American political scientists downgrade our fourth-greatest president ever

February 17, 2015
"Tell me you love me!"

“Tell me you love me!”

Via The Washington Examiner, the results of this survey should have Obama running to his mirror for reassurance:

According to a Brookings Institution survey of American Political Science Association scholars, they put Obama on the worst, not best, list by a margin of nearly three-to-one. Here’s how Brookings wrote it: “Those who view Obama as one of the worst American presidents outnumber those who view him as one of the best by nearly a 3-1 margin.”

And, the friendly think tank added, “nearly twice as many respondents view Obama as over-rated than do those who consider him under-rated.”

Overall, Brookings said, “Few think of Obama as an excellent president, while many more rate his presidency quite low, with the bulk of experts appearing to give him a passing grade but not one that would get him on the Dean’s list.”

The survey was sent to 391 members of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents & Executive Politics section, the premier organization of experts of the American presidency, and 162 participated online.

First, let’s note that Brookings is not what one would call a “conservative” institution, so, if they have any bias, it likely runs in the other direction. Second, the APSA itself has a very liberal bent, so we can imagine that while it hurt to ding Obama, some of that criticism probably came from the Left, disappointed that he hasn’t gone far enough. Regardless, it’s a far cry from the fawning euphoria felt by those who greeted him as the second coming of FDR and those halcyon days when he was granted a Nobel peace Prize before he had done anything. (1)

Then again, FDR’s economic policies were largely a failure, so maybe the comparison was apt, after all.

Still, “the worst” by a 3-1 margin? There can be only one explanation: racism.

Don’t they know he’s the fourth-greatest president, ever?

Footnote:
(1) Then again, that is likely to be remembered as the high point of his administration….

UPDATE: Changed the headline from the original, since, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed tendentious.


Shocker: #Obamacare not shielding consumers from costs

December 1, 2014
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

There’s an interesting article at Hot Air in which Ed Morrissey interprets the results of a Gallup survey that, contra the intentions of Obamacare’s author’s, many people are still putting off medical care, including for serious conditions, because of cost. Bear in mind that one of the goals of the new system was to keep people from having to make choices about their care based on cost. Instead, in some demographics, the numbers of those putting off care has gone up:

However, the percentage of those who put off care due to cost issues actually rose among those with private insurance — by almost double digits, in fact:

“Among Americans with varying types of medical coverage (including no coverage), uninsured Americans are still the most likely to report having put off medical treatment because of cost. More than half of the uninsured (57%) have put off treatment, compared with 34% with private insurance and 22% with Medicare or Medicaid. However, the percentage of Americans with private health insurance who report putting off medical treatment because of cost has increased from 25% in 2013 to 34% in 2014.”

(Emphasis added)

Now, why is this? Ed offers some speculations:

There are a few possible reasons, with the truth probably in combination of some:

  • The so-called recovery isn’t actually boosting workers the way Democrats claim.
  • Forced carriage of health insurance takes too big of a bite out of workers’ disposable income.
  • The health insurance that consumers get has too large of a deductible for the affordable premiums, or …
  • … it has inadequate coverage for the conditions, while the premiums make it impossible to get treatment on their own.
  • Reimbursement rates and narrowed provider choices make it difficult to get treatment.

I’d say the third and fifth in the list are the big reasons for people who already have private insurance are putting off care. Search through the Obamacare archives here and you’ll find reports of sky-high deductibles that make the “affordable” premiums laughable, and newly-limited networks forcing people to pay through the nose if they want to get treatment that used to be covered, or to see the doctor they preferred (1), who now isn’t in their network. (If they’ll take your insurance at all.)

This is another example of why, assuming they can come up with a workable replacement, the Republicans will be able to repeal Obamacare in 2017, unlike other entitlements: it has become a giant pain in the tuchus for millions of people (most of whom never wanted it anyway), and they will demand that the Republican congress and new Republican (I hope) president make that pain go away.

Footnote:
(1) Per the President’s promise, repeated ad nauseam over the course of several years. People remember that, just as they remember the senators who helped sell them that bill of goods. Just ask the (former) Democrat senators who had to run for reelection in the last midterms.


#Obamacare: the more Americans know it, the more they hate it

August 5, 2014
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

That’s the unavoidable conclusion of a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which, if I recall correctly, has been friendly towards the ACA. Byron York reports:

According to new polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has closely tracked Obamacare for years, 37 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view. That’s an eight-percentage-point jump in unfavorability over last month, and a two-point drop in favorability over the same time.

Why the shift? It’s not because millions of Americans have suddenly become conservative Republicans. Kaiser found that disapproval of Obamacare has risen across the board. Among Democrats, for example, the law’s unfavorable rating jumped six points in July, while its favorable rating fell four points. A similar thing happened among independents and — it hardly seemed possible — among Republicans who already hated the law.

Obamacare’s unfavorables also rose among all income groups — people who make less than $40,000 a year, those who make between $40,000 and $90,000 a year, and those who make more than $90,000. The same among all age groups. And the same for race and ethnicity: Disapproval rose among whites, blacks, and Hispanics.

Rather than a shift among some identifiable group, Obamacare’s rising unpopularity seems to be a product of the simple fact that, several months into its implementation, more and more people are having personal experience with the law.

Remember how Democrats swore people would love the law, once they got some experience with it? Critics suspected that was wishful thinking, and we seem to have been right.

Read the rest of York’s article for the details, but this is really the result of two things: 1) monumental progressive arrogance in seizing control of a health insurance system that a majority of the nation was satisfied with, substituting their judgement for that of their constituents and face-slapping the constitutional order in the process; and 2) doing a crappy job of writing the actual legislation, causing all sorts of problems for people across the nation. After the disruption of doctor-patient relationships, shrunken provider networks, increased deductibles, and massive cancellations of policies people were happy with —and the savaging of large group plans is still to come!—  after all that, is it any wonder more and more people hate this thing, the more they get to know it?

Obamacare has been pushed into the background somewhat, as other crises du jour have taken it’s place on the front pages. But it’s still there, and it is still going to annoy the heck out of people, especially as the rate increases hit this summer and group policies start getting cancelled. And you can bet that surveys like this one fill Democrats with dread as we approach November.

As they should.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Survey shows elderly voters fleeing Democrats

March 31, 2014

Fail

This news from Gallup probably has staff of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reaching for a bottle:

U.S seniors — those aged 65 and older — have moved from a reliably Democratic group to a reliably Republican one over the past two decades. From 1992 through 2006, seniors had been solidly Democratic and significantly more Democratic than younger Americans. Over the last seven years, seniors have become less Democratic, and have shown an outright preference for the Republican Party since 2010.

In 1992, 53% of senior citizens, on average, identified as Democrats or said they were independents but leaned Democratic, while 39% identified as Republicans or leaned Republican, resulting in a 14-percentage-point Democratic advantage in seniors’ party affiliation. Last year, 48% of seniors identified as or leaned Republican, and 45% Democratic, a three-point Republican advantage.

It’s a truism of American politics that older, retired voters tend to turn out for elections more than other demographic groups. In a midterm election, such a self-motivated group can have an outsized influence because other groups often aren’t as enthusiastic to vote when the election lacks the drama of a presidential race.

The Democrats remember what happened in the last midterm election, which was a slaughter for them at both the federal and state levels. Without the Obama of 2008 or even 2012 at the top of their ticket (1), that eager-to-vote “senior bloc” could again make a serious difference.

Gallup goes into a long analysis of the influence ethnic factors might have on the elderly shifting toward Republicans (they tend to be more White as a group), and it’s an interesting read. But, I’ll offer another explanation which I, without doing any polling, think plays a much larger roll:

People don’t like being lied to.

That’s what Obama and the Democratic Party did when they promised a) if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor; b) if you like your insurance plan, you can keep your insurance plan; and c) we won’t touch Medicare.

Lie. Lie. Lie.

That last is especially galling to seniors, because the Medicare Advantage program is very popular and Obamacare just guts it. Perhaps there’s a general unhappiness among the elderly with the administration and the direction of the nation (I’d be surprised if there weren’t), but the cuts to Medicare and the interference in the doctor-patient relationship is very immediate, very personal and very probably frightening for many of these people. They’ve been lied to, they’ve been played for suckers, and no one I know likes that feeling, or the persons who made them feel that way.

And that’s why this poll has to have Harry Reid retreating to his Happy Place, because it looks very much like payback for those lies is coming soon.

via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt

Footnote:
(1) They’re probably grateful the Obama of 2014 isn’t, either.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


At last, someone has found the best strategy for @TheDemocrats

March 14, 2014
Not trolling

Concern troll

Examining the utterly brutal numbers (PDF) for the Democrats in a poll conducted jointly by The Wall St. Journal and NBC, David Freddoso offered this advice:

So anyway, the ideal campaign for Democrats would send President Obama to Hawaii for a few months, run ads against the health care law they all voted for (they’re already all over this one), send Bill Clinton out to stump in as many races as possible, and hope for the best.

I’d accuse David of concern-trolling, but he’s too nice  guy for that.  Me, on the other hand…

Still don’t get why Bill Clinton is so popular, though.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


It’s #Obamacare enrollment deadline day. Updated

December 23, 2013
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

This is it, folks! (Well, maybe. Kinda. See below.) This is the day by which all of you who have no insurance, whether you couldn’t afford it, chose as a free human being not to buy it, or had it ripped away from you by Nanny State (in the form of the Democratic Party (1) and their Affordable Care Act (2)), had to enroll and pay for a government-approved plan — with higher premiums, larger deductibles, bigger co-pays, services you didn’t want or need, and smaller provider networks that may not include your doctor.

And what does America think on this most momentous of days?

They ain’t happy.

A new poll finds support for Obamacare slumping to an all-time low as the administration hits its deadline to register consumers for coverage on Jan. 1.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday, 35 percent say they support President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, a drop of 5 points in under a month. Nearly two-thirds, at 62 percent, say they oppose the health law, a rise of 4 points since November.

(…)

The push to boost low enrollment figures has targeted young people and women, but the new CNN poll finds that more women now oppose the health care law. Sixty percent of women have a negative view of Obamacare, up from 54 percent in November.

(…)

The survey finds that 63 percent believe the law will cost them more for their health care, with just 7 percent saying the amount they pay for medical care will drop. Nearly 3 in 10 say it will not change.

Overall, 42 percent say they will be personally worse off and 16 percent say they will be better off under Obamacare. Forty percent say the law will have no effect.

For some reason, a majority think they’ll be able to keep their physicians and provider network. Expect that to change as people start trying to see their physicians in the new year.

The number for women is almost staggering, since that tends to be the demographic that most closely watches healthcare issues and has been generally supportive of doing something to spread the safety net, if not particularly an ACA-style solution. But, if numbers among women are cratering like that… Well, I hope Obama ordered a double mai-tai in Hawaii.

On a more personal note, I can finally say I know someone harmed by this abomination of a law. While I won’t mention his name or specific circumstances, out of respect for his privacy, I learned last night that an acquaintance suffering from a serious chronic condition only found out yesterday that his insurance, which he was satisfied with, is being canceled as of January 1st. He now has to deal with Covered California’s site, choose a plan, enroll, and pay (How?) by the end of the day today. And hope against hope he can find a plan he can afford that gives him anywhere near the coverage he has today. Assuming his application doesn’t get screwed up somewhere along the line. (3)

Great work, Democrats! What a wonderful present for the people for this Christmas season! I’m sure many millions will remember what you’ve done for to them, come November, 2014.

BREAKING: Obama rides to the rescue!

While writing this, I saw that the administration of President Peron Obama has extended –without congressional authority– the deadline for enrolling in Obamacare insurance.

By a whole 24 hours:

At midnight Monday, the official deadline arrives for Americans to sign up through the new federal health insurance exchange for health plans that begin Jan. 1. But, without any public announcement, Obama administration officials have changed the rules so that people will have an extra day to enroll, according to two individuals with knowledge of the switch.

Over the weekend, government officials and outside IT contractors working on the online marketplace’s computer system made a software change that automatically gives people a Jan. 1 start date for their coverage as long as they enroll by 11:59 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Note that the changes were made secretly, because they were afraid their “repaired” site might crash under the load of last-minute enrollments. But they didn’t want to tell anyone that, lest people delay further. And, oh yeah, it’s another in the long, lengthening string of unilateral changes, exceptions, and waivers the administration has made to deal with the never-ending problems Obamacare is creating.

via Eliana Johnson

RELATED: Jim Geraghty surveys the latest bad news for Obamacare apologists. Yuval Levin says the administration is pounding on the panic button. An editorial from last summer, but still spot-on: Obamacare is a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem.

UPDATE: Trying to out-Scrooge Scrooge, California has refused to abide by the administration’s extension of the deadline:

California’s health insurance exchange is holding firm to its enrollment deadline today for customers who want coverage beginning at the start of the year, officials said Monday.

Earlier in the day, the White House announced the federal deadline was being delayed 24 hours — from 11:59 p.m. Monday to 11:59 p.m. Tuesday. Officials said they made the move for Healthcare.gov customers as part of a good-faith effort to ensure those who needed coverage by Jan. 1 would be able to log-in and sign up.

California, which operates its own health insurance exchange, said customers must act Monday.

They’ll cut you a little slack if you start late today and take into the wee hours tomorrow to finish, so no whining! On the payment question, you have until January 6th for coverage beginning January 1st. If you can figure out how to pay, that is…

Footnotes:
(1) Remember, not a single Republican voted for this mess, and we’ve voted repeatedly to repeal it and bury its staked corpse at a crossroads at midnight.
(2) George Orwell! Paging Mr. George Orwell!
(3) Fingers crossed tightly. He’s a very nice guy, and I can only imagine what he’s going through today.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


If only they would allow do-overs in elections…

November 19, 2013
"Voters' remorse"

“Voters’ remorse”

Mitt Romney would win in a landslide:

The results overall represent a sharp turnaround in fortune for Obama and his party, which just a month ago were ascendant over the Republicans in views of the budget dispute that led to a partial government shutdown. Today 45 percent of Americans call Obama “too liberal,” matching the high, and 46 percent say the same about the Democratic Party. And perhaps adding insult to injury, registered voters divide numerically in Mitt Romney’s favor, 49-45 percent, if they had a mulligan for the 2012 presidential election. While the difference between the two is within the poll’s error margin, Obama’s support is 6 points below his actual showing a year ago.

And almost all of this is traceable to the fallout from the Obamacare fiasco and from people eyes finally being opened about what a bunch of mendacious creeps the President and the national Democrats are. From another portion of the ABC poll:

Other ratings of the president’s performance have tumbled as well. He’s at career lows for being a strong leader, understanding the problems of average Americans and being honest and trustworthy – numerically under water on each of these (a first for the latter two). His rating for strong leadership is down by 15 points this year and a vast 31 points below its peak shortly after he took office. In a new gauge, just 41 percent rate him as a good manager; 56 percent think not.

This poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that the president’s personal image has suffered alongside his professional ratings. Fewer than half, 46 percent, see him favorably overall, down 14 points this year to the fewest of his presidency. Fifty-two percent now view him unfavorably, a new high and a majority for the first time since he took office. It may matter: Personal popularity can provide a president with cushioning when the going gets rough. Losing it leaves the president more vulnerable.

Obama’s personal popularity in spite of the public not liking many of his policies has always puzzled and frustrated me. It’s served as  a shield for him in the past, but, as the poll shows, that shield is gone for now, and likely for good.

But the fallout hasn’t just hit Obama:

The poll produces evidence that the ACA could spell trouble for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections. Americans by a 16-point margin, 37-21 percent, are more likely to oppose than to support a candidate for Congress who favors Obamacare. That’s opened up from an even score in July 2012. (Using an intensity rating – those who are “much” more or less likely to support a candidate who backs the ACA – it’s still 15 points negative, vs. 2 points last year.)

The health care law looks most politically hazardous in the states that backed Mitt Romney in 2012; there Americans by 3-1, 46-15 percent, say they’re more inclined to oppose than to support a candidate who favors the law. But the ACA’s no help even in the blue states that backed Obama; while the division is far closer, 31 percent in those states are inclined to oppose an ACA-linked candidate, vs. 25 percent who’d be more apt to support one.

And thus we see why congressional Democrats are panicking and starting to jump ship: things are bad enough for them now, but, when the employer mandate (1) kicks in starting in Fall, 2014, the ACA rollout might well turn the 2014 midterm into an anti-Democratic “wave election” that will make the 2010 results look like a ripple in a pond.

The ACA is destroying Obama’s second term.

Pauses. Thinks.

Why, yes. I think I will have another helping of schadenfreude, thanks!

PS: Turning back to Romney, I still maintain that, while he would have frustrated me at times as president, he would have been a far better Chief Executive  than Obama — and a better man, too.

Footnote:
(1) The ABC poll shows people still favor the employer mandate. I suspect a large fraction of those have no idea that their nice group policies are on the block, too. Expect that number to tank fast next summer.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


About that NBC/WSJ poll that panicked Republicans

October 11, 2013
"Thumb on the scale"

“Thumb on the scale”

You know, the one that showed Republicans getting killed over the government shutdown? Turns out there was a…. slight bias in the sample:

Gee, why am I not surprised that a poll that draws one-fifth of its respondents from government employees turns out badly for the party that’s against Big Government?

I think we can safely ignore this one.

Check out Bryan Preston’s post for analysis.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Romney closing on Obama in… Michigan??

October 18, 2012

Signs of an electoral apocalypse?

A new statewide poll shows a tight race between President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, as well as growing enthusiasm among Republicans for their nominee.

Released Wednesday, the poll of 600 likely voters showed Obama leading Romney in Michigan, 44.2 percent to 40.5 percent, but Romney also within the sampling error of 4 percentage points — meaning it’s a tight race.

The poll was conducted by the Michigan polling firm Denno Research and commissioned by Grand Rapids-based Lambert, Edwards & Associates, which also has offices in Lansing. Dennis Denno, president of Denno Research, also is chief of staff to state Sen. Virgil Smith Jr., D-Detroit.

Note that last: this is a Democratic poll. Maybe the partial nationalization of the auto industry isn’t as popular as assumed?

Also:

In addition, the poll found that Romney had a 6 percent lead over Obama with independent voters — 36 percent to 30 percent — strengthening Romney’s chances of closing the gap.

This is crucial: Obama may or may not have “fired up” his core Democratic supporters after the last debate, but it’s the unaligned who provided him with much of his margin of victory in 2008. If Romney, who’s already enjoying growing Republican enthusiasm according to the poll, is stealing the independents, then we may find Team Obama having to spend its scarcest resource, campaign time, not as much as they’d like in genuine battleground states, but in states that should be safe for them, such as Minnesota.

Looks to me like they’re the ones playing defense, falling back to their second line of fortifications while denying rumors that they’re abandoning their outer works in North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado. Romney still isn’t likely to win Minnesota or Michigan (though I predict a red Pennsylvania), but that more and more polls in Blue states are narrowing has to worry them with the election so near; that they spend any time or money in those places at all is a visible sign of this.

Or consider it another way: when was the last time Romney-Ryan campaigned in Texas?

Maybe an electoral strategy based on Big Bird, binders, and Tagg Romney’s violent urges doesn’t resonate with the American public?

What. A. Shock.

via Hot Air

UPDATE: Beware of irrational exuberance, but Gallup has Romney up 52-45 in likely voters. Analyst Sean Trende is reasonably skeptical. But it sure is pretty.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Could Obama lose Illinois?

August 20, 2012

According to Alexis Levin of The Daily Caller, Obama may have to start spending real money to guard his home base (1):

President Barack Obama could lose his home state of Illinois in November, a new poll shows.

A poll conducted by Illinois-based pollster and political strategist Michael McKeon found Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney by 49 percent to 37 percent in Cook County, the home of Chicago. That puts him ahead by a far thinner margin than expected in a county he should be winning handsomely.

Cook is the most Democratic leaning county in the state. It is also the most populous.

Those numbers do not bode well for the president.

No, they don’t. But… come on. This is Illinois, where everyone gets to vote. Twice. Even the dead. Surely the Combine will scare up/buy up  enough voters to make sure their guy doesn’t suffer a humiliating loss in his home state. I’ll have a hot date with Kate Upton before that happens.

But then again…

As Levin points out, Democratic dominance of Illinois is largely dependent on the corrupt politics of Chicago itself and Cook County, and to a lesser extent in the ring of counties surrounding the two. “Downstate” Illinois is much friendlier to Republicans; in the last governor’s race, upstart Republican Bill Brady only narrowly lost to Democrat Pat Quinn by winning most of downstate. Obama’s number have to be worrisome to him and his team: Romney leads The One 45-38 in the area around Chicago, and among independents in Cook County Romney leads 43-31. Obama has to win big in these areas to overcome his unpopularity downstate, but his only lead is in core Chicago (which is huge, 60-29).

I still don’t expect Obama to lose Illinois, but the needle has moved from “not a snowball’s chance” to an intrigued “Hmmm…”.  And anything that makes him spend money here means less he has for the traditional battleground states.

Maybe I should start planning where to take Kate for dinner. Just in case.

Footnote:
(1) No, not Nairobi, you silly people!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


“Blame Bush” card played out

July 24, 2012

It took longer than I thought, but Obama and the Democrats’ ability to avoid responsibility for the nation’s economic woes by blaming George W. Bush has finally worn out:

Two-thirds of likely voters say the weak economy is Washington’s fault, and more blame President Obama than anybody else, according to a new poll for The Hill.

It found that 66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.

The results highlight the reelection challenge Obama faces amid dissatisfaction with his first-term performance on the economy.

These are numbers that should terrify Democrats. The result of “bad policy?” Well, gee, who was the author of those policies? Couldn’t have been George W. Bush; he’s been out of office since 2009, and was really in no position to make long-term policy after the election in 2008. So, who could it have been? Hmmm…

Oh, yeah. That guy.

I’ll willingly grant that Obama came into office facing a terrible mess, and that President Bush had made serious mistakes in dealing with the financial crisis that began in late summer of 2008. But Obama became president in January, 2009, and and enjoyed a nearly unbeatable majority in Congress. At that moment, the responsibility became his and theirs alone. And what a record they’ve accumulated:

  • Unemployment at over 8% for over 40 months, the longest stretch since the Great Depression. Remember, in return for borrowing nearly a trillion dollars for Obama’s centerpiece stimulus program in 2009, we were assured unemployment would be below 5% by now. How did that work out?
  • And speaking of borrowing, our current national debt is almost $16 trillion dollars. It was about $10 trillion when Obama took office. Bad enough, but he has done nothing to even slow its growth, let alone bring it under control or reduce it.

The public’s patience with excuses has run out. No more blaming “headwinds from Europe,” or natural disasters in Japan, or obstructionist Republicans… or even the demon “Bush.”

American voters have started holding President Obama and the Democrats accountable, and that account will be settled in November.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Democrats seeking to disenfranchise Arkansas voters, and PA in play?

May 21, 2012

A few days ago, I wrote about the possibility, albeit it an unlikely one, that President Obama could lose the Arkansas Democratic primary to a little-known challenger. Well, now it seems the Arkansas Democrats, with perhaps a little push from the DNC, are trying to tell angry Arkansans that their votes don’t count, if they’re the wrong votes:

After a poll released this week showed President Barack Obama only beating his Democratic primary opponent John Wolfe Jr. by seven points, 45 percent to 38 percent, in Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District, state Democrats moved to practically disenfranchise Arkansas voters. “[D]elegates Wolfe might claim won’t be recognized at the national convention,” national party officials are telling state Democrats. Wolfe is being accused of not following the party rules.

“They want a coronation,” Wolfe tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “They’re conflating [Obama] with the party. Are we supposed to call him ‘Dear Leader’? Is this some kind of North Korea thing?”

Wolfe insists he’s done the due diligence to qualify for delegates and that the state party is making decisions ad hoc to get the results they desire.  “This is ridiculous,” he says. “These guys are trying to tamp down voter enthusiasm.”

Bear in mind that this comes after Obama gave up 41% of the vote and ten counties to a federal prisoner in West Virginia, while, in North Carolina, he gave up 20% of the vote to “Mr. No Preference.” At Breitbart.com, John Nolte explains why the Democrats are so worried:

As I mentioned in my interview with Wolfe earlier this week, Wolfe’s story is one the media doesn’t want to tell. The Narrative is supposed to be about presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney having trouble consolidating his base, not the Democrat incumbent who is also the media’s chosen candidate.

If the exact same scenario were in play but with players who each had an “R” after their name as opposed to a “D,” I suspect the media would’ve done everything in their power to turn Wolfe into a folk hero by now in an effort to undermine the sitting Republican. Thus far, however, the media’s reaction to Wolfe has been one of almost total radio silence — a position that will be difficult to maintain should Wolfe achieve a respectable showing in a couple of days.

Nolte also points out that Wolfe is on the Texas primary ballot, and the DNC is worried that a good showing by him in Arkansas could lead to more embarrassment in the Lone Star State.

But it isn’t just in the South that Obama has problems, which Obama apologists will no doubt spin as “racism.” (Insert eye-roll as needed.) As I speculated in that same piece last week, the troubles in WV, NC, AR, and possibly TX could be adumbrations of real danger in Pennsylvania, where the Average White Guy/Jacksonian Democrat voter is none too happy right now.

Well, now we’re starting to get some confirmation. From Roll Call:

Pennsylvania is also well-known as a state with a large number of working-class whites, particularly in northeastern (Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, for example) and western Pennsylvania (Erie, Johnstown and Pittsburgh) — the kind of people one GOP strategist says “have their names on their shirts when they are at work.”

Candidate Obama had problems with those kinds of voters in 2008 — county-level data shows he did worse than Kerry in 2004 in a swath of counties running from southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia through extreme southwestern Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, and into Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. If anything, he seems weaker in those areas this year.

These voters don’t have an automatic cultural connection to Obama (or to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney), and the president’s recent announcement supporting same-sex marriage isn’t likely to be a plus with them. Jobs, of course, remain a big issue with these voters, and whatever hope they had that Obama would turn the economy around has almost certainly evaporated.

Potentially, Romney could outperform most national Republicans in the southeastern corner of the state, as he is a better “cultural fit” there, particularly in Philadelphia’s upscale suburbs (Montgomery, Bucks and Delaware counties).

(…)

Given these considerations, is there enough reason to include Pennsylvania in a short list of swing states? Not yet, for me. But there certainly is enough reason to treat Pennsylvania as a potential battleground and to continue to monitor the presidential numbers in the state.

There’s a lot more in this article, and Stuart Rothenberg is a very experienced analyst. Well-worth reading.

Meanwhile, if I were in the Obama campaign inner circle, I’d be very worried.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


There’s got to be some mistake

March 13, 2012

I mean, our far wiser, morally superior liberal brethren can’t be more intolerant of those who disagree than moderates and those evil conservatives, could they?

As Richard Dawson used to say, “survey says!

Study: Liberals More Likely To Block Online Friends Over Political Disagreements

People with liberal views are almost twice as likely as conservatives to unfriend someone on social media over political disagreements, according to a new Pew Research survey.

In every category, people who identified as liberal were more likely to shun their connections over political disagreements. Twenty-eight percent of liberal users have unfriended or blocked someone, while 16 percent of conservatives and 14 percent of moderates admitted to doing the same.

I’m really not surprised, though. As I wrote a friend this morning:

It’s [because of] their outraged self-perception of their own superior virtue: they can’t handle it when it’s pointed out to them that the facts don’t justify their faith in progressivism. Also, because they believe they’re on the side of the angels [i.e., “progress”], anyone who disagrees must be evil, or at least a fool espousing evil.

And not just online. I have a number of liberal friends and acquaintances who are sent (and I only exaggerate a bit) into sputtering paroxysms of indignation at the merest suggestion that, for example, the welfare state has harmed African-Americans more than it helped, that private accounts would be a good reform for Social Security, or that the New Deal was an overall failure. They don’t just disagree and offer counter-arguments (or wave away yours with a simple “nonsense”); they act like you’ve just sprouted horns and a pointed tail.

Not that this doesn’t happen on the Right, to be fair. I’ve several times online run into “True Conservatives” who meet any disagreement with all-caps shouts of “RINO!” and worse. There seems to be a certain subset of people who get their sense of self-worth from their politics and who don’t know how to handle an argument when challenged. Call it a question of maturity.

But, as the Pew study suggests, the intolerance is far more common on the Left than on the Right or in the Center. Along with a lack of maturity in some, I suspect, it has much to do with a problem at the core of the Progressive vision, itself: democracy requires disagreement, but Progressives are ambivalent toward democracy, hence they can’t really respect disagreement.

And so, in the end, their arguments come down to “shut up, he explained.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


You know that ObamaCare is in deep trouble

March 1, 2012

When even 56% of Democrats think it’s unconstitutional.

That’s a real achievement you have there, Barry, Nancy, and Harry. Genuine bipartisanship!


The public hates ObamaCare

December 13, 2010

Health care reform is probably the signature achievement of the Obama administration, realizing a decades-old progressive dream. It was Obama’s big issue during the 2008 campaign, he fought hard to get it passed in 2009 and 2010, and I suspect that part of the reason he has been accommodating toward Republicans after last month’s election drubbing is that he is building a position from which to defend ObamaCare from any efforts to repeal it. This is the one issue he truly cares about; as Stanley Kurtz has shown, nationalized health care is the lever Obama intends to use to tip the nation toward overall Socialism. It’s not much of a bet to say he will fight to defend it.

If so, he’ll have to fight a majority of the nation; we just hate ObamaCare:

Time doesn’t seem to be winning the new national health care law any more friends. Most voters have favored repeal of the law every week since it was passed and support for repeal has now inched up to its highest level since mid-September. Many Americans remain concerned that the law will force them to change their health insurance coverage.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 60% of Likely U.S. Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law while 34% are opposed. As has been the case since the law was first passed, those who favor repeal feel more passionately than those who want to keep the law–46% Strongly Favor repeal while just 23% who are Strongly Opposed. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Total support for repeal is up four points from a week ago but consistent with opposition to the law for months. Support for repeal has ranged from 50% to 63% in weekly tracking since Democrats in Congress passed the law in late March.

More and more companies are announcing the elimination of coverage or changes to their offered plans detrimental to those covered, because of ObamaCare. Even his biggest union backers are feeling the pinch. As this rolling snowball grows and more people find they can’t keep the plan they like –Obama’s promise notwithstanding– I expect those repeal numbers will grow, too.

Good luck fighting the tide, President Canute.


I know some people hate polls…

May 26, 2010

But they do make good blog-fodder when time is short. Besides, this one made me smile.

In today’s Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll, Barack Obama has hit his lowest approval index rating yet: -22. Can Bush territory be far off?

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-five percent (45%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -22. That’s the lowest Approval Index rating yet measured for this president.

Enthusiasm for the president among Democrats, which bounced following passage of the health care law, has faded again. Just 48% of those in the president’s party now Strongly Approve of Obama’s performance. That’s down from 65% earlier.


Among men, 50% strongly disapprove of Obama’s performance while 20% strongly approve; among women, the parallel split is 40/27. And this is less than 18 months into his first (and I hope only) term. I think W didn’t reach these “heights” until after Hurricane Katrina, a year into his second term. Way to go, O Lightworker!

Republicans shouldn’t break out the victory cigars for November just yet, however. While the poll shows lousy numbers for Obama, the Republican Party doesn’t fare much better:

Most Americans have “come to believe that the political system is broken, that most politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers,” observes Scott Rasmussen. Just 27% believe Congress knows what it’s doing when it comes to the economy and 41% say that a group of people randomly selected from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress.

The numbers are more reflective of a general anger at Washington, though Democrats are getting most of it since they have the majority in Congress and hold the White House – and, after more than a year since the last election, the public just isn’t buying the “Bush did it!” excuse anymore.

However, Republicans had control of Congress taken away from them in 2006 by a public that had grown sick and tired of them, too.  While the lack of progress in Iraq to that time was a large factor, Republicans also suffered because their core voters were disillusioned by their profligacy and corruption and stayed home or voted to give the other guy a turn. It’s only by comparison with the Democrats since 2007 (when they took control of Congress) and, especially, 2009 that the Elephants look good at all.

So, while the President’s tanking ratings should give them hope for change in the midterm elections, Republicans still have to convince the electorate that they’re once again worthy of trust. So far, they’re saying the right things and proposing good policy, and newer, younger leadership has energized their core voters. Whether they can make the sale in November remains to be seen, however, even if Obama’s polls don’t improve.


America gives its opinion of Congress

March 29, 2010

The Pew Research Center asked people to give a one-word impression of Congress, from which they built a word cloud. The size of a word relates to its frequency. Behold the result:

Vox populi, vox Dei.  Rolling on the floor

(via: American Thinker and International Liberty)


That’s gotta hurt

December 13, 2009

Granted, poll numbers can change rapidly and it’s a long way from November, 2012, but these new poll numbers for President Obama are just ugly:

Maybe he should ask Phil Jones how to hide this decline, too.

Has there ever been a president whose ratings have fallen this far, this fast, in his first year?

The internals of the poll are no better for Obama: It’s not surprising that 69% of self-declared Republicans strongly disapprove of him, but having only 41% of Democrats strongly approve cannot be comforting. And among independents, whom Obama won last November, his strongly approve/disapprove numbers are 21%/49%.

What about the issues? Well, public opinion on the economy ought to have the President hiding under his bed: when asked about Obama’s performance on fiscal matters, 1% strongly approve and 81% strongly disapprove. If he follows through on having the EPA issue economy-killing regulations to control carbon-dioxide and the congressional Democrats ram through a budget-busting health care plan, expect those numbers to get even worse for The One.

Democrats in Congress have to be worried, too. Midterm elections are often a referendum on the White House’s policies, but representatives and senators are the ones who get punished by being fired by the voters. While Congress is decidedly unpopular already, Obama could turn out to be a drag on their already shaky chances.

Like I said, it’s just one poll, but it’s been part of a steady trend observed by both Rasmussen and other pollsters. If Democrats hope to avoid a massacre in 2010 and reelect Obama in 2012, they need to change their own policy course, starting now.


Brief candle?

October 6, 2009

When the electorate gave control of Congress to the Democrats in 2006 and then the White House in 2008, everyone from the most elite talking head on TV to the local bus driver had their reasons: dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq; Republican corruption; a sense (among their base) that the Republicans had forgotten why they were elected; and even just not liking Dubya much anymore. Whatever the truth, the fact is that the voters were tired of the Rs and wanted to give the car keys to the Ds.

The Democrats seem to have interpreted this as a fundamental shift of the electorate away from free-market capitalism toward a desire for much greater involvement by the state in the economy and everyday lives, a willingness to accept European-style social democracy. Thus the push for a state takeover of large sectors of the economy (two major auto companies, health care), massive Keynesian stimulus spending funded by public debt and (likely) massive taxation, corporatist-style interweaving of government, big business, and labor, and extensive regulatory control over anything that might have to do with the environment (cap and trade).

They likely guessed wrong.

Byron York reports on a Gallup survey that shows Americans by a large margin want government to promote traditional values over “no values:”

Gallup’s question was simple: “Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?” In the new poll, taken in the first days of September, 53 percent of respondents say they want the government to promote traditional values, while 42 percent say they do not want the government to favor any particular set of values. Five percent do not have an opinion.
The results are a significant change from recent years. For most of the last two decades, a majority of people have been in favor of the government promoting traditional values. But that number began to decline in 2005, and the number of people who believe the government should not favor any particular set of values began to rise. Last September, when Gallup asked the same question, the public was split down the middle on the issue, 48 percent to 48 percent. Now, opinion has rather abruptly gone back to the old position, and there’s an 11-point gap between the two, in favor of traditional values.

Gallup’s question was simple: “Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?” In the new poll, taken in the first days of September, 53 percent of respondents say they want the government to promote traditional values, while 42 percent say they do not want the government to favor any particular set of values. Five percent do not have an opinion.

The results are a significant change from recent years. For most of the last two decades, a majority of people have been in favor of the government promoting traditional values. But that number began to decline in 2005, and the number of people who believe the government should not favor any particular set of values began to rise. Last September, when Gallup asked the same question, the public was split down the middle on the issue, 48 percent to 48 percent. Now, opinion has rather abruptly gone back to the old position, and there’s an 11-point gap between the two, in favor of traditional values.

The question the survey doesn’t answer, of course, is what are those “traditional values.” According to Gallup, however, the pattern of responses “…suggest(s) that respondents understand traditional values to be those generally favored by the Republican party.”

That’s one more indicator that the Democrats are heading for a very bad fall in the 2010 elections, because the survey shows a huge shift among self-described independents and moderates:

But it is the turnaround among independents — Gallup also found similar numbers among people who called themselves moderates — that put a screeching halt to the shift that had been taking place in the last few years. “Americans’ views of the proper government role in promoting traditional values had moved in a more liberal direction since 2005, to the point that last year, as many said the government should not promote traditional values as said it should,” Gallup writes. “If that trend had continued, 2009 would have marked the first time Gallup found more Americans preferring that the government refrain from actively promoting traditional values. Instead, Americans’ attitudes reverted to a more conservative point of view on the matter. Now, Americans favor the government’s promoting traditional values by an 11-point margin, similar to the double-digit margins favoring that view through much of the prior two decades.”

To me, this shows that the Democrats badly misread their mandate from 2006 and, especially, 2008. Recall the situation in late August, 2008,  before the financial crack up and panic of September: McCain had come out of the Republican convention with what looked like a solid 3-5% lead, based on the popularity of his selection of Sarah Palin as a running mate and the Obama campaign’s summer ego-trip that turned many voters off. Then came the financial crisis, and the American public did what it often does in such times: it voted the current bums out of office, replacing them with the other bums and giving the new crowd one mission – make us prosperous again. It was not a mandate to subvert individual liberty and remake society into a European social democracy.

Hence the shifting numbers as voters realize they aren’t getting what they voted for. (In fact, they’re getting everything but, including a “stimulus” program that’s been a huge, debt-accumulating failure.) And thus, too, we see the Democrats’ unseemly haste to ram through all these bills before they can be read and analyzed (or even written) before the public puts on the brakes. They know they misunderstood their mandate and that their time is very limited; they need their long-cherished program passed soon, so that the inertia will be against undoing it.

If this poll is correct, their fears seem justified. By November, 2010, this progressive moment could well turn out to have the lifespan of a candle left out in a hurricane.


Poll: Did President Obama change your mind on health care?

September 10, 2009

So, after last night’s desperate attempt speech by the President to sell the Democrats’ plan for health-care reform, I thought it would be fun to see what reactions you all had. So….

Feel free to elaborate on your vote in the comments.