LAT poll - 97% of Democrats approve of transition, zero disapprove 121008-na-poll-g,0,4977208.graphic

To be clear, the transition comes down to mostly building the cabinet, but also encompasses public statements made about future policy proposals - to be implemented once Obama takes office -, so the overall approval shown here encompasses the entire transition phase as a whole, not just the cabinet picks.   However, the cabinet announcements are the most prolific stories coming from a presidential transition phase, so it is likely that the transition approval shown is mostly due to the shaping of the cabinet.

The data graph shows that as of today a full 97% of Democrats approve of Obama's handling of the transition.  More telling is that no Democrats disapprove of Obama's handling of the transition. ZERO. The closest discontent to be found is in 3% of Democrats putting themselves in the undecided column of 'Don't know.'   I am quite sure that this is some new record for presidential transition periods with approval amongst ones own part members basically unanimous.    

Let's also make the assumption here that progressives/liberals make up about half of those who count themselves in the Democratic corner.  Where is the disapproval and discontent amongst progressives the mainstream media has been crowing and palavering about for over a week now?  Would that not show up in the subgroup of DEMOCRATS in polls like these with a BETTER THAN ZERO disapproval rating?  

Polls like these seem to suggest that those who voice outright disapproval and disappointment with Obama's transition are in the tiniest of minorities, but due to the high profile of blogs have found a strong megaphone to air their grievances and in some instances claim to be talking for a numerous slice of the progressive part of the Democratic party, when that does not appear to be the case at all.   Others have a more nuanced approach and disagree with a few of the appointments but overall are satisfied.  But one can parse those from the disapprovers easily when looking at broad judgements and policy predictions based on an overall negative perception of the cabinet picks.

Another thing to ponder:  When Obama sees that his handling of the transition is met with very strong approval from his own party to the tune of 97% and 0% disapproval, does that not suggest that Obama would have to feel that he is doing "the mix" of his cabinet picks exactly right?  Does this not, to Obama, validate strongly what he has been doing?

Tags: cabinet, obama, transition (all tags)



Re: Someone show this

they are the 3%

by jsfox 2008-12-10 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: LAT poll - 97% of Democrats

That's good.  He'll need the support.  But I wouldn't equate "popular" with "correct".  There was a time when Bush's approval rating was closing in on 90 % but he was as much of a turkey then as he is now.

I'm not saying this is the case with Obama, but the correlation between the two is not as strong as we would like it to be.

by the mollusk 2008-12-10 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: LAT poll - 97% of Democrats

No, 'popular' is certainly not 'correct', although that type of assessment would be purely personal and subjective in most cases.  Results will obviously make certain appointments work or not, regardless of whether there is an ideology set that matches mine.  If Daschle ushers through universal health care and it passes he will have validated his appointment from a progressive point of view.  Likewise, had Dennis Kucinich been appointed to that same post and any health care reform died on the altar of single payer we would not have much to show for the nominally more progressive appointment.  

I think pushing for progressive appointments across the board is valid. After all, as progressives that is where we find ourselves in.  But, judging and pre-judging the cabinet before it had a chance to implement potentially strongly progressive policies - or not - is a bit of a kneejerk overreaction.  I don't see any evidence that Obama will govern center-right, in fact basically all the plans and proposals that are on the table are progressive in nature - massive works program, environmental plan, energy, on and on.  Yet, that Obama is likely to govern from the center-right has been the main argument advanced by some of the frontpagers.   I think that deserves a pushback, as it is simply not evident and deserved.    

by devilrays 2008-12-10 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: LAT poll - 97% of Democrats

I basically agree.  Except that I think the front pagers unhappy with Obama's cabinet choices are pretty rare and mostly confined to Open Left.  It may that they are getting undue (and sometimes unfair) media coverage, but nothing was going to stop that.  Also, not to pick nits, but I think it is legitimate to push back on personnel even before any legislation has been proposed.  You could make an equally strong argument that once they are in office, you get what you paid for and if you don't like what they propose, well, you should have spoken up sooner.  A very inelegant comparison would be pushing back against certain Supreme Court nominees before they issue a single opinion.

by the mollusk 2008-12-10 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: LAT poll - 97% of Democrats

It is not that the appointments themselves are criticized on a case by case basis, it is that some can't help themselves from making judgements and predictions based on predetermined and IMO narrow progressive principals, which seems a lot like too-extreme purity thinking mixed with a dose of self-definition that most progressives simply don't share.  

Think of some of the logical leaps.  If those of us who don't share the narrow definition advanced by some of the bloggers of what progressive values are, but still call ourselves progressives because our definition is a bit broader, then would  the "real" progressives not admit by taking the huge portion of the "fake" progressives out of the equation, as they have done to an extent, that a "true-fake" recalc of their importance and share of the party would result in a much smaller slice of the party and therefore less consequential and less deserving of major consideration when it comes to cabinet picks?    

If the progressive ideology is broad and makes up a large portion of the Democratic party, as claimed, then those of us who don't share some of the views advanced are just as much part of the equation and should have just as much to say about it, without being labelled and dismissed as "conspiracy theorists," "Obama worshippers" and the like.  

You simply can't have it both ways.  

by devilrays 2008-12-12 05:43AM | 0 recs
Re: LAT poll - 97% of Democrats approve

To me what it says is that just because you may have concerns about this appointment or that one, that doesn't mean you "disapprove" of Obama or the transition as a whole.  This is backed up by the fact that 12% of Democrats disapprove of Hillary's nomination and 14% of Democrats disapprove of Gates.

To the extent the purpose of this diary is to rebut the media narrative of widespread discontent among liberal Democrats, I wholeheartedly approve.  But I'd observe that individual, specific criticisms of Obama should still be addressed on the merits.  If Chris Bowers is wrong about something, the best response is to explain why he's wrong, not to say "well, 97% of Democrats approve of the transition, so you're just concern trolling!"  We deserve a better debate than that.

by Steve M 2008-12-10 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: LAT poll - 97% of Democrats approve

Personally, I couldn't point to a single member of the new cabinet that I didn't like in a vacuum, but I did get a little concerned by the Geithner-Summers-Emmanuel nexus.  I just kept picturing Obama in a room full of basically center-right economists in a heated debate about corporate regulations.  Since then, Biden has selected Jared Bernstein as his economic adviser.  I'm not really sure what his role will be, but I imagine him in the room while these discussions are taking place.  I think this is good because then it does start to look like a two-sided conversation.

by the mollusk 2008-12-10 11:35AM | 0 recs
Re: LAT poll - 97% of Democrats approve

I agree 100%.  This only shows that as a whole the cabinet appointments have been met with strong approval, specifically amongst Democrats and also progressives, which goes counter to the narrative that has been built both on some of the blogs and in the media that there is disenchantment in a meaningful way in the progressive community.   That being clarified, individual criticism should be evaluated on a case by case basis, as you state.  I took exception with Chris Bowers somewhat reflexive and narrative-feeding judgement and predictions  at the bottom of this diary:;jsessio nid=CE7A86CB39018A8B8E1405C0ABEB276E?dia ryId=10363

by devilrays 2008-12-10 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Chris Bowers' problem

I am not a mind-reader, I have no idea if Chris Bowers thinks that, although it strikes me as somewhat implausible.

If he ever claimed explicitly to be speaking for the entire liberal wing of the Democratic Party, I'd like to see that statement.

Otherwise, it seems to me that people are just engaging in the "you're wrong because you're outnumbered" fallacy.

by Steve M 2008-12-10 02:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Chris Bowers' problem

Chris Bowers is less reflexive than others, but the entire "dear leader" (fuehrer) thing from others is way over the top, as is  the narrative that ALL of the cabinet appointments are center-right, therefore Obama will govern from the center-right position.  That has been my main beef with Chris B., because I really don't see that happening at all, quite the opposite.  Because of economic factors, and the huge change Americans are willing to subject themselves to as a result, we are likely to see a much more progressive agenda than Obama himself campaigned on.

by devilrays 2008-12-10 03:20PM | 0 recs
18 million strong...?

Once again, the puma fraction adds up to 0.

by iohs2008 2008-12-10 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: 18 million strong...?

I hate to keep flogging this horse - or rather, I like to flog it, and hate that I like it, but anyways.... one of the puma blogs has a title banner on the front page where they compare themselves to the "300".

by Jess81 2008-12-10 07:47PM | 0 recs
And we all know what happened to them

They'll be gone too.

And there's nothing to be ashamed of in beating on them. They deserve it.

by iohs2008 2008-12-19 06:15AM | 0 recs
Strong Across the Board

Not only is the Democratic approval off the charts, the Independent approval is also rather strong.

by Dreorg 2008-12-10 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone show this



(Not sure what that means, but somebody's always yelling that on the other blog.)

by Bush Bites 2008-12-10 01:54PM | 0 recs
zero disapprove

This can't be right, because the left is disappointed in Obama.  Tom Brokaw said so.

by Jess81 2008-12-10 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: This reminds me


by Jess81 2008-12-10 07:45PM | 0 recs


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