Bi-weekly Public Opinion Roundup

Americans are still pessimistic about employment and the economy, according to several recent polls. A majority agree that young people will not achieve the same standard of living as the previous generation or that it is more likely that families will suffer "economic reversals" in the next 5 to 10 years. Support for the stimulus bill has dropped and opinion is now deadlocked on the bill, though some aspects, such as spending on infrastructure and public works, remain popular among a majority. A majority of Americans think that some of the recent federal measures should be lasting, while fewer Americans – although still a majority – feel that President Obama's policies will help in these tough economic times.

A nationwide poll conducted in October by Gallup, consisting of 1,013 telephone interviews with adults age 18 and older, found that a small share of Americans believe now is a good time to find a quality job (10%). This percentage has been wavering between 9% and 11% since February 2009, and has dropped dramatically since January 2008 (33%). Findings from an October nationwide Pew Research Center survey of 1,500 adults are consistent with this trend: 84% of Americans say that today good jobs were difficult to find, up from 73% in July 2008 acording to another Pew survey.

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Obama More Like Roosevelt or DiMaggio?

(Cross-posted from Think it Through)

President Barack Obama marks his first 100 days in office this week, a key milestone for every president since Franklin Roosevelt gave the 100-day mark its meaning 77 years ago.

If you think about it, the comparison is unfair to any president. It is like asking a baseball player at the beginning of the season if he will break Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak.  As any baseball fan can tell you, it cannot be done.

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Republicans, how low can they go?

(Cross-posted from Think it Through)

Most of the time the big story lies hidden under the topline data.  The latest Pew Poll is no exception. While the poll headlined the story that the public sees more partisan bickering now than it did in January, the most interesting finding to me was that just 21 percent of Americans now identify themselves with the Republican Party.  A year ago 26% of Americans self-identified as Republicans, and six years ago it was 30%.  In fact, you have to go back a whole generation to 1977 to find Republican identification as low as 21%.

This exodus from the Republican party has not turned people into Democrats, but rather it has increased the population of independents from 31% a year ago to 40% today in Pew's poll.

In order to bring these voters into the Democratic camp, President Obama needs to convince them that his agenda for change reflects their values. All of our experience over the last two years demonstrates that Barack Obama understands their values better than the Republicans and much better than the conservative, or "practical", Democrats. In last fall's election, Obama won many of these voters by appealing to the values of responsibility and fairness as a contrast to the decade long drumbeat of freedom, individualism, and superficial patriotism.  His more reasoned, careful and caring approach to the country's problems helped him win majorities among segments of the electorate that are uncommon for Democrats, including moderates, voters with college degrees, and people earning over $200,00 a year.  He has four years to turn these anti-Bush voters into Obama democrats.  There is evidence he is off to a good start.

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New Pew poll Obama +8%

In new Pew national poll Obama increases his lead from 3% to 8%. RCP which is basically a right wing site editorially calls this a "slight" increase!

Here's link /2008/07/pew_obama_8.html

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Obama: Teleprompters vs. Experience

Obama really shouldn't speak without a teleprompter or prepared text.

Today he proved just how Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time the Junior Senator from Illinois is.  As he demonstrated during the debates, Obama just can't seem to help stepping into a big pile of his own making.

His latest flailing about with I-won't-use-nukes-with-citizens-that-is-wait-scratch-that-I'm-not-discussing-nukes debacle illustrates that he is as clueless about how a Commander-In-Chief should address the most lethal weapon in his military arsenal as he is about how to respond to a double terrorist attack or about Presidential diplomacy.

The American electorate doesn't seem to like what Obama is stepping in, either.

The three most recent national polls, taken after the last debate, show Clinton trending up and way ahead by double-double digits over her nearest rival.  As of today, Clinton trounces Obama 43(38) to 21(25) Rasmussen; 43(39) to 22(25) NBC/WSJ; and 40(34) to 21(24) Pew.

Standing in front of a teleprompter and reading a speech written by Richard Clarke isn't a terribly difficult thing to do.  Unfortunately for Obama, the American electorate knows that we live in serious times and require more from their President than a dramatic reading from a prepared text.

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