Monday, August 06, 2007

Living and Dying by Polls

A report from McClatchy provides some interesting data on the great Democrat/Republican struggle in the U.S. Congress. It would appear from the poll numbers that voters have become, to put it mildly, disenchanted.

“Meanwhile, many voters who longed for a change last year now appear disgusted with Congress. Several recent national polls have put Congress' job rating in the mid-20s, and 51 percent of Americans held an unfavorable view of Congress in a Pew Research Center poll released this week. That's worse than the 46 percent unfavorable rating that Congress scored last fall, when Republicans were still in control.”

The whole article, which includes predictable spin from both parties, is worth a read.


mccommas said...

And how many CT newspapers do you think will pick up that story?

Don Pesci said...


Probably none. The trick here is to decide from the polling information why the figures for congress are so low. There are, as usual, two theories: 1)They are low because people do not appreciate Democrat programs, which would include, of course, the program to end the war in Iraq; 2) they are low because Republican so far have been successful in thwarting Democrat ambitions. Turning the question on you, I would ask which theory do you think Connecticut's media embraces?

mccommas said...

Well I can combine the two together and get you a tag line that goes something like this

‘The Democrat programs are sooo sophisticated and beyond the grasp of the average voter in fly-over country that the Republicans have managed to unfairly tar the Democrats with simple minded bumper sticker slogans’.

How’s that?

I am not a big fan of polls. I think they are overused. I recall just this morning there was a glowing segment on Fox about Huckabee’s performance at a Republican debate. But it wasn’t about WHAT he said. I don’t think they said anything about WHAT he said.

It was about members of a focus group who had those meters that they use while a politician is speaking. You point the thingy “up” when the pol is telling you what you want to hear and “down” when you think he is dodging the issues or telling you something you don’t want to hear.

So they had these red and green lines up and down like an EKG while the guy was speaking and it was kind of like a second-by-second poll which I think takes things to far.

This is putting the cart before the horse.

Who in such a situation is really controlling who? It’s like the focus group had these people on a string like a puppet. The person is not really listening. I think this sort of approach hurts our chances of finding real leaders who will in fact lead.

That said I would not say that Huckabee is a good example of the point I am trying to make. What little I know about him makes me tend to believe he is one of the more serious candidates.

Don Pesci said...

Pretty good analysis there.

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