MyDD Poll: The Structure of the Voter Universe, Part 1

From the diaries--Chris

Well, this is a bit of a celebratory day, as the psychographic (extended) analysis of the MyDD Poll begins and I also received Crashing The Gate this morning. What timing! Jerome and Markos featured some of our discussion  about psychographic research in The Gravy Train chapter. So the book hits and here at MyDD we're `right in tune' with them, driving the ball down the field a la the West Coast Offense, and already applying some of the knowledge, information and recommendations they've generated in the book. Love it. Karma is on our side, it would seem.

Let's get started. This part of the analysis is the most important, folks. At least in my view. It's the most comprehensive, deep, multi-layered and consistently revealing method of analyzing data because it respects the complexity of humans, highlights it even, and rigorously goes through a dataset looking for embedded patterns of response that are not evident through simple demographic crosstabulation. It's a CAT-scan of the data, basically.

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President Bush Sinks Further in the Polls

February has not been a good month for the White House. After listening to George W. Bush's State of the Union Address, approval ratings for the President began to fall, and the news of Dick Cheney's hunting accident and the administration's approval of the sale of control over American ports to a company wholly owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates have not played well with the American people. Today, Rasmussen Reports finds President Bush's approval rating to be its lowest in a month and a half, and new polling from the Cook Political Report indicates that the administration is once again nearing a danger zone in terms of dropping support.

The Cook survey, which was conducted by RT Strategies from Friday to Sunday, found President Bush's approval rating to be 40 percent -- down a whopping seven points in the last month. During this time, Bush's disapproval rating also went up four points.

A quick look at the generic congressional ballot numbers might raise some concern among Democrats, as their lead dropped from 12 points in January (51 percent to 39 percent) to nine points this month (47 percent to 38 percent). Such a seeming drop at a time when the President's numbers are also falling might raise questions about the public's faith in the Democratic Party. However, a closer look at the polling from the last two months shows that RT Strategies' methodology changed slightly from January to February, with respondants now having a choice to respond "other" instead of just Republican or Democrat when asked which party they would like to see in control of Congress. When the "other" is taken out of the question and simply the two choices are left in, the share of voters preferring a Democratic Congress to a Republican Congress remains roughly the same (55.3 percent of those chosing either party from 56.7 percent in January).

With sinking approval numbers for the President and continued Democratic strength in generic congressional ballot questions, it sure looks like President Bush is a lame duck already, no?

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America Needs a President Again

I thought Bush would bounce in January.  He didn't.  It's not the first time I've been wrong, and it won't be the last.

It's fairly likely over the next few months that President Bush's approval ratings will go back up to the mid 50s.  Right now, the press wants to operate off of the assumption that Presidents have scandals, and then rebound HUGE.  The reality is more prosaic - gas prices are lower, the economy is doing ok, and Americans want the President to succeed.  Bush only has to capture the people who voted for him, and a few others, and he'll be back up to the mid-fifties.  That's not much of an accomplishment, but I do expect it to happen as the State of the Union (SOTU) gets closer and Bush can jawbone the nation.

That said, if he doesn't get up to the mid-50s by the SOTU, he's in real trouble, and so is the GOP.  With a growing economy, it would be a real indictment of Republican leadership for them to be any lower than that.  Our strategy is clear.  Scream bloody murder about Sam Alito, the wingnut who wants to overturn Roe vs Wade and turn the Presidency into a dictatorship.  Investigate the wiretapping scandal.  Oppose.  Oppose.  As Josh Marshall says, oppose.  If we win on Alito, great.  We can beat him.  But even if we don't win, the GOP has some really tough sledding ahead.

Sure enough, the radical right pushed through Alito, and at a certain point, even progressive centrist bloggers like Steve Clemons were saying 'Bush is back, big time. This hasn't turned out to be the case.  His raw political strength didn't increase his popularity.  Americans don't care if you're perceived as a 'winner' by insiders, they care about governance apparently.

I think it's clear in retrospect that Bush had a limited opportunity to get back in the game, and did not.  The inflection point this week, on ports and the Iraqi Civil War, shows just how weak this President really is.  He's pathetic, a whiny weakling baby who acts impatiently and impetuously because no one's ever put restraints on his selfish and self-destructive behavior.  We can only hope that principled 'adult' Republicans realize this and remove him from power before he does any more damage.  America needs a President again.

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He's still down

The latest Survey USA 50-state poll of Bush's approval ratings is out.  As Taegan Goddard reports, in 40 out of 50 states Bush's numbers are now below 50%.

A map I made of the data is below the fold.

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MyDD Poll: Investigation, Impeachment and Extremism

This is a long post, but I truly hope you'll stay with it to the end. In my view, there's plenty of gems in here and we're getting ready to `go at throttle up' on the Analytical Rocket. This post helps you strap into the rocket, I hope.

First, for fun: an observation and conclusion. You know it's going to be a wild political year when all the politicos want briefings `on what's happening out there'. Now, yesterday. Eight months out. Uh-huh. Are we a bit on edge these days, folks? A bit concern-ed? A bit unsure-ed? Natch on that and there you go on my recent and upcoming sched. Briefings, briefings, briefings, at the end of which comes the world-renowned "Hmm. Really? Hmm." That's the take on the current state of blue campaign strategery in this neck of the woods: noodlin', ponderin', chin-rubbin'. Lots of "hmm."

I am sure you get the picture. It's TBD which frame is more apropos for the year, though: a refrain from Country Joe McDonald's Fixin' to Die Rag ("open up the Pearly Gates, there ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee, we're all gonna die!") or from Public Image Ltd.'s Warrior ("I take no quarter. This is my land. I'll never surrender. I am. A Warrior.").

Strategically, from what I've seen, I'd say the Talking Heads' Once in a Lifetime has the point locally and nationally so far in 2006: "same as it ever was" for political communications, folks. Politicos are simply more fidgety this time. Nervous tics, that sort of thing. The poor dumb bastards. I'll definitely return to this issue when we get to the recommendations section of the research, given what we know now and also what I think we'll find in the extended analysis (which I plan to conduct and then present next).  And those recommendations are most likely include relentlessly slapping `em all silly. Just so you know. Tough love, you see. Especially since the national blues have that killer-diller Silver Bullet thematic going against the reds: "We can do better." (Sigh.) Jeebus. Jiminy Freaking Christmas, that'll catch fire with voters, don't ya think? Riiiiight.

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