The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Democrat Pollsters Say Dems Losing Ground

Posted by iusbvision on March 15, 2010

Pat Caddell and David Schoen are two of the best partisan pollsters in the business. They are Democrats but unlike so many others partisan pollsters they don’t delude themselves. They have been around a long time and have credibility in political circles.

They warned in a piece in the Washington Post that passing ObamaCare means electoral doom.

Washington Post:

If Democrats ignore health-care polls, midterms will be costly

In “The March of Folly,” Barbara Tuchman asked, “Why do holders of high office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests?” Her assessment of self-deception — “acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts” — captures the conditions that are gripping President Obama and the Democratic Party leadership as they renew their efforts to enact health-care reform.

Their blind persistence in the face of reality threatens to turn this political march of folly into an electoral rout in November. In the wake of the stinging loss in Massachusetts, there was a moment when the president and the Democratic leadership seemed to realize the reality of the health-care situation. Yet like some seductive siren of Greek mythology, the lure of health-care reform has arisen again.

As pollsters to the past two Democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, respectively, we feel compelled to challenge the myths that seem to be prevailing in the political discourse and to once again urge a change in course before it is too late. At stake is the kind of mainstream, common-sense Democratic Party that we believe is crucial to the success of the American enterprise.

Bluntly put, this is the political reality:

First, the battle for public opinion has been lost. Comprehensive health care has been lost. If it fails, as appears possible, Democrats will face the brunt of the electorate’s reaction. If it passes, however, Democrats will face a far greater calamitous reaction at the polls. Wishing, praying or pretending will not change these outcomes.

Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watch Democratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselves into believing that the public favors the Democrats’ current health-care plan. Yes, most Americans believe, as we do, that real health-care reform is needed. And yes, certain proposals in the plan are supported by the public.

However, a solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan. Four-fifths of those who oppose the plan strongly oppose it, according to Rasmussen polling this week, while only half of those who support the plan do so strongly. Many more Americans believe the legislation will worsen their health care, cost them more personally and add significantly to the national deficit. Never in our experience as pollsters can we recall such self-deluding misconstruction of survey data.

The White House document released Thursday arguing that reform is becoming more popular is in large part fighting the last war. This isn’t 1994; it’s 2010. And the bottom line is that the American public is overwhelmingly against this bill in its totality even if they like some of its parts.

The notion that once enactment is forced, the public will suddenly embrace health-care reform could not be further from the truth — and is likely to become a rallying cry for disaffected Republicans, independents and, yes, Democrats.

Second, the country is moving away from big government, with distrust growing more generally toward the role of government in our lives. Scott Rasmussen asked last month whose decisions people feared more in health care: that of the federal government or of insurance companies. By 51 percent to 39 percent, respondents feared the decisions of federal government more. This is astounding given the generally negative perception of insurance companies.

CNN found last month that 56 percent of Americans believe that the government has become so powerful it constitutes an immediate threat to the freedom and rights of citizens. When only 21 percent of Americans say that Washington operates with the consent of the governed, as was also reported last month, we face an alarming crisis.

Health care is no longer a debate about the merits of specific initiatives. Since the spectacle of Christmas dealmaking to ensure passage of the Senate bill, the issue, in voters’ minds, has become less about health care than about the government and a political majority that will neither hear nor heed the will of the people.

Voters are hardly enthralled with the GOP, but the Democrats are pursuing policies that are out of step with the way ordinary Americans think and feel about politics and government. Barring some change of approach, they will be punished severely at the polls.

Now, we vigorously opposed Republican efforts in the Bush administration to employ the “nuclear option” in judicial confirmations. We are similarly concerned by Democrats’ efforts to manipulate passage of a health-care bill. Doing so in the face of constant majority opposition invites a backlash against the party at every level — and at a time when it already faces the prospect of losing 30 or more House seats and eight or more Senate seats.

 

And now foreign policy. The Obama Administration has taken a  juvenile, theoretical far left academic view of foreign policy. Our allies have been getting alienated like France, Germany, UK, Poland, the Czech Republic, Honduras and Israel and has been warming up to Chavez in Venezuela etc. (If anyone wishes to take issue with me in that statement I am prepared to back it up if you wish to challenge me in the comments).

Washington Times:

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.

A May 2009 survey by the pollsters found the public saw the Democratic and Republican parties as equally able to handle national security (41 percent trusted Democrats more, and 43 percent trusted Republicans more.) On conducting the war on terrorism, the two parties were tied at 41 percent.

The Democrats’ gap on national security has widened on several other fronts:

• “Keeping America safe”: Democrats now trail by 13 points (34 percent to 47 percent.) The gap was just 5 points in July 2008.

• “Ensuring a strong military”: Democrats trail by 31 points (27 percent to 58 percent.)

• “Making America safer from nuclear threats”: Democrats trail by 11 points (34 percent to 45 percent,) “despite the president’s strong actions and speeches on steps to reduce nuclear dangers,” the pollsters said.

The poll, conducted late last month, found “the administration’s response to the Christmas Day terrorist attempt has contributed to the erosion.”

“While public polling showed that initial approval of Obama’s response was above 50 percent, two months of Republican criticism have taken a toll. Now a narrow 46 to 42 percent plurality of likely voters say they feel less confident about the administration’s handling of national security because of how it responded to the incident,” the pollsters said.

In addition, the detention of terrorist suspects and the Obama proposal to prosecute suspects in civil trials in New York City, which was later abandoned, also have taken a toll on the president’s approval ratings.

“Whereas a majority of the public approves of the job President Obama is doing in most aspects of national security, a 51 to 44 percent majority of likely voters disapproves of his efforts on the prosecution and interrogation of terrorism suspects,” the pollsters found.

Democracy Corps calls itself an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to making the government of the United States more responsive to the American people.” It was founded in 1999 by former Clinton adviser James Carville and Stanley Greenberg, a leading Democratic pollster.

Third Way calls itself “the leading moderate think-tank of the progressive movement.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: