November 9, 2014

Poll Watch: Post Midterm Edition

Here's a smattering of what's happening out there, according to what we tell pollsters.

Most of it is political, given that we've just come from 'that election' last week, which 'shellacking' falls short of adequately describing.  Dems lost the Senate, several gubernatorial races which they thought they might have had a chance of grabbing, and a couple others, including Massachusetts.

On the other hand, it was not all a lost cause; progressive initiatives such as raising the minimum wage scored a few wins, and legalized marijuana scattered a few more seeds of change.

Now, before anyone gets too overwrought or overjoyed with the results, here's some food for thought from Rasmussen Reports:
  • President Obama's overall approval rating has actually improved three points since the election, up to 48% from 45%.  The media and political consultants tried to make this election about the President and his negative rating, but here's the thing they don't tell you:  for 56 of his 70 months in office, his total approval rating has been between 45% and 49% --  including all of 2010, 2011, and so far in 2014, two-thirds (eight months) of 2013 and three quarters (nine months) of 2012. 
  • Yes, Americans voted in a Republican majority in the Senate, and expanded the majority in the House but a majority of us (59%) think that the new Congress will be a disappointment.
  • Not sure whether there's a correlation, but 35% of us have a drink at least once a week. Of the imbibers, 25% of them drink several times a week or every day.  The questions didn't include "have you had a drink today?" but one can only figure that, if political candidates were surveyed last Tuesday, the number raising a glass to that question would have been very high. 

Remember Ebola? You know, that "issue" facing America that surfaced in ads from the right-wing interest groups right before the elections?  That "issue" that right-wing anti-czaristas like John McCain felt needed an czar? Yeah, turns out not so much.  According to a Fox News poll from the end of October, most Americans were not on board with that. 
  • When asked whether they thought appointing an Ebola czar was a PR stunt or a serious attempt to address the problem, only 23% thought it was a serious attempt.  That would be Republicans elected officials, apparently.  Two thirds of us know better.

The Pew Research Journalism Project took a look at media habits of folks, and have some interesting findings on which media sources are trusted, and by whom.  
  • Not surprisingly, 47% of people who identify as consistent conservatives get their news from Fox. Consistent liberals are all over the map, with CNN (15%) NPR (13%), MSNBC (12%) and the New York Times (10%) sitting on top of the heap. 
  • When it comes to trusting media sources,  the consistent conservatives trust more than distrust only these: The Wall Street Journal; The Blaze (Glenn Beck's outlet) and Glen Beck himself; Fox News; Sarah Palin-favorite Breitbart News Network; the Drudge Report; Sean Hannity; and Rush Limbaugh. Consistent liberals, on the other hand, trust most than distrust 28 of the 36 media sources, including both The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. Which at least reaffirms they have a sense of humor. 
  • Everyone apparently trusts more than distrusts The Wall Street Journal. Of the news sources mentioned, it's the only one that received a 'trust' from all groups, which in addition to consistently liberal and consistently conservative also included mostly liberal, mostly conservative, and mixed. On the flip side, Buzzfeed is the only one distrusted by folks of all stripes. 
  • Of the major networks, only ABC captured trust ratings from all but the consistent conservatives. (Note to NBC: perhaps paying hiring inexperienced children of former presidents is not helping your credibility as a news organization?)
  • I wonder what the trust score would have been for Inforwars, home of the false flag?

Speaking of  mostly distrusted Buzzfeed, they're sharing access (with the afore-mentioned highly trusted ABC News) to Facebook's 'sentiment analysis' data, which aims to analyze user preferences based on what gets posted. Looking ahead to 2016, here's a sampling of who's hot:
  • Pianist/golfer/former Bush Administration hawk Condi Rice (72%), Medicare-slashing budgetarian and former Veep candidate Paul Ryan (65%), union-busting governor Scott Walker (57%) and Rand Paul (56%) on the Republican side
  • Literally Joe Biden (67%), Hillary "what difference at this point does it make" Clinton (57%), Elizabeth "a better Hillary than Hillary" Warren (56%) and our own Sonofa Governor, Andrew Cuomo (56%).  

As I said, liberals sure do have a good sense of humor. They're going to need one for a while.