T Nation

Polling Numbers - Explanation?

I don’t watch polling numbers religiously, but these numbers caught my eye.

We always hear about Bush’s approval rating being in the dumps - and they are - so let’s compare.

Bush’s composite - 34.3% approval

Congress’ composite - 30.8% approval

Now, we all know why Bush’s approval rating has been hit so hard. But an ascendant Congress, leaping out of the gates, has a worse approval rating than the President.

Numbers are fickle and can change quickly, to be sure - but why is Congress faring worse than Bush?

You should know this. It’s because they aren’t working hard or fast enough to lose the- I mean to bring the troops home and really drive home the “Iraq is Vietnam II”. The only way to complete that metaphor is to declare utter defeat, leave, watch the ensuing massacre, and blame it on the damn Repugs. Then everyone will be happy.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Numbers are fickle and can change quickly, to be sure - but why is Congress faring worse than Bush?[/quote]

Because Congress is focussing on things like defunding the troops and investigating why Bush dared fire a handful of political appointees and replace them with political appointees.

Even the unwashed masses know this is all stupid politics and the new Congress isn’t doing anything to improve anything.

If any Congress ever adopts the ‘Contract’, esp with regard to term limits, then its poll numbers will soar.

Until then, they are either Vietnam-era lib wackos or spineless jellyfish — who’d approve of that?

Of course, a mixed economy always attracts the lowest elements to positions of power. That may explain it.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
If any Congress ever adopts the ‘Contract’, esp with regard to term limits, then its poll numbers will soar.
[/quote]

If a supermajority ever decides to act consciously against their own self interests… I think that’s also the requisite for communism to work.

[quote]etaco wrote:
If a supermajority ever decides to act consciously against their own self interests… I think that’s also the requisite for communism to work.
[/quote]

Not to hijack but is it not in one’s self interest for the community to thrive?

Communism is fundamentally wrong in theory, not just practice. It’s fundamentally wrong to limit human achievement, monetary or otherwise, in the named of supposed equality and distribution. It’s against human nature. Not to mention people being told what jobs to do because it’s supposedly better for the community as a whole, however much they might hate their assigned role. What the fuck is that?! I am not without a social conscience or without a sense of responsibility for fellow men. I am fine with higher taxes and support. But a redistribution of income and limits on monetary freedom and freedom otherwise to the degree that Communism places on it is fundamentally evil.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
etaco wrote:
If a supermajority ever decides to act consciously against their own self interests… I think that’s also the requisite for communism to work.

Not to hijack but is it not in one’s self interest for the community to thrive?[/quote]

Not at your own expense.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
I don’t watch polling numbers religiously, but these numbers caught my eye.

We always hear about Bush’s approval rating being in the dumps - and they are - so let’s compare.

Bush’s composite - 34.3% approval

Congress’ composite - 30.8% approval

Now, we all know why Bush’s approval rating has been hit so hard. But an ascendant Congress, leaping out of the gates, has a worse approval rating than the President.

Numbers are fickle and can change quickly, to be sure - but why is Congress faring worse than Bush?[/quote]

Maybe because congressional districts are so gerrymandered that the only way to get rid of an incumbent congressman is a bullet?

The reason I raised the question is that there is a disconnect between the poll numbers and the rhetoric of the Democratic minded individuals that would tell anyone who would listen that the 2006 elections were a sure wave of American sentiment wanting liberal policy.

If they are right, the polling numbers make little sense. Power has changed hands in Congress, new policies advocated. If the American people were so excited for a liberal movement, wouldn’t the numbers be higher?

This is not a Trojan horse to bash Democrats - I really am interested in the disconnect. America just recently voted in a wave of change - and disapprove of it more them more than their predecessors.

I think a strong aspect is that the 2006 elections were more a result of GOP fatigue and a desire not to reward Republican incompetence/malfeasance.

I think it is also important because it is difficult to make the case a 2008 Democratic presidential candidate can ride the momentum of the recent election if these numbers continue.

Americans wanted a change and competent leadership, particularly in regard to Iraq. Not necessarily liberal policy [even you can even lump the new incumbents into such a group]. Poll numbers are low because people are dissatisfied with what the Democrats have done to this point.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

I think it is also important because it is difficult to make the case a 2008 Democratic presidential candidate can ride the momentum of the recent election if these numbers continue.[/quote]

The argument will/would be that real change was impossible with this administration despite efforts at compromise. And that a Democrat executive would yield a whole different story. I think there’s some validity to this, but Democrats could’ve [could still] do more with what they have to work with now.

People mad at Bush because we at war.

People mad at congress cause we still at war.

Get it?

Democrats have been in control of Congress for only two months. It’s still a transition period for some new members. It’s a little early to start analyzing poll numbers and trying to come up with an explanation for what the polls are doing.

Dumbest thread ever.

Okay, not dumber than Headhunter’s threads. That would have to be pretty crazy.

But still dumb.

Usually there is what they call a honeymoon period after a change in power. But the last election needs to be looked at more closely to be understood. People were not voting for the democrats, but against the republicans. The war has some effect, but many who didn’t use the war to decide, or even many that were for the war were not happy with the republicans acting like democrats.

Also with so many Republicans jumping ship on the war because the polls were dropping meant those who did support the war had no reason to vote for the Republican, plus they may have felt betrayed.

I know I really was disgusted by most everyone in politics. Spending money the government doesn’t have and putting us deeper in debt just to garner votes is not conservative. To be conservative is to not waste money, and keep control over taxes so the economy is not stifled.

When there are 2 democrat parties, it really doesn’t matter who you vote for.

Democrats are ineffective at leadership. Try and think of Brad as an adult and you have the modern Democratic party.

They are much more effective at complaining then actually doing things or coming up with original thoughts. See above example.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
Democrats have been in control of Congress for only two months. It’s still a transition period for some new members. It’s a little early to start analyzing poll numbers and trying to come up with an explanation for what the polls are doing.

Dumbest thread ever.

Okay, not dumber than Headhunter’s threads. That would have to be pretty crazy.

But still dumb.[/quote]

Let’s see…I can’t even recall any thread started by you. Have you? The fact that you can recall mine but I don’t even know who you are means that you are insignificant.

This is a GREAT thread — I’ve long contended that our political parties are at odds with the people and that there is A GROWING DISCONNECT between our military and the American people in general. Look at how the Dems stabbed the soldiers in the back yesterday, esp by loading up that assholish bill with pork. How’ll that go over with the troops?

If we ever have another Great Depression (which I think will happen sooner rather than later) we’ll likely have an end to this Republic. The military will simply kick Congress to the curb, in one way or another.

[quote]The Mage wrote:
Usually there is what they call a honeymoon period after a change in power. But the last election needs to be looked at more closely to be understood. People were not voting for the democrats, but against the republicans. The war has some effect, but many who didn’t use the war to decide, or even many that were for the war were not happy with the republicans acting like democrats.

Also with so many Republicans jumping ship on the war because the polls were dropping meant those who did support the war had no reason to vote for the Republican, plus they may have felt betrayed.

I know I really was disgusted by most everyone in politics. Spending money the government doesn’t have and putting us deeper in debt just to garner votes is not conservative. To be conservative is to not waste money, and keep control over taxes so the economy is not stifled.

When there are 2 democrat parties, it really doesn’t matter who you vote for.[/quote]

Very insightful post!

If you don’t mind me barging in, could it be that the rating of congress is so low because the rating is about hundreds of people instead of just one? Simple statistical effect.

If somebody can post the approval figures for previous congresses, it would put things into perspective.

[quote]Brad61 wrote:
Democrats have been in control of Congress for only two months. It’s still a transition period for some new members. It’s a little early to start analyzing poll numbers and trying to come up with an explanation for what the polls are doing.

Dumbest thread ever.

Okay, not dumber than Headhunter’s threads. That would have to be pretty crazy.

But still dumb.[/quote]

I don’t think this is a dumb thread at all. And I often think Headhunter’s threads are way off-base. A critical analysis of the performance of the Democrats from the getgo is entirely legitimate. And I’m not someone who is gunning for them either. I’m pretty moderate.

We see what they’ve done. You are right that there’s plenty of time and they haven’t been in power very long, and it will be important to see what they do.