Patterico's Pontifications

5/18/2009

Why We Won’t See Many Political Polls from the MSM for Awhile

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 1:32 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

This 5/7-10/09 Gallup poll shows Americans are now evenly split when it comes to Party Affiliation:

Republicans —- 32%
Democrats —— 32%
Independents – 34%

Republicans and Democrats are split at 45% when Independents who lean toward one Party are included.

Follow the link to see how Gallup’s Party Affiliation polls have changed since the November 2008 election and the January 2009 inauguration.

— DRJ

37 Responses to “Why We Won’t See Many Political Polls from the MSM for Awhile”

  1. I’m tempted to say that the Tea Party is leading, but not within the margin of error. “There are many good people who are more than able to serve a term in office; there is just no need to vote for an incumbent.” — Grandpa W.

    htom (412a17)

  2. And the battle for control will be determined by the 34% in the middle who by definition don’t see things the same way conservatives do. Thus, advancing a conservative platform and ranting against those less pure than themselves is just the thing conservatives ought to do…. that is, if they want to stay in the minority.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  3. And yet the accompanying story ignore this and uses old data to come to the opposite conclusion.

    Once has to wonder, too, when two polls taken a month apart have an 11 point difference (50-39 vs 45-45). It makes the claimed 1% accuracy seem, well, wrong.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  4. Coming around, but not completely there yet. The people in the middle who voted for Obama still don’t want to admit their vote was a mistake and he’s not the social/economic moderate they thought he was (and to be fair, his moves towards the Bush positions on foreign policy are probably giving them hope he might come to his senses on the domestic side sooner or later). So Obama’s numbers are still well above the party affiliation figures in the new Gallup poll.

    If the economy is still in trouble come the Christmas shopping season, while at the same time Obama and the Democrats seem more focused on new spending programs than getting people back to work, that’s when you’ll start to see Obama’s numbers start to fall in line with the changing party alignment stats.

    John (692c5c)

  5. So, the reports of the death of the Right have been greatly exaggerated?

    Techie (9c008e)

  6. Steve, if in your opinion the stating the idea of ending the life of the unborn is killing the future, that government does not belong in any business, that citizens and states have rights and responsibilities and the Federal government is mainly responsible for defense. If those ideas and statements are ranting to you, I suggest you read the Consitution of the United States. Probably for the first time. Get someone to explain it to you. Not some communist like our leader (after all, who was Frank Davis?) but someone who believes in the American way. Steve did you ever stop to wonder why people immigrate to America not from it? If you lefties so desire socialism, go to a place where they have it. If will fight to the death to keep my freedom.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (26a3ea)

  7. If the economy is still in trouble come the Christmas shopping season, while at the same time Obama and the Democrats seem more focused on new spending programs than getting people back to work

    that really depends on how well President Obama and the Democrats in Congress manage to articulate the message that their spending programs are the best means to get people back to work.

    If that linkage is believed, then there is no political problem for them.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  8. It worked for FDR for years. Raise taxes on the “rich” year after year (eventually to 90%), start a bunch of government programs and makework jobs, and promise that THIS time we’ll get to prosperity.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  9. steve s – That 34% you speak of that by definition does not see things the way conservatives do also, by definition, does not see things the way the Leftists do.

    Apparently, Techie, the reports of the conservatives demise have been greatly exaggerated.

    JD (a67da8)

  10. JD: you nailed it, the mushy middle doesn’t like either side and to an extent they identify themselves by keeping their distance from the nuts on both sides. The challenge is to get them to vote for you without making them think they’re aligning themselves with people they don’t like and without alienating your own side for being insufficiently pure. Not an easy task.

    And #6, you’re full of it. I ain’t no leftie, I’ve had plenty of classroom study of the Constitution and in your rush to condemn someone you wrongly identify as a lefty, you missed my point that people who believe the way you do are in the minority and you have the choice between compromising with and tolerating the moderates or staying in the minority.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  11. Well, I guess all those trolls gleefully capering around this website claiming that we were all “dead” because we listened to “Boss Limbaugh” and we needed to be like Meghan McCain if expected to avoid 40 years of Democrat party rule might have been…a bit overheated?

    Just a touch.

    But no worries. Every tick of a poll that gives Democrats any advantage will be trumpeted.

    Teh Narrative is much more important than any pesky facts.

    Eric Blair (98d734)

  12. Steve, if you’re suggesting that the GOP go with a candidate like McCain again, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. I heard the same stuff about Reagan, but after his debate with John Anderson in the primaries the concerns about his extremism were history. The time for the moderates in the party is over – if you can’t get your own base excited and motivated, no one else will follow you in the first place.

    Dmac (90d76c)

  13. It might be an interesting exercise to ask the people who are trumpeting their disagreement with “conservatives” to define the term first.

    I doubt they would be willing to do so except to say, “it isn’t me.”

    Mike K (2cf494)

  14. “It worked for FDR for years….”
    but, FDR had the luxury of not having a 24-hour (or less) news-cycle.
    All politicians then had a longer time frame to do their deals in…not so much, anymore.

    AD - RtR/OS! (c02a3c)

  15. The best way to re-invigorate/re-enervate the basic conservatism of the American voter is to elect Liberal/Leftists such as BHO so that they can be reminded just how nutty the Left truly is.

    AD - RtR/OS! (c02a3c)

  16. Let’s hope that the economy continues to tank and Obama makes a major blunder on foreign affairs. Or a terrorist attack on American soil. This will really help those polls come 2010. (Fingers crossed behind my back.)

    The Emperor (09c9e3)

  17. And the battle for control will be determined by the 34% in the middle who by definition don’t see things the same way conservatives do. Thus, advancing a conservative platform and ranting against those less pure than themselves is just the thing conservatives ought to do…. that is, if they want to stay in the minority.

    Comment by steve sturm — 5/18/2009 @ 1:57 pm

    steve, have you ever heard the phrase “Reagan Democrats?” Was Reagan a squishy, in-the-middle kind of guy?

    Paraphrasing Power Line blog from the other day – remember that disaster when Ben Nighthorse Campbell bolted from the Democratic party, and everyone declared it dead, and then, we, uh, re-elected Bill Clinton?

    carlitos (2703cf)

  18. Paraphrasing Power Line blog from the other day – remember that disaster when Ben Nighthorse Campbell bolted from the Democratic party, and everyone declared it dead, and then, we, uh, re-elected Bill Clinton?

    For an even more striking contrast, the Republican Party was declared dead in 1913.

    Michael Ejercito (7c44bf)

  19. I’m very conservative. Right now there is no party for me. Well, maybe the Mark Levin Party.

    Peg C. (48175e)

  20. Comment by Eric Blair — 5/18/2009 @ 3:28 pm

    If the Republicans embarce Meghan McCain as their new face, we will just be known as the Stupid Party. No R necessary, just stupid. Meh.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  21. are you all intentionally dense?

    The candidate doesn’t have to be squishy, but he better not scare or otherwise piss off those who are. I was excited as anyone when Reagan won but I also accept that he owed much to (1) the two clowns he ran against and (2) his skills at countering Democratic claims that he was a rightist radical (which made his critics look silly, in pretty much the same way conservatives came across as crazy when they went after Obama – and it doesn’t matter if you end up proven right if you can’t win the election).

    And McCain lost, not because he was a so-called moderate, but because he had nothing going for him other than his status as a former POW. His campaign was a replay of Bob Dole, with equal results.

    steve sturm (3811cf)

  22. steve – Dole got 41% of the vote running against an incumbent, while Perot got 8%, together equalling Clinton’s 49%. Your comparison is a little off.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  23. But Daley, Dole didn’t scare or piss people off, which is why he did so well.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  24. Unfortunately, it seems to be a bit more of a popularity contest than an actual strategic undertaking. Other than Ford vs. Carter (which is a bit of a toss up), the more gregarious candidate has taken the race over the last several decades.

    It would seem that if a party wants to win, then they need to find someone media savvy first, and then run them to the middle with generic platitudes second. Think more American Idol first and Meet the Press second.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  25. I also have to say that, anecdotally, some of the Obama vote was a novelty vote. What I heard from first time voters (young and old) was how happy they were to vote for a black man for president. I wonder would the 52 have been so far ahead of the 48 if there had not been the novelty. Add to that teh narrative on Bush and the craziness of the campaign against Palin, and there you go.

    How long can the MSM keep up their kneejerk coverups for BHO? I don’t know. Makes me wonder what a Clinton presidency would have looked like if she had managed to beat him in the primary.

    I don’t think McCain was ever going to win. And considering how much I detested him going in, I’m glad he lost. Just imagine how much worse the world would be with Meghan McCain blogging her little illogical heart out in the Lincoln bedroom. Oh My Lanta! ACK!

    Vivian Louise (c0f830)

  26. That really depends on how well President Obama and the Democrats in Congress manage to articulate the message that their spending programs are the best means to get people back to work.

    If that linkage is believed, then there is no political problem for them.

    Articulation of ideas works better in the hypothetical future than in the present — i.e., when you’re a new face running for president, like Obama in 2008, you can make statements A, B and C about what you’re going to do if elected. But if you’ve been in office 11 months and you’re annoucing plans during a period when the economy is still down while folks are trying to buy their Christmas gifts, they naturally are going to be a little grumblier, and less willing (especially in our immediate gratification society) to give those already in office more time.

    Reagan and Clinton both had bad midterm elections during their first term — for the Obama people, the Reagan comparison is probably the one they would like to cling to, because the economy really didn’t start turning around from the Carter years until the fall of 2002, too late to help during the midterms but well early enough to give Reagan a 49-state landslide in 1984 (I doubt Obama’s heavy reliance on printing more money is going to foster a long-term recovery like Reagan’s tax cuts did, but if the recovery doesn’t start later this year, the White House can console themselves with the idea that if it gets going before the spring of 2012, they can still win many disgruntled voters back, the way Reagan did in ’84 and Clinton did in ’96).

    John (692c5c)

  27. I think McCain could have won if the economy hadn’t tanked just then. Once that happened, it was all but impossible. The fact that Obama is black will give him the benefit of the doubt for quite a while. What it will not do is protect the Congress in 2010. Assuming he doesn’t get any better at his job, I see the GOP taking at least one house in the midterms.

    In fact, that just might assure his re-election as long as the foreign policy area does not show him to be the clown I think he is. An Iran-Israel war or a collapse of Pakistan, could be the end of him in 2012. I think either is a 50-50 chance.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  28. This is very true. The Democrat party has gone too far left for Americans to follow them, or believe them to be anything but destructive to our shared dreams. Gallup has more information about this here:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/118528/GOP-Losses-Span-Nearly-Demographic-Groups.aspx?CSTS=alert

    The Democrats are doomed.

    Right for Life (0bbc1b)

  29. Referencing the troll infestation mentioned by Eric in #11, this explains a lot.

    Presumably, internal Democratic polling also showed the same result, worrying them. What to do? Unleash the trolls with “advice” to undermine GOP confidence just as it is gaining traction.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  30. I find it interesting that Gallup Poll statistics also indicate the last president to garner popularity ratings similar to those of the guy now in the Oval Office was the amazingly talented, wonderful, charismatic, and still highly beloved and honored…(drum roll, please!!!)…Jimmy (or Ji-mah) Carter.

    Meanwhile, if a majority of the electorate of this nation chooses for some years to come the liberal or even leftist pathway to governance and politicians that has fascinated large numbers of people in socialized Europe and certainly various Third-World countries throughout Central and South America, then the United States will end up like a weird variation of France/Mexico, Germany/Venezula, Britain/Brazil, and marginalized, and also a bit disemboweled, in the process.

    Mark (411533)

  31. There is nothing like a Democratic government to create Republicans, Of course, there is nothing like a Republican government to produce Democrats.

    Ken Hahn (f7e9b4)

  32. I also have to say that, anecdotally, some of the Obama vote was a novelty vote. What I heard from first time voters (young and old) was how happy they were to vote for a black man for president.

    Agreed I was an election judge, and our Chicago precinct had a lot of first-time voters, who were quite open with their reasons for voting. Many of them only voted for “President” and didn’t even fill out the rest of the ballot.

    carlitos (2703cf)

  33. As an example of how the MSM will dishonestly play these numbers games, follow the links below to Chris Cilliza’s blog entry at the WaPo where he follows up on the Gallup results showing that the GOP has lost ground in every major demographic group over time.

    First thing to note — the Gallup results that were all over the MSM yesterday were not the numbers DRJ highlights above. Rather, it was a news story pinned to Gallup polling showing a decline in GOP identification across a couple dozen different demographics.

    But, the time frame used was so dishonest and imprecise that the polling made the results all but certain. Gallup compared party identification in “2001” to “2009”. It’s not specific about when in “2001” the ID numbers were taken – whether it was June or October. Well, there was a little event in between there that created a temporary stampede to the side of the President’s party by independents and conservative Dems. If Gallup used that as it’s GOP benchmark — and is now using the zenith of the Dems popularity as it’s current benchmark — it’s really measuring nothing at all.

    As for Cilliza, here’s what he did:

    First, his blog post (http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/) deals with the Gallup results, leading with this sentence:

    A new Gallup analysis shows that the precipitous decline in the number of people who identify themselves as Republicans is widespread across nearly every demographic group — a development that suggests that there is no simple solution to solving the party’s current problems.

    Then he follows up with a sentence concerning these poll results by the WaPo/ABC last month:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/postpoll_042609.html

    As we have written about before, the number of self-identifying Republicans stood at 21 percent last month — the lowest it has been since the fall of 1983.

    So, he uses the recent Gallup analysis to point out the demographic declines in GOP identification, but doesn’t mention or link to the most recent Gallup polling on party identification — which DRJ links to here.

    Instead, he falls back on WaPo/ABC polling that is almost a month old to make the point that GOP identification nationwide is at it’s lowest point since 1983.

    Shipwreckedcrew (7f73f0)

  34. This sentence:

    “A new Gallup analysis shows that the precipitous decline in the number of people who identify themselves as Republicans is widespread across nearly every demographic group — a development that suggests that there is no simple solution to solving the party’s current problems.”

    Should have been in quotes. It is from Cilliza’s blog.

    As should this one:

    “As we have written about before, the number of self-identifying Republicans stood at 21 percent last month — the lowest it has been since the fall of 1983.”

    Shipwreckedcrew (7f73f0)

  35. It IS interesting how that poll, 32% to 32% affiliation tie, 45 to 45 with leaners is STILL a tie, with the CURRENT data, but they need to reach back to January to pick up old data to come to their conclusion.

    Rasmussen shows the same thing, dead heat, NPR, and Demacracy Corps even shows dems NOW only at +3

    Gallop had their own poll which showd 51% of the nation now leans pro life.

    They just had a recent one that shows PRO GUN trends now also.

    You don’t hear a WORD from the MSM about it.

    And then Gallup puts together a bunch of tripe to completely obliterate what their own study found and MORE AND MORE polls show.

    Democrats are losing party support from the independents.

    The nation is trending back to the right.

    You won’t hear much about this at all.

    The democrats are watching the nation trend to the right as THEY sit in control of everything for the first time in a long time.

    It must petrify them. I’m not surprised that Gallup put together a pile of garbage to try to hide what their own data found.

    Considering THEY are releasing more and more polls which say the same thing. But what do THEY punch line?

    GOP losing support. Uh huh. Says alot about the Gallup organization, doesn’t it?

    No One Important (6779ed)

  36. The Republican Party: Increasing membership the old fashioned way…
    One disillushioned moderate/independent at a time!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f03f38)


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