James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Shock poll: Americans think Bush doing a better job than Obama (and more)

Oct 28, 2010 15:53 UTC

Some fascinating numbers from longtime Democratic pollster Doug Schoen (via U.S. News & World Report). Among them: Voters prefer Bush over Obama, want the GOP to control congress, favor extending all the Bush tax cuts, don’t favor another term for Obama and would give Palin nearly 20 percent of the vote if she ran as a third-party presidential candidate.

His survey of 1,000 likely voters finds the following (bold is mine):

The 2010 midterms

– In the generic Congressional midterm election, the Republican Party has a nine-point lead over the Democratic Party, 48% to 39%. 13% are not sure.

– However, when given the choice between a Republican, a Democrat, and a Tea Party candidate for Congress, the Tea Party candidate gains more support (19%) than the Republican candidate (15%). Meanwhile, support for the Democratic Party consolidates (39%) and more voters become undecided (27%).

-- 53% prefer the outcome of this year’s Congressional elections to be a Republican-controlled Congress, while 36% prefer the Democrats to have control.

-- 66% say things in the country are headed on the wrong track, while 26% say they are headed in the right direction. 8% are not sure.

– 57% say the economy is headed on the wrong track, while 31% say it is headed in the right direction. 12% are not sure.

– Those who say they plan to vote for a Republican for Congress do so because they think the Democratic Party is doing a bad job running the country and to oppose Obama’s agenda (37%), and because they agree more with the Party’s position on social issues (17%).

– Those who plan to vote for a Democrat do so to support Obama’s agenda and have the Democrats continue to run the country (34%), and because they agree more with the Party’s position on social issues (30%).

– If the Republicans win one or both houses in Congress, over half (53%) think it is a reaction against the perceived failed policies of Obama and the Democrats in Congress, while 29% think it is because Republican Party special interest groups bought the election. 19% are not sure.

– 39% say the Democratic Party is closer to their views on major issues, while 48% say the Republican Party is closer to their views.

Barack Obama

– Despite voters feelings toward Obama personally, 56% say he does not deserve to be reelected, while 38% say he does deserve to be reelected President.

–  43% say that Barack Obama has been a better president than George W. Bush, while 48% say Bush was a better president than Obama has been.

–  42% approve of the way Obama is performing his job as president, while 57% disapprove. Similarly, 43% approve of President Obama’s handling of the economy, while 55% disapprove

Tea Party movement

– The Tea Party movement has unprecedented, broad-based support. One-quarter now says that they are Tea Party supporters, while 27% say they are opponents. 44% say they are neutral. One-quarter of Tea Party supporters self-identify as members of the Tea Party movement.

– Almost half (49%) say they are looking for someone else to vote for in the next Congressional election, while just 36% say they are inclined to vote to re-elect their representative.

– Support for the Tea Party movement is bipartisan. Tea Party supporters say the movement is a protest against business as usual in Washington (43%) rather than a protest against President Obama (20%), Democrats in Congress (11%), or Republicans in Congress (0%).

– Over half (52%) of Tea Party supporters say they support the movement because it is committed to reducing the federal government’s size and spending and the national debt. 13% support it because it supports personal liberty of the individual.

– 39% have a favorable impression of Karl Rove, while one-third have an unfavorable impression. 28% are not sure.

– 45% have a favorable impression of the Chamber of Commerce, while 26% have an unfavorable impression. 29% are not sure

2012 election

– If a Tea Party candidate is on the 2012 ballot, 32% say they would vote for a Democrat, 19% say a Republican, and 16% say a Tea Party candidate. One-third are not sure.

– In thinking about the 2012 Presidential election, if the candidates were Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney, and Tea Party candidate Sarah Palin and the election were held today, 40% would vote for Obama. 32% would vote for Romney, and 17% would vote for Palin.

– If the candidates in the 2012 Presidential election were Democrat Barack Obama, Republican Mitt Romney, and Tea Party candidate Mike Huckabee, and the election were held today, 40% would vote for Obama. 24% would vote for Romney, and 24% would vote for Huckabee.

Tax cuts and healthcare

– Over three-quarters (77%) favor extending the Bush tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year, while just 15% oppose extending them.

– Half favor extending the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, including those making $250,000 or more a year, while 40% oppose this.

– Over half (52%) favor repealing the new health care law that was passed earlier this year, while 38% oppose repealing it.

COMMENT

There is no way in hell that Bush evens hold a candle to Obama, There’s to much crap being said and I feel it’s the media that is destroying this country with all these lies. If Palin ever was voted in as our President then USA have alot of stupid people…

Posted by Mcq | Report as abusive

The state of Obama’s approval ratings

Jul 21, 2010 15:40 UTC

Well, they’re not good and signal great danger for Democrats in the midterm election. The good folks at RealClearPolitics sums things up nicely:

polls

COMMENT

Isn’t advising Obama that he should be more pro-market about as useful as the same advice to Marx, Lennin, or the favorite in the White House Mao?

Posted by valwayne | Report as abusive

Healthcare vote may wound some Dems, like Ben Nelson

Dec 29, 2009 15:53 UTC

Truly shocking numbers on  Sen. Ben “60th Vote” Nelson from Rasmussen:

The good news for Senator Ben Nelson is that he doesn’t have to face Nebraska voters until 2012.

If Governor Dave Heineman challenges Nelson for the Senate job, a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows the Republican would get 61% of the vote while Nelson would get just 30%. Nelson was reelected to a second Senate term in 2006 with 64% of the vote.

Nelson’s health care vote is clearly dragging his numbers down. Just 17% of Nebraska voters approve of the deal their senator made on Medicaid in exchange for his vote in support of the plan. Overall, 64% oppose the health care legislation, including 53% who are Strongly Opposed. In Nebraska, opposition is even stronger than it is nationally.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters in the state believe that passage of the legislation will hurt the quality of care, and 62% say it will raise costs.

COMMENT

Dr. Bohn,
I red somewhere that some docs, particularly ob/gyn surgeons, are working for about 1/2 year just to cover malpractice insurance, but it looks like you have it even worse – it’s 2/3. Working just for coverage from January thtough August – it’s completely ridiculous. If there’s any place for public insurance option, it’s right there – in malpractice insurance. Maybe if Uncle Sam himself becomes the target of trial lawyers, he’ll be able to keep them back, and the costs of coverage more reasonable then they are now.

Posted by Anonymous | Report as abusive

Rasmussen: Obama approval ratings at new low

Dec 22, 2009 14:49 UTC

Pollster Rasmussen indicates that healthcare is not helping the POTUS:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 25% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-three percent (46%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21 That’s the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President. … For the second straight day, the update shows the highest level of Strong Disapproval yet recorded for this President. That negative rating had never topped 42% before yesterday. However, it has risen dramatically since the Senate found 60 votes to move forward with the proposed health care reform legislation. Most voters (55%) oppose the health care legislation and senior citizens are even more likely than younger voters to dislike the plan.

COMMENT

I have to say, james, I liked your blogging way more when you were at USN&WR — you actually wrote stuff and provided your always interesting, not just cut’n'paste stuff I get anyway. Is Reuters not letting you off the leash? Or are you working on bigger/more thoughtful pieces elsewhere?

Posted by Ghost of Keynes | Report as abusive

Why Obama’s polls are slipping …

Jun 24, 2009 16:00 UTC

Matthew Cooper posits this theory:

Obama’s poll numbers have been going down, although they remain high. Why are they going down? A lot of it seems to have to do with spending and government intervention in the economy, which has roused fears of independents. 70 percent of respondents in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll said that they were concerned “a great deal” or “quite a bit” about the GM takeover.

I have a slightly different spin on this, which is that it’s the spending and the modest success it seems to have brought in stopping the total collapse of the banking and financial system. If the economy felt like it was in the same free fall that it was a few months ago, he’d be doing better because there’d be less questioning of government spending and more calls to pour everything on the fire. But with the respite in the fall comes the freedom to question spending. Or, to put it another way: The firemen saved your house but now you’re pissed off about all the water damage in the den.

My spin: That is one theory. How about this one: unemployment is going through the roof! While people are less worried about economic collapse, they are plenty worried about their job. Plus, their home is still falling pis e. It is not “all that spending” so much as the perception  that “all that spending” does not seem to be helping much.

COMMENT

There also appears to be a lot of grass roots demonstrations going on out there that are getting zero coverage in the press. What gives?

Poll: Blame Bush not Obama for recession

Jun 1, 2009 17:02 UTC

From Rasmussen:

President Obama contends he inherited the nation’s ongoing economic problems and that his actions since taking office are not to blame. Sixty-two percent (62%) of U.S. voters agree with the president that the problems are due to the recession that began under the Bush administration.

Just 27% of voters say the problems are being caused more by the policies Obama has put in place since taking office, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Ten percent (10%) are not sure which president is more to blame.

Me: This is a poll I will be closely watching as the unemployment rate continues to rise, perhaps deep into next year. How deep is Obama’s reservoir of goodwill with the public?

COMMENT

I, for the love of God, just cant explain all this giddiness{if that’s a word},in the markets around the world.Obama’s policies will cripple the economy,the math doesn’t add up.Bush may have started the problem rolling,but Obama gave it a shove down the hill.Will the American public keep up the love affair with the dem’s when they are asked to pay double or triple for their home energy use?I just don’t see how we as a nation are going to pay for all the new spending and re-regulation that’s coming.I think we are being”rope-a-doped”,the piper that should have been paid in the early part of this decade,will have to be paid.Tomorrow’s bill will sink us!What about the state and local level?Taxes are going through the roof,look no further than the union controlled school boards.Local pol’s are falling all over themselves trying to keep up with their already strained,bloated,union backed employee’s underfunded pension requirement’s.Not a peep from the bond market here,where’s the bond market vigaliante’s when you need them?This just can’t end well.As for the original question,just what is driving this rally in the global market’s?Two word’s,fear and greed.Isn’t that what got us into this mess to begin with?I pray our capitalist society can survive….
Jerry Stewart

Posted by Jerry Stewart | Report as abusive
  •