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from The Great Debate:

Obama’s ultimate indignity: Bush seen as more competent

bush-obama

Agreement is not enough.  Performance matters more.

That's why the outlook for Democrats this November looks bleak.  More and more Americans now agree with Democrats on the issues.  But they are increasingly dismayed by President Barack Obama's inability to get results.

The Gallup poll reports that, ideologically, Americans are moving to the left on both social and economic issues. Though more Americans continue to identify as conservatives than as liberals, the conservative advantage is shrinking.

In 2010, for example, which saw a huge backlash against Obama, self-described economic conservatives outnumbered economic liberals by 36 points. Every year since, the conservative lead has gotten smaller. It's now 21 points.

fire obamaOn social issues, the conservative lead has virtually disappeared. It was 17 points in 2010. It's now 4 points.  “This movement is consistent with trends Gallup has seen on specific issues,” the polling organization reports, “most notably Americans' views toward gay rights and legalizing marijuana.”

from MacroScope:

Forecasts for the euro zone depend more on head office location than analysis

Ask an economist a question about the euro zone, and the answer will as much depend on the location of their head office as any analysis of the data.

It's been noted before (herehere, and here), but economists and fund managers working for euro zone-based banks and research houses tend to be optimists about the euro zone. Everywhere else - including Britain, North America and the Nordics - they tend to be pessimists.

from India Insight:

Parents to get top marks for voting in UP

Students at a Lucknow college will earn extra credit if they can get their mom and dad to vote in the Uttar Pradesh state elections this month.

Getting those 10 extra marks is no easy task. A girl student at Christ Church college said she would have to work hard to push her "lazy" mother to go out on polling day but it would be worth it.

from MediaFile:

The democratization of market research

By George Terhanian
The views expressed are his own.

Nearly every product you interact with — from the car you drive, to the TV and movies you see, to the advertising to which you’re exposed — has benefited from market research, a $32-billion-and-growing global industry. Businesses value such research. They demand it. And why shouldn’t they? Good research is vital to innovation and competitive advantage, bringing to light new needs as well as clues on how to satisfy them. Market research has some downsides too. It can be complicated, slow, and expensive — available only to big spenders with plenty of time on their hands.

But what if just about anyone could pose questions to a target population and receive unfiltered, immediate answers they could trust? The ability might just change the way a lot of us make decisions.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

Laundry puts new spin on voting!

Blog Guy, I intended to vote on Tuesday but the lines were really long, and that's my day to do my laundry.

I understand, that's a perfectly good excuse for not voting in a historic election. But officials are looking for ways to make the hours you spend waiting at the polling station more productive.

from Global News Journal:

A voting booth is not a phone booth, Italy rules

Italians can rarely be seen without their mobile phones, but the government has ruled they will not be allowed to take them into the polling stations on April 13-14.

The ruling is not to stop voters annoying their neighbours by shouting out: "I'm in the polling station!" but rather to prevent people selling their votes.

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