Monday, May 4, 2009

National political environment assessment by GOP agency

Wilson Research Strategies, a Republican outfit, just released an assessment of the national political environment for May. (via @PatrickRuffini)  Mainly, they say while Obama remains personally popular, folks are not as supportive of his policies, which, they say, makes him like Carter and not Clinton.  Also, apparently Obama is not helping Congressional Democrats, which leaves them optimistic about the GOP's chances of regaining control of the House in 2010 - assuming the GOP develops an overarching response to the Obama administration, rather than a piecemeal approach.

A few questions and observations:
1. Slide 10 - "independents beginning to have doubts" - Obama's approval rating among Independents is relatively steady at ~60% (slide 9), so this statement isn't correct.
2. The "Obama is most polarizing President" meme - slide 11 - has been hashed over many-a-time.  In short, Obama is more popular among Democrats than any previous President, and the Republicans these days are just the hard Conservative core (e.g. the Arlen Specter party switch), so obviously they don't like anything Obama does.
3. Slide 14: Are Obama's ratings more like Carter or Clinton?  No comparables are provided.
4. Slide 16: Only 6% think negatively of Obama for "not reaching out to Republicans."  Clearly, Obama doesn't have to worry about appearing partisan!
5. Slide 17: WRS says support for Obama's economic policies is soft.  But only 21% oppose President Obama's economic policies!  The rest either support Obama and/or his policies (knowing or hoping they work), or support Obama for what he's trying to do, though they doubt his policies will work.  (And I thought teabaggers were a MAJORITY of the population! /snark)
6. Opposition to bailouts and impact of teaparties in slides 22-23: I sure would like to see non-Rasmussen polls for these questions.  Ras has a known house effect in favor of Republicans, even going so far as to pen an anti-Obama WSJ op-ed while claiming to be an independent pollster. [See Mark Blumenthal/Charles Franklin for a detailed explication of Rasmussen's WSJ claims.]

However, it is an interesting look at one Republican viewpoint, and it definitely is a way for Republicans to frame the debate so that they regain power.  Question is, will they be able to overcome, in particular, the Obama administration, which has proved very adept at communicating their policies with the public.  As proof, see #5/Slide 17.

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