Another Poll This Week Shows Republican Support At New Low

Many Republican sites are showing an overly-optimistic and selective reading of recent polls. There certainly are potential dangers for Obama and the Democrats after months of the right hitting them with false claims about policies such as health care reform. That does not mean that there is any support for the Republicans to return to power. First Read provides this reality check from the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll:

Put simply, the GOP’s brand is still a mess. According to the poll, just 25% have a positive opinion of the party (compared with 42% for the Dem Party), which ties the GOP’s low-water mark in the survey and which is a worse score than it ever had during the Bush presidency. (Honest question: Can the party still blame Bush for their problems if their numbers have gotten lower since he left the scene?) In addition, only 23% approve of the way in which congressional Republicans have handled health care (compared with 43% for Obama). And looking ahead to the 2010 midterms, 46% prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, versus 38% who want a GOP-controlled Congress. Last month, Dems held a 43%-40% advantage. Also, don’t miss this: Despite being out of office and (relatively) out of the news, Sarah Palin’s fav/unfav in our poll has dropped from 32%-43% in July to 27%-46% now. In fact, her numbers now are nearly identical to Nancy Pelosi’s (26%-42%). By the way, both Palin and Pelosi are more popular than the Republican Party.

While any dissastisfaction with Obama does not provide helpful news for the Republicans, it is notable that, “nearly half of respondents (46%) support building an independent political party to compete with the Democrats and Republicans.”

As I discussed earlier in the week, in noting that Public Policy Polling also shows the Republicans at new lows, if post historical trends continue the Republicans should pick up some seats in the off year elections next year. The Republicans are showing greater intensity,  even if their numbers are lower, and are likely to turn out in greater numbers, especially with Obama not on the ballot. Many Democrats are also faced with defending districts which historically have been in Republican hands. Between this and an overall anti-incumbent sentiment, I would expect some to be unable to hold on to newly won Democratic seats.


  1. 1
    Mike Hatcher b.t.r.m. says:

    …”Can the party still blame Bush for their problems if their numbers have gotten lower since he left the scene?  I don’t know who in the republican party is blaming Bush since he has left the scene.  I’m one who doesn’t blame Bush today for unemployment being as high as it is, but if I were inclined to blame him for unemployment not turning around yet or anything else, I think it would stand to reason I could then make him, by extention, part of the continued unpopularity of the republican party.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is possible to at least partially blame Bush for the Republican Party’s low numbers  considering that the incompetence of his administration is a major factor behind current problems, including the economy.

    It only  makes sense that voters would prefer the Democrats over Republicans considering that:

    1) Under Bush the economy was nearly destroyed and we were on the verge of a depression, and

    2) Under Obama the economy has shown a remarkable rebound compared to where it was when he took office

    Just because he isn’t on the scene is no reason to think that voters won’t consider his record when comparing the parties. In order to avoid being dragged down by Bush’s legacy the Republicans would need to show they are pursing different policies than under Bush, and they certainly not doing that. The Republicans had political problems for decades following Herbert Hoover. It is possible the same will happen as a result of the disastrous Bush years.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Amazing–even a Fox poll blames the economic problems more on Bush than Obama.

  4. 4
    Mike Hatcher b.t.r.m. says:

    I guess there is some common ground then.  The failure of the current administration to keep unemployment numbers down as they promised , and Republicans who worry about their unpopularity, well everyone can all still blame Bush.  But for Bush, ACORN would still be helping people with billions from the government, but for Bush , Obama would need to wait for Afghanistan’s crooked elections results to know what to do there.  But for Bush, Obama could change the Don’t ask Don’t tell policy of the military with an executive order.  I’m late returning to work from lunch,@!3$! Bush!

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    No, there is not common ground here. Employment is doing as good as could be expected, if not better, at this point. It takes a few years for employment to improve after a recession of the type Bush left us since so many companies either went under or permanently reduced their work forces.

    Acorn?  That’s a bunch of nonsense from the right wing noise machine. Afghanistan–it was Bush who screwed up there, including letting bin Laden get away at Bora Bora. Now Obama is cleaning up his mess. It was Obama and Kerry who got the agreement for a run off election. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell–it should be abolished.

  6. 6
    Mike Hatcher b.t.r.m. says:

    Ron you correctly forcast earlier this year that job numbers weren’t likely to turn around that fast.  My point is the Stimulus bill was sold as an rapid fix, all that “shovel ready” talk was shoveling something but it wasn’t jobs.   James O’Keefe this month exposed this mont many of the lies said about him and his operation on Acorn.  I’m not saying Fox doesn’t report things that don’t pass fact checking, but other media outlets also do this.  I’d provide you a link, but I suspect you’d dismiss it out of hand if it comes from a right wing source.   If the U.S. wasn’t able to get the Afgans to run a fair election the first time, why does Obama need the results of what could be another crooked election to determine what he should do?

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    The stimulus did add some jobs but it was never expected to be a total fix for the mess which Bush left.

    As I said, Acorn is bunch of nonsense spread by the right.

    “why does Obama need the results of what could be another crooked election to determine what he should do?”

    That is not an accurate assessment of what is happening, but whether they can establish a stable government is one factor which should influence the degree of our involvement there.

  8. 8
    Fritz says:

    I do not understand your assertion that employment is doing as well as could be expected.  Isn’t unemployment significantly higher than the Obama administration predicted it would be *without* a stimulus bill?

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    It is lower than expected, and lower than it would be without the stimulus.

  10. 10
    Mike Hatcher b.t.r.m. says:

    Well if you can accept media matters as a valid source:
    It isn’t lower than expected, it is higher than predicted and expected.  This site also offers an excuse why the Obama administration was wrong, perhaps a valid excuse.  But valid excuse or not, to say unemployment is lower than what was expected isn’t accurate.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    You are confusing two different issues here. You are also confusing the statements you link to as expectations of how the economy would do. These are two different things.

    If the question is whether public statements made by politicians (regardless of party) are frequently bullshit, then this is true.

    If the question is the actual state of the economy, which I consider the more important question, then we have done much better under Obama than actually expected.

  12. 12
    Mike Hatcher b.t.r.m. says:

    My post today at 4pm I said unemployment numbers, at 7:57 job numbers, Fritz’s post: unemployment, The link I posted states Obama advisers predicted the unemployment rate would not exceed 8% this year but at the posting of the article it was at 9.4%.  I’m not confusing two different issues.  Are you trying to tell me when you said: “It is lower than expected, and lower than it would be without the stimulus.”   that you weren’t talking about unemployment like I was, that you had switched to the more important question of the actual state of the economy?  You can maintain that I’m wrong on the issue if you would like, but I can’t see how you can say I’m confusing two different issues when I’ve stayed on one.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    Did you actually read the item from Media Matters? It debunks what you are saying.

    I am talking about both unemployment and the economy. You are cherry picking one statement to make a false claim that unemployment was projected to be lower.  In reality, unemployment is doing a bit better than actually expected.


  14. 14
    Fritz says:

    All I’m saying is that there are lots of quotes from the Obama administration predicting future (now past) unemployment numbers.  And they are lower unemployment numbers than what we have now.  So an assertion that unemployment is doing as well or better than could be expected sort of ignores what officials were expecting.   OK, at least what they said they were expecting.
    As to the actual state of the economy…  As you know, these figures are routinely tweaked as more data comes in.  My feeling is that it won’t look as good in a month or three.

  15. 15
    Mike Hatcher b.t.r.m. says:

    Yes, I read it.  Media matters is even attempting to do more than debunk the afore mentioned projection, it also is trying to show bias and/or distortion of the L.A. Times reporting. I didn’t deviate from the subject to talk about LA Times, I didn’t deviate to get into the details of the excuse why they were wrong.  The reason they were wrong according to the article was GDP contraction was far worse than they expected.  If this excuse works for you, that’s fine with me.  I think this administration is going to constantly be surprized as many of their programs are going to have unexpected negative consequences. Unexpected by them, not unexpected by me.  Now I am going off on tangents and I admit it.  It is a matter of record what the Obama administration predicted.  I wasn’t confusing two different issues.   I guess I’ll just have to take your statement  about politicians of any party frequently b.s. ing,  (which I whole-heartedly agree with) as some form of reconciliation between them predicting a lower number than what it turned out to be and you saying unemployment is doing a bit better than actually expected.

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:

    As I said, it is incorrect to equate what was expected after a recession of this severity with one cherry picked statement. This isn’t “them” predicting. It is one statement at one time which was made before all the data was in on the severity of the recession.

    In other words, you are just repeating another right wing distortion of the facts.

    Surprised by negative consequences? So far things are turning out better than expected. Considering how terribly Bush policies turned out, it is rather bizarre to be defending Bush and attacking Obama with claims of negative consequences.

  17. 17
    Fritz says:

    Defending Bush?  I certainly hope you are not looking at me when you say that.  The man was a disaster.
    I wouldn’t put too much faith in the preliminary numbers for last month.   I am not sure how you are getting “things are turning out better than expected”.    Maybe you will turn out to be right, but I would hesitate to bet on it.    OK, we are all sort of forced to bet on it, but I do not like my bet at all.

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:

    I was responding to Mike re defending Bush.

    In judging the economy I’m looking at its overall condition being better than expected, not any preliminary figures. That doesn’t mean we are out of the woods, considering how much harm Bush caused.

  19. 19
    Fritz says:

    It’s a bipartisan, multi-decade pit.   It might feel good to blame everything on Bush, but I don’t think that matches the history.  Sure, Bush pissed trillions of dollars away in Iraq, which didn’t help, but that’s nowhere near the dollar total of misinvestment.
    And now nobody wants to continue feeling the pain, so government is trying desperately to reinflate the housing market.  I don’t think they will be able to do it.

  20. 20
    Mike Hatcher b.t.r.m. says:

    Fritz- Are you sure about trillions of dollars pissed away in Iraq?  I honestly don’t know how reliable the following website  is but:
    Global issues reports U.S. military spending was at about 100 billion in 1999 and now up to 219 billion in 2008.  So even at a pace of 200B a year it would be 5 years to reach your first one trillion.  One could also argue that not every dollar in the militairy budget goes to Iraq.  Korea, Europe, Afghaninstan, and maintaining state side bases also cost some of that budget. Are you referring perhaps to more than militairy spending? Perhaps economic aid and such for Iraq?  Of course what is the cure to too much spending? More spending! What it takes the entire militairy to spend in 5 years, Obama can do in 5 months.  Now with such a big mess to clean up, even sweeping changes and massive spending will take time to work.  We know this from Roosevelt cleaning up Hoover’s mess.  Despite sweeping changes in the first 100 days of Roosevelt, it took 9 years to get the U.S. out of the depression.  Oops, it wasn’t Roosevelt’s programs either, it was a world war that did it.  I can just imagine a doctor warning a patient that they are morbidly obese and advising them to stop eating all those cheesburgers and start slamming down as much cheesecake as the person can.  Just as a temporary measure, until they are healthy again, then they can move off the cheesecake to a vegan diet.  Of course unless I write a book with a dozen cross references, I’m just speaking of cherry picking cheescake.

  21. 21
    Mike Hatcher b.t.r.m. says:

    I’ve gpt perhaps an even better source, Slate.
    Which, if I read it correctly reports that Bush’s budget made in 08 for the 2009 year militairy was 515B.  This particular article I cite, also seems to want to make the point that the 515B is not really the only costs , but higher than that because of other militairy funding not included in that number.

  22. 22
    Eclectic Radical says:

    The various ‘trillions’ figures include costs that don’t go into the ‘obvious’ budget. Contracts with private corporations do not appear on the military budget, they appear in other portions of the budget or are not mentioned at all. It’s how it can be ‘cheaper’ to pay a private corporation to do for the military what the military used to do for itself at cost; it’s a shell game, like the yearly patch on Medicare compensation to doctors despite the budgeted Medicare payscale being much lower.
    If the government spends 100 billion a year itself, then pays 100 billion a year each to Bechtel, Blackwater, Halliburton, and McDonald’s for various contracted services then you have a trillion dollars in two years. In four years you have two trillion. And so on.

  23. 23
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, as Eclectic said, it doesn’t make any sense to downplay the cost of a war which was largely fought off-budget by citing budget figures.

    There is a certainly analogy to how Congress keeps future Medicare payments from showing up in budget calculations by fixing this on a year by year basis. There is also a difference. The Medicare spending at least does ultimately show up on the current year’s budget once the fix is made for the year.

  24. 24
    Eclectic Radical says:

    ‘There is a certainly analogy to how Congress keeps future Medicare payments from showing up in budget calculations by fixing this on a year by year basis. There is also a difference. The Medicare spending at least does ultimately show up on the current year’s budget once the fix is made for the year.’
    I’m sure that, if one really wanted to, one could find some of the contractor expenses of the Iraq War cited on the budget somewhere. They just wouldn’t be cited as part of the Iraq War. It’s much the same as the Medicare fix in that the annual Medicare fix is NOT cited on the Medicare budget, it’s cited separately in ‘general appropriations.’ I’m sure some of those costs are cited in ‘general appropriations’ without specifically being tagged as relevant to the Iraq War, so that the war costs themselves do not appear on the budget even though the money is there somewhere.

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