Patterico's Pontifications


Pres. Obama’s historic speech to somebody, Pt. 2

Filed under: General — Karl @ 1:55 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Let’s briefly revisit the point of Pres. Obama’s speech on healthcare reform to a joint session of Congress last night.

Yesterday, in asking who the audience was for this speech, I noted that “the self-selected audience for the speech will likely skew in favor of Obama, something to remember if the establishment media does a poll of people who watched the speech.” There was nothing oracular about this prediction. As Democratic pollster Mark Blumenthal noted before the speech: (1) instant response polls measure only speech-watchers; (2) the audience is usually skewed toward the President’s fans; (3) instant reactions tend to fade; and (4) some pollsters have reservations about instant reaction polls in general.

Sure enough, CNN did a flash poll showing that ObamaCare a 14-point gain among speech-watchers. Buried at the end of the story is the fact that the sample of speech-watchers in the poll was 45% Democratic and 18% Republican. For comparison, consider that the most recent Gallup survey of party ID among adults had 35% of Americans as Democrats and 28% as Republicans. A 14-point swing among a sample that skewed to the left is not surprising. Regular tracking polls are unlikely to show anything near it.

It should be fair to presume that the White House knows what Blumenthal (and any other respectable pollster) knew. Thus, it is notable that Pres. Obama delivered what Larry Sabato rightly characterized as a “tough, partisan speech.” Things have been going so badly for Obama and ObamaCare in recent weeks that he was beginning to lose support on the left. Obama apparently decided he needed to pump up his flagging base, and knew that is who would be tuned in last night.

Indeed, Pres. Obama — for all of his attacks on the GOP — undoubtedly knows that the real obstacle to taking over the US healthcare stystem is disunity within the Democratic ranks. Sabato makes the good point that “[i]f Obama can stoke congressional Democrats’ hatred of Republicans, Democrats will be less likely to split and hand the GOP a victory.” By that low bar, Obama’s speech must be deemed a tactical success, albeit a temporary one.


9 Responses to “Pres. Obama’s historic speech to somebody, Pt. 2”

  1. if Obama can stoke congressional Democrats’ hatred of Republicans…

    That’s an interesting conundrum what that proposes. If Barack wants to make Obamacare a dirty socialist team project, does giving dear leader type speeches in primetime help further that goal? I think he owns this douchebag idea even more now, and the savvy Democrat will let him.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  2. Nielsen’s confirm my prediction, viewership down greatly from earlier Obama snorefests.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. A 20 point swing towards Democrats yields a 14 point swing towards the health plan? Fail.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  4. If a dancing show, or some other lame reality show can beat your address to Congress, you know you’ve got problems.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  5. pathetic

    Wilson’s Outburst A Boost For Obama, For Now

    GOP Rep. Joe Wilson’s “you lie” outburst has provided President Obama an unexpected boost in his push for a health care overhaul — and sent the GOP scrambling to get back on message. Some hope it will lead to more restraint in the health care debate at least for a little while.

    … with three more stories today to boot…

    Meet Joe Wilson

    Was Wilson Right About Illegal Immigrants?

    Did Wilson Rebuff Request For House Floor Apology?

    … I’d say Wilson knocked this one out of the park, really. Good on him. Dirty socialist NPR is scrambling hard to own the Joe Wilson narrative but is it really a narrative they need to own? Mostly it’s just very telling that they obviously think they do.

    What the dirty socialists at NPR need to understand I think is that if there were a media in this country that was alert to the lies told by our dirty socialist Chicago street trash president, there would be no call at all for any dreadful breaches of decorum, would there?

    Joe Wilson did NPR’s job for them, and they. are. pissed.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  6. […] analysis from Karl over at Patterico’s.  also from DRJ at the same […]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » I reject your reality, and substitute my own… (b98ad6)

  7. Between the healthcare reform and the cap-and-trade energy bill, the Democrats are proposing an unprecedented assault on our economy. And they are surprised that their incompetence is not heralded as the greatest thing to happen to the US?

    We have to push back to keep them from destroying our economy in a handful of months.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. […] Ambinder’s contrarian analysis doesn’t look so dar-fetched if we consider it’s flip-side form in Larry Sabato’s remark: “If Obama can stoke congressional Democrats’ hatred of Republicans, Democrats will be less likely to split and hand the GOP a victory.” (H/T Karl @ Patterico’s Pontifications) […]

    Where health Care Reform Forces Stand « Left Flank (05b5a7)

  9. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong with the health care system. The fact that some people go without health insurance is a personal choice and a natural consequence of capitalism, lilke poverty. This should be celebrated; it shows capitalism is working. There will always be haves and have-nots, and it’s not up to the government to provide for those who haven’t succeeded in life.

    Medicare itself should be gradually abolished, so that those who are now in their 20’s won’t pay into the system and won’t receive any benefits. They will be put on notice that when they retire they better have planned for their health care and retirement.

    Medicare, unemployment insurance, and Social Security sap the wealth and strength of the nation. The sooner we realize that the better off the country will in the long run.

    second history (90bf08)

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