's strong showing, plus the fact that 13% of those polled described themselves as belonging to the Tea Party, are pretty amazing for this district. 

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Less respected?

Posted by Richard on March 9, 2010

It's not just the President's attempted government takeover of the health care industry that the American public rejects by ever-increasing margins. According to a new poll (sponsored by leftist organizations who no doubt hoped for an opposite result), Americans also reject Obama's foreign policy and national security competence:

A majority of Americans say the United States is less respected in the world than it was two years ago and think President Obama and other Democrats fall short of Republicans on the issue of national security, a new poll finds.

The Democracy Corps-Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin — 51 percent to 41 percent — Americans think the standing of the U.S. dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama's presidency.

"This is surprising, given the global acclaim and Nobel peace prize that flowed to the new president after he took office," said pollsters for the liberal-leaning organizations.

On the national security front, a massive gap has emerged, with 50 percent of likely voters saying Republicans would likely do a better job than Democrats, a 14-point swing since May. Thirty-three percent favored Democrats.

"The erosion since May is especially strong among women, and among independents, who now favor Republicans on this question by a 56 to 20 percent margin," the pollsters said in their findings.

Mind you, I realize that just because Americans believe we're less respected in the world doesn't make it true (although there's been ample evidence in the past year that in fact it is; weakness, as usual, has led to contempt). But what ought to matter to Democrats is that those Americans who believe we're less respected are eligible to vote in American elections — the Euroweenies who may feel differently aren't. 

If independents lean 56-20 Republican on national security, this administration is in serious trouble, and every attempted attack on this country, whether successful or thwarted, will only reinforce their problem. Because with that much doubt about their competence on this issue, even the thwarting of an attack will be dismissed by many as just dumb luck (like the Christmas underwear bomber), not competence.

(HT: Instapundit)

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GOP senators can stop Obamacare — if they have the will

Posted by Richard on December 14, 2009

The current leadership of the Republican Party leaves a lot to be desired in terms of commitment to the party's alleged limited-government principles, ability to articulate those principles, and willingness to fight hard for those principles. As Obama applies the screws to wavering Democratic senators, and the terrifying specter of government-controlled health care looms closer, the failure of Republican senators to mount any effective opposition is simply unconscionable.

It's not like they're helpless to stop the Obamacare juggernaut. Erick Erickson makes it clear that they have a multitude of tools for stopping this thing dead (emphasis added): 

The Founding Fathers created a Republic, but 60 Senators are poised to take it away. With the pending disaster of the passage in the Senate of a bill nationalizing one sixth of the U.S. economy and our entire healthcare system at a cost of over $2.5 trillion, we are faced with a crucial question: are the Republican senators using every means at their disposal to stop this looming, tyrannical abuse of power? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be “no.”

The Senate, unlike the House of Representatives, has parliamentary rules and procedures that give the minority the ability to stall legislation. In fact, unlike the House, the minority have the ability to virtually paralyze the Senate. Doing so is not something we would want or expect for every bad bill that comes through Congress, but the proposed healthcare legislation is probably the worst piece of legislation ever considered by the United States Congress. It is the most intrusive, most damaging, most costly, most dangerous bill to the economic and personal freedom and liberty of individual Americans that Congress has ever considered. If there is any bill that deserves being stopped by shutting down the Senate, it is this one.

There are a whole series of parliamentary maneuvers that could be used by Republican senators to stop this bill. There is a hard backstop to the current process (Christmas). The Republicans’ goal should be to prevent Reid from passing the bill before that time. If he goes past Christmas and is forced to adjourn or recess, the momentum will shift in favor of those opposing the bill.

How could this be done?

To start with, they should stop constantly agreeing to “unanimous consent” requests from the Democrats. Senate Republicans, to date, have allowed Democrats, by unanimous consent, to process 10 amendments. The amendments that have been accepted – Democrat amendments – did not make the over 2000-page atrocity any better. The Republican strategy of trying to pass their own “message” amendments carries no message unless you consider “no strategy to kill the bill” a message. There are no amendments that could possibly make this bill a palatable piece of legislation – and any amendments the Republicans get passed that supposedly make the bill “better” may just make it easier for the Democrats to get final passage. If the Republicans want the news media to cover what they are doing to educate the American people even further about the atrociousness of this bill, they have to create drama on the floor of the Senate. And the only way to do that is through an all-out fight with no holds barred. They need to look like Braveheart, fighting to the end to save freedom. Because, in fact, it is our very freedom and liberty that is at stake.

Erickson has nearly a dozen examples of ways to delay, derail, and obstruct this abomination of a bill — if only the Republicans have the will to fight. Read the whole thing. If you have a Republican senator, send him or her a copy (or at least a link)!

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Memo to GOP: “Lead, follow — or get out of the way”

Posted by Richard on December 8, 2009

On Monday, Rasmussen Reports released the results of a poll of 1000 likely voters in which they asked them to "suppose the Tea Party Movement organized itself as a political party. When thinking about the next election for Congress, would you vote for the Republican candidate from your district, the Democratic candidate from your district, or the Tea Party candidate from your district?" The results:

18% Republican
36% Democratic
23% Tea Party
22% Not sure 

To those ready to file party organizing papers, Rasmussen offered this caution: 

In practical terms, it is unlikely that a true third-party option would perform as well as the polling data indicates. The rules of the election process—written by Republicans and Democrats–provide substantial advantages for the two established major parties. The more conventional route in the United States is for a potential third-party force to overtake one of the existing parties.

But the polling data ought to make the GOP leadership (and I use the term loosely) stop and think.

Seventy percent (70%) of Republican voters have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement while only seven percent (7%) offer an unfavorable view. Interestingly, 49% of Democrats have no opinion one way or the other.

Among unaffiliated voters, 43% have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party efforts while 20% say the opposite.

Forty-one percent (41%) of all voters nationwide say Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that a new party is needed to represent the American people. Republicans are evenly divided on this question, while Democrats overwhelmingly disagree. However, among those not affiliated with either major party, 60% agree that a new party is needed, and only 25% disagree. Men are far more likely than women to believe a new party is needed.

As for the voting preference, the Tea Party bests the GOP among both men and women and in all age groups except those over 65.

And it ought to make the socialists running the Democratic Party stop and think, too. Notice that the Republican plus Tea Party total is 51%, and the Dems got barely over a third. Notice also that 60% of independents think the donkeys and elephants are too much alike — that ain't 'cause the Dems have moved toward fiscal conservatism, free-markets, and limited government, folks!

Americans for Limited Government president Bill Wilson issued a statement that put it rather well:

"The stunning Rasmussen Poll showing the Republican Party finishing a decided third to a hypothetical 'Tea Party' candidate should send shock waves through the GOP. It demonstrates once again that the timid, tepid Republican leadership is leading its party to the brink of disaster. Tens of millions of Americans are looking for strong leadership to stand up to the Obama-Reid-Pelosi leftwing onslaught. Instead, the Republican Party is giving them the same shilly-shally two-step that cost it a majority in Congress, and the Oval Office. Looks like the American people are telling the GOP in no uncertain terms, 'Lead, follow — or get out of the way.'"

What he said.

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Rasmussen: voters favor GOP on health care

Posted by Richard on August 13, 2009

Judging from Rasmussen's latest poll of likely voters, the Democrats are practically engaging in assisted suicide (assisted by the mainstream media) by pushing government-controlled health care:

For the first time in over two years of polling, voters trust Republicans slightly more than Democrats on the handling of the issue of health care. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that voters favor the GOP on the issue 44% to 41%.

Democrats held a four-point lead on the issue last month and a 10-point lead in June. For most of the past two years, more than 50% of voters said they trusted Democrats on health care. The latest results mark the lowest level of support measured for the party on the now-contentious issue.

Public support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats has fallen to a new low with just 42% of U.S. voters now in favor of it. That’s down five points from two weeks ago and down eight points from six weeks ago.

Overall, Republicans lead Democrats in terms of voter trust on eight out of 10 key issues for the second consecutive month, and the two are tied on one issue.

Republican candidates continue to hold a modest lead over Democrats for the seventh straight week in the Generic Congressional Ballot.

Only on the issue of government ethics do voters trust the Democrats more than the Republicans. But the lead is narrow, 34% – 31%, and the combined total of a mere 65% suggests that many, many people don't trust either party very much. 

In Rasmussen's daily tracking poll , the Presidential Approval Index is at -8. The index is calculated by subtracting the percentage who strongly disapprove, 37%, from the percentage who strongly approve, 29%. Obama's total approval score (strongly plus somewhat) is now at 47%, the lowest level Rasmussen has yet recorded, while 52% disapprove. It should be especially worrisome to Democrats that 65% of unaffiliated voters now disapprove. 

Sen. Arlen Specter's switch to the Democrats and support for government-controlled health care have thrown a one-two punch at his re-election hopes. In the span of two months, Specter has gone from a double-digit lead over Republican Pat Toomey (of the Club for Growth) to a double-digit deficit (36% – 48%), and his lead in the Democratic primary race is starting to slip. 

It warms the cockles of my heart that apparently there are still plenty of Americans who have no use for arrogant, condescending busybodies who think they know what's best for us and are thus entitled to run our lives.

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Polls show people are waking up

Posted by Richard on July 10, 2009

The Rasmussen Reports Presidential Approval Index is at -7 today. The index is calculated from Rasmussen's daily Presidential Tracking Poll of likely voters by subtracting the number who strongly disapprove (37%) from the number who strongly approve (30%) of the President's performance. Overall, approval still has a slight edge (51% – 48%), but it's safe to say the honeymoon is over.

Rasmussen's recent Trust on Issues polling should give Democrats pause:

Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on eight out of 10 key electoral issues, including, for the second straight month, the top issue of the economy. They've also narrowed the gap on the remaining two issues, the traditionally Democratic strong suits of health care and education.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that voters trust the GOP more on economic issues 46% to 41%, showing little change from the six-point lead the party held last month. This is just the second time in over two years of polling the GOP has held the advantage on economic issues. The parties were close on the issue in May, with the Democrats holding a one-point lead.

Voters not affiliated with either party trust Republicans more to handle the economy by a 46% to 32% margin.

Most voters (52%) now trust Republicans more on the issue of taxes, also the highest level found in over two years. Only 36% trust Democrats more on taxes. …

Republicans also edge out Democrats on government ethics and corruption for the second straight month, 34% to 33%. In June, the GOP held a six-point advantage on the issue.

Also for the first time in over two years, Republicans lead Democrats on the issue of Social Security 42% to 37%. Democrats held a six-point lead on the issue last month, and the parties were tied in April.

Democrats have also seen their leads shrink on two of the party’s strong points, health care and education. The party holds a four-point lead on health care, down from 18 points in May. The Democrats’ advantage on the issue is the smallest found in over two years.

Maybe most Americans aren't ready to embrace the Democrats' headlong rush toward socialism and a massively more powerful, pervasive, and expensive government. One can only hope.

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Don’t be an Eeyore

Posted by Richard on November 1, 2008

HillBuzz has some sage advice for Republicans: Don't fall for the three head games the media and the Obama campaign are playing. And don't be an Eeyore:

The same pattern that unfolded during our primaries is happening again, because the media has just one tattered old used playbook (written by David Axelrod, of course), and they have not deviated from it yet. What the media and Obama campaign did, in concert, to Hillary Clinton before every major primary is what they are doing to McCain/Palin now.  Here are the top three media/Obama head tricks to watch out for in the last days before the election.

If you, collectively, can keep Republicans and other McCain voters from falling for these, we believe there’s nothing Obama can do to win this election. The ONLY way McCain loses is if you Eeyores allow the media to keep you from the polls.

Read the whole thing

I was pleased to see that something I'd been thinking regarding one of those head games occurred to them, too. Head game #3 is "Repeated insistance that blacks and young people will decide this election, and they are all going to vote in record numbers for Obama." The unintended consequence of this game that occurred to both of us (great minds think alike) is that: 

the Obamedia’s constant drumbeat that Obama’s so far ahead will, ironically, keep a lot of these people from actually voting — since they think he will win in a landslide without them, and one vote doesn’t matter. “Oh, we meant to vote, but we got, like, busy. And stuff.”

According to a news report I heard last night, in the early voting, young people have (yet again) not turned out in the large numbers predicted by the pundits. So the outcome of this election may depend on this: Will the media trumpeting of an inevitable Obama victory keep more McCain supporters away from the long lines on election day or more Obama supporters?

HillBuzz summed up: 

It’s all a head game, a fake out. All of this talk about Obama being ahead is just garbage the Obamedia shovels to make you give up and sit home so Obama can win. That’s what breeds Eeyores. And Eeyores giving up and staying home is why Hillary Clinton won Indiana by only 1% when she should have won it by 9%. It really is as simple as that.

So, heads up out there — if you can get Rush to talk about this stuff on air, it would do Republicans a world of good. Make as many people see the media for what they are — a paid extension of the Obama campaign — as humanly possible, keep your heads up, and let’s put another crack in the glass ceiling by making Sarah Palin the nation’s first female Vice President, while putting a good and decent man we trust behind the Resolute Desk where all of us Democrats know he’ll work effectively with Senator Clinton and other Democrats to fix our economy, create good jobs, and make America energy independent for good.

If we work hard, we will win.

Check out other recent posts at HillBuzz — they've been blogging up a storm. For instance, they say "Pennsylvania’s Democrats voting for McCain will decide this election," and think this flyer being widely distributed in Pennsylvania is significant. And there's this update — the Obama campaign has been charging the press thousands of dollars for backstage access (isn't it interesting that none of the national news organizations shaken down like this thought it was worth reporting). Now they're holding an illegal lottery offering a chance at similar access to contributors!

I've been so impressed by the work being done by HillBuzz that I donated $100. You can donate, too, right on the home page.

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Bring them home now!

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2008

JammieWearingFool pointed out how well the Nancy Pelosi era is working out: according to a new Gallup Poll, the confidence rating of Congress is now down to 12%, one point below HMOs and the lowest level ever for any institution. That breaks down to 6% having a "great deal" of confidence in Congress and 6% having "quite a lot."

The President, at 26%, isn't doing so hot either. But that's more than double Congress's score and ahead of big business, the criminal justice system, labor unions, newspapers, and TV news.

The top three institutions — and the only ones in which a majority have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence — are the military (71%), small business (60%), and police (58%). The military has topped the rankings every year but one since 1988 (Reagan legacy, anyone?); in 1997, small business took the top spot. 

JammieWearingFool captured the delicious irony of this:

The Democrats have spent the better part of the last five years slandering our troops, and look where it's gotten them.

Hmm, let's see… On the one hand, Petraeus and the troops are succeeding, and they're atop the public confidence rankings. OTOH, this Congress has been unusually incompetent and sleazy even compared to previous Congresses, and the overwhelming majority apparently have very low expectations from it.

I have a modest proposal: Let's let the troops stay in Iraq, and bring the senators and representatives home from D.C.

(HT: Instapundit);

P.S. — Follow that link in the JWF quote above. Ralph Peters skewers the "aging activists" of his (and my) generation brilliantly.

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Posted by Richard on May 25, 2007

According to a new Rasmussen survey of American voters, only 26% support passage of the bipartisan immigration bill currently being debated in the Senate. But that's OK, say many Washington insiders and media experts — 26% is a solid base to build on, and the fact that so many people don't like the bill at this stage is a virtue. Lots of people are undecided or just don't yet understand the bill. As they become more educated about the issue, that 26% will grow.

Coincidentally, 26% just happens to be the percentage of young American Muslims who support suicide bombings in defense of Islam. In this case, though, the media experts think that the 26% are  trivial and unimportant. We should focus on the fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are assimilated and don't want to subjugate or kill us infidels.

Meanwhile, the Wahhabists who, with Saudi support, fill American mosques and schools with extreme Islamist literature and teachings are noting with satisfaction that 26% is a solid base to build on. Younger Muslims are much more radical than older ones, they no doubt note, and lots of young American Muslims just don't yet understand their obligation to spread Islam and extend the ummah. As they become more educated about jihad, that 26% will grow.

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Maybe Rove is right

Posted by Richard on October 18, 2006

The polls all predict disaster for the Republicans, and everybody from the mainstream media to conservative commenters and bloggers seems to believe them. It’s a done deal. Glenn Reynolds even offered a much-discussed "pre-mortem" explaining all the reasons (and they’re good ones!) why voters are likely to punish the Republicans severely come November (see also Glenn’s follow-up).

Prognosticators are so certain of a crushing GOP defeat that the Washington Post seemed genuinely puzzled that this belief isn’t shared by the White House:

Amid widespread panic in the Republican establishment about the coming midterm elections, there are two people whose confidence about GOP prospects strikes even their closest allies as almost inexplicably upbeat: President Bush and his top political adviser, Karl Rove.

The question is whether this is a case of justified confidence — based on Bush’s and Rove’s electoral record and knowledge of the money, technology and other assets at their command — or of self-delusion. Even many Republicans suspect the latter.

Today in The Corner, Rich Lowry quoted a White House bulletin that suggested viewing all the recent polling data with skepticism (emphasis in The Corner):

A spate of recent polls paints a very gloomy electoral outlook for GOP candidates in next month’s elections. One reason for that, possibly, is a set of samples in recent polls that do not mirror the historical norm for party ID. A memo circulating among Republicans on the Hill, authored by GOP pollster David Winston, takes a look at the historical spread between Democrats and Republicans in House elections and polling over the last 14 years. According to Winston’s analysis, there is a material discrepancy between the party identification listed by people in exit polls (people who actually voted) between 1992 and 2004, and those used over the last few weeks.

Since 1992, the party ID differentials have ranged from +4% Democratic (1998) to +2% Republican (2002). Winston looked at the October polling samples from 8 different polling organizations. The smallest party ID differential was +5% Democratic by CBS/NYT. CNN didn’t provide party ID data. The other six ranged from +7% Democratic (Pew) to +11% Democratic (Newsweek).

Can you say "wishful thinking"? Or "attempting to create a self-fulfilling prophecy"? I wouldn’t bet against Karl Rove just yet.

My take? Glenn and other critics are absolutely correct regarding the failings, betrayals, malfeasance, and incompetence of far too many congressional Republicans. They richly deserve to be punished. But Rush is right when he says that they may deserve to lose, but we don’t deserve the higher taxes, slowing economy, increased federal spending, decreased national security, and other consequences that are sure to follow if Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House and Charles Rangel chairs the Ways and Means Committee.

Voters who are pro-free-market, limited-government conservatives or libertarians should exercise some discretion. If you’re looking at a House or Senate race that’s got an absolute shoe-in incumbent of either major party (and that’s most districts), by all means use your vote in a way that sends the best message — vote Libertarian, Constitution, write-in, or not at all (don’t add to a big-government liberal’s vote total for any reason — that sends entirely the wrong message).

But if you’re in a competitive district or state, don’t just blindly punish a less-than-ideal Republican or tell yourself that this particular Democrat’s pretty moderate, doesn’t support tax increases, etc. — helping to elect that Democrat, no matter how decent and harmless, helps to put Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and friends back in control. What do you suppose the consequences will be for taxes, spending, regulation, national security, judgeships, … ?

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