July 15, 2012

Poll Watch: The Campaign, SCOTUS & Fast and Furious

With the political season heating up, how do we feel about the presidential election?  Well, not too great, according to a recent Pew poll.  Everyone – Republicans, Democrats and Independents -  find the campaign so far to be dull.

Independents, the group that the major parties are desperately courting, find it duller than Republicans (77% to 60%), with Dems (46%) finding it significantly less dull.  Maybe sitting around raising gazillions of dollars is uninteresting?

Those pesky Independents also think that the campaign is annoying already; can't wait to talk to them in October.  Also, if you’re in a battleground state, you’re seeing ads (again, 77%) and most folks (58%) are finding them to be a mix of positive and negative.  I’m not in a battleground state; after all, everyone knows what we're going to do here in New York. So the chances of me seeing an ad this early in the game are pretty slim - and I might not see any at all.

As expected, pollsters jumped at the chance to see what we thought of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act.  CNN found that 50% of us approved of the decision, and 49% disapproved.  And, the percent of those who were ‘enthusiastic’ or ‘pleased’ with decision, at 48%, was very close to the percentage of those who were ‘angry’ or ‘disappointed’ (51%).  The poll didn't ask why folks were disappointed, but 52% of us approve of most or all of the provisions of the ACA, vs. 47% who disapprove of most or all of them. Maybe we think it didn't go far enough?  Probably not.

So if we approve of the ACA, why is it that Republicans took their thirty-somethingth vote to get rid of (or de-fund) the law last Tuesday?  I assumed it's because they're self-serving politicians who just want to be reelected and are appealing to their base by thumping their chests against anything that the Administration is in favor of.  While that's true (I agree with my opinion 100%), interestingly on the question of repeal, 51% said get rid of everything and 47% said keep everything. 

Even though the responses to the two questions don’t seem to make sense, I think it some of it goes to the shouting coming out of Washington; the pro-repeal response was immediate and uniforma and loud compared to the pro-ACA contingent, which was more touchy-feely with stories of pepole who had benefited from the ACA. Or maybe it means that we think our laws, even the ones we like, should go.  Wouldn’t that be interesting!
And finally, Fox News polled us about Fast and Furious, using a fully loaded question to gauge our opinion:
You may have heard about a government operation under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms known as “Fast and Furious,” that was designed to track illegal gun sales and lead agents to gun cartel members so they could be arrested. Yet instead of stopping illegal gun trafficking, the operation allowed thousands of guns to be smuggled to criminals in Mexico and one is believed to have been used to kill a U.S. border agent. Do you think this operation was a good idea that went bad, or was it a bad idea from the start? 
In response, 34% thought it was a good idea gone bad, 54% thought it was a bad idea from the get-go, and 12% don’t know.  We remain conflicted on whether the Obama administration is hiding something (43%) or has a legitimate interest in applying executive privilege (42%) over disclosing additional documents on top of the over 7500 pages turned over to Congress so far, and on whether this whole investigation, largely driven by Darryl Issa (R-CA) is a witch hunt (32%), a cover up by the Administration (38%) or something else (30% some of both/don't know combined). Remarkably, they didn't ask if Fast and Furious was First and Foremost on their minds, as it suppposedly is in my Congressional district.
Where do you stand?