Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

April 7, 2009

NYT/CBS POLL.... The latest New York Times/CBS News poll is chock full of interesting results, a couple of which might actually have some political significance.

While presidential approval ratings are often the most notable statistics in a national poll, that's probably the least interesting part of this one. President Obama, not surprisingly, remains quite popular, enjoying a 66% approval rating, up slightly from the last NYT/CBS News poll. More important, though, was the noticeable increase in public optimism.

[T]he number of people who said they thought the country was headed in the right direction jumped from 15 percent in mid-January, just before Mr. Obama took office, to 39 percent today, while the number who said it was headed in the wrong direction dropped to 53 percent from 79 percent. That is the highest percentage of Americans who said the country was headed in the right direction since 42 percent said so in February 2005, the second month of President George W. Bush's second term.

The percentage of people who said the economy was getting worse has declined from 54 percent just before Mr. Obama took office to 34 percent today. And 20 percent now think the economy is getting better, compared with 7 percent in mid-January.

And how are things going for the GOP? Not at all well.

[J]ust 31 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest in the 25 years the question has been asked in New York Times/CBS News polls. [...]

By more than three to one, voters said they trusted Mr. Obama more than they trusted Congressional Republicans to make the right decisions about the economy. And by more than two to one, they said they trusted Mr. Obama to keep the nation safe, typically a Republican strong suit.

Respondents were asked, "Regardless of how you usually vote, do you think the Republican Party or the Democratic Party is more concerned with the needs and problems of people like yourself?" Respondents preferred Dems, 57% to 22%.

One of these days, they're bound to figure out that the public isn't buying what the party is selling.

But these are the numbers I was especially interested in.

Almost three-quarters of Americans think it is a good idea to raise taxes on people making more than $250,000 per year. In fact, two-thirds of Americans think the tax code should be changed so that middle-class Americans pay less than they do now and "upper income" people pay more. [...]

Fifty-seven percent of Americans say they are willing to pay higher taxes in order to provide all Americans with health care coverage.... Asked which domestic policy area the president and the Congress should focus on other than the economy, thirty-five percent said health care, the top choice.

Something for lawmakers to keep in mind. Fox News, Limbaugh, and far-right bloggers may be outraged by a progressive agenda, but the public in general seems to think it's a good idea.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (41)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

One of these days, they're bound to figure out that the public isn't buying what the public is selling.

I assume the second "public" was meant to read "corporate media".

Posted by: Danp on April 7, 2009 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

A Health Care Tax. Novel idea. In NYState monies generated by Lotto sales was supposed to be placed into education. Your guess is as good as mine but methinks that isn't happening. If a "Lock Box" tax was utilized to fund, at least in part, the costs of a "real" health care plan, one that would be similar to that enjoyed by the clowns in washington, I think the public would line up to pay it.

Next, force the clowns to participate or make their health care the same as , let's say, someone in Biloxi, Mississippi. Wouldn't you just love seeing Cantor, or McConnell, or that ass hole Limbaugh waiting in line outside a clinic with a fever? I would...

Posted by: stevio on April 7, 2009 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

Of course Limbaugh want Obama to fail. A successful Obama adminstration would pretty much render him, his ilk and the Republican party completely irrelevant. They're almost there already.

My guess is that continued poll results such as these will push the Republicans and thier mouthpieces to become even more extreme. Their base will be concentrating down further and further.

Posted by: Saint Zak on April 7, 2009 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

Will Obama's lack of bipartisanship be blamed for the public's negative feelings toward Republicans? Time will tell.

Posted by: MatthewRQuarreler on April 7, 2009 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

"We don't pay attention to polls."
-The GOP

Posted by: Dennis-SGMM on April 7, 2009 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

We need to get Al Franken in the senate!

Posted by: JS on April 7, 2009 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

"the public" have thought progressive ideas better than regressive republican ideas for a long time. this is not news.

it only seems surprising if you listen only to the paid shills.

Posted by: karen marie on April 7, 2009 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

The takeover of the GOP by talk radio/Fox which clearly resonates strongly with about 20% of the electorate which is geographically concentrated in the the south is a fascinating phenomenon. Usually when Republicans lose elections they tend to swing right but there's usually been the governor of electoral reality to stop them going completely over the cliff but that really seems to missing this time around. It's probably the conjunction of the internet, cable tv and talk radio but they are really leaving reality far behind. Obama and his team not to mention hte Dems in congress must be rubbing their hands with glee.

Posted by: otto on April 7, 2009 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats were equally unpopular at this point in Bush's first term.

Okay, I just made that up, but don't bother correcting me. I have a remarkable mental mechanism that protects me from ever facing up to a lifetime of piss-poor judgment, bad predictions, false premises and total fabrications.

The carnage in my O.R. was pretty bad as a result, but that's all water under the bridge now. On to my next big statement!

Posted by: Myke K on April 7, 2009 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, get Franken in, by all means, but also get the so-called Moderate Dems out and force the Dems to enact Obama's agenda. I'm sick to death of the incompetence and bought-and-paid-for conservatism of the Dumbocrat party. Reid must go although there's scarcely a candidate with spine and conviction to take his place. And don't say we have to remain loyal to Dumbocrats because Rethuglicans are worse. Dems must be held accountable to the people who elected them or it's all for nothing.

Posted by: Frak on April 7, 2009 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

The poll reported: "Fifty-seven percent of Americans say they are willing to pay higher taxes in order to provide all Americans with health care coverage ..."

Steve Benen commented: "Something for lawmakers to keep in mind."

Lawmakers, and the Obama administration, are well aware that the American public, as well as a majority of doctors, favor a national, single-payer, nonprofit medical insurance system under open, accountable, efficient public administration -- just like every other major developed country has, resulting in lower health care costs and better outcomes.

That's why they are so insistent that single payer is "off the table" and must not ever, ever, ever be substantively discussed.

Because the fundamental purpose of America's so-called "health care system" is not to provide health care, or medical treatment. It is to provide profits for the insurance corporations.

And the Democrats know this truth just as well as do the Republicans.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 7, 2009 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

I take anything that comes out of the NY Times with a grain of salt. They're a rag for the Left.

The one sentence that bothers me the most is people advocating raising taxes on those making over $250K/yr and lowering taxes on the "middle class". This tells me the Left's tactic of Class Warfare is taking hold, and many in the Middle Class agree with wealth redistribution. I don't have enough "stuff" (based on my definition of "enough"), so use the power of govt to take it away from someone who earned it by playing by the rules and GIVE it to me. Talk about greed!

Posted by: JohnR on April 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

JohnR, you go ahead and squeal about the will of the majority being "class warfare" all you want. Never mind your valiant efforts to obscure the true class warfare of the past twenty-odd years that's been waged against 99% of the wage earners in this country. Never mind the puerile selfishness of the "mine!! all mine!!" crowed who'd rather let bridges rot, people die, societies crumble than pay their fair share. Yeah, stamp you feet and lob your sad little plaints, JohnR. This is America. Even the emotionally retarded can have their say.

Posted by: Conrads Ghost on April 7, 2009 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Never mind your valiant efforts to obscure the true class warfare of the past twenty-odd years that's been waged against 99% of the wage earners in this country.

In the minds of JohnR and his pals, "class warfare" isn't the systematic efforts to eliminate the middle class and further marginalize the poor. It's having the poor taste to point out and remark disapprovingly upon these actions.

Posted by: shortstop on April 7, 2009 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Based on last elections polls this poll is unrealaible and public cannot trust it. If you look in Russmusen daily poll(most relaible) Obama's approval rating is 58% vs 42% disapproval.

Posted by: redmonkey on April 7, 2009 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

...this poll is unrealaible and public cannot trust it. If you look in Russmusen daily poll(most relaible)

If you had a million red monkeys and a million keyboards...

Posted by: shortstop on April 7, 2009 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

JohnR wrote: "This tells me the Left's tactic of Class Warfare is taking hold ..."

Let's hope so. It's about time the American people fought back against decades of ruthless, relentless, rapacious class warfare by a tiny, ultra-rich, increasingly hereditary, kleptocratic, corporate-feudalist minority against everyone else.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 7, 2009 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

People are short-sighted and imperfect, and as a general rule are usually wrong about trends. Once the impact of stimulus and bad foreign policy actually have time to take effect, the acutal results will supersede partisan polling "numbers"

Posted by: Samuel on April 7, 2009 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Funny how this writer picks the MOST UNRELIABLE POLL to comment on. Whether biased or not, a sample of some 900 AMERICANS (NOT LIKELY VOTERS OR EVEN REGISTERED VOTERS) is not large enough. On top of that we know of NYT's/CBS's mega liberal/democrat bias. This is propaganda. I'd say the same about FOX NEWS POLL though at least they use REGISTERED VOTERS. The independently rated MOST accurate polling firm RASMUSSEN which polls 1,500! LIKELY VOTERS! has had Obama at 58% to 41% which is ok, but not that great at this point in a presidency. This is believable and not the liberal/democrat dream world of 66% to 24% that this bogus NYT/CBS poll propagates. That 24% is impossible. He got a recent bounce from his overseas trip but this will disappear shortly. A few days ago RASMUSSEN had him at 56% to 44% (not that great). More importantly his "APPROVAL INDEX" is only at +8% and a few days ago it was at an all time low of ONLY +3%! Again, this is from the most accurate polling firm. This NYT/CBS poll is bogus and unreliable but this writer somehow picked this poll to write about. I wonder why?

Posted by: commonlogic on April 7, 2009 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Typical respond from the left - if you cannot beat facts start to insult opponent. Could you post something about fact: Rusmussen daily poll has 58% approval - 41% unapproval.

Posted by: redmonkey on April 7, 2009 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm, this time the monkey only got 68 percent of the words wrong. Make a note of that, Miss Jones.

Posted by: shortstop on April 7, 2009 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: Hmmmm, this time the monkey only got 68 percent of the words wrong. Make a note of that, Miss Jones.

And what about facts? Any respond?
In addition, read this:

http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson040409.html


Posted by: redmonkey on April 7, 2009 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Whether biased or not, a sample of some 900 AMERICANS (NOT LIKELY VOTERS OR EVEN REGISTERED VOTERS) is not large enough.

Why isn't it large enough? Because you say so? Because the pro-Republican slanted Rasmussen tells you so and it validates your fantasy world where President Obama isn't very popular?
And why is it necessary to poll registered or likely voters when the poll isn't asking about how people are going to vote?
Oh wait, I know why--you're an idiot.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on April 7, 2009 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Most people who make very large amounts of money don't earn it. Instead, they capture control of the levers of a system and abuse it.
Did the folks at AIG-FP "earn" their millions by making terrible bets that bankrupted the company? No. But he claimed a portion of the financial bets as they rolled in as his "share" of the profits. And will lose nothing now that all those bets turn out to be bad and those profits a mirage.
Did Ken Lewis of Bank of America "earn" his millions in compensation by jumping into subprime and destroying the market value of the company? No. But he did have his good friends on the compensation comittee of the corporation vote to give him a ton of money.
Unless someone creates real value for the greater economy (like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs) instead of paper profits, they didn't earn it.

In the golden age of the 50s that conservatives love so much, top taxes were 90%. We shouldn't go that far, but 50% on incomes over $1 million and 65% on incomes over $5 million sound fine to me. If that means CEOS will only want to get paid $5 million instead of 20, good. Society gets nothing of value from any extra pay to these people, all it gets is further rent seeking behaviour and abuse of the system.

Posted by: agorabum on April 7, 2009 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Allan Snyder: An independent study that rated polls from ABC to ZOGBY, compared their respective polls to actual results. This study indicated Rasmussen was historically the most accurate. This is a fact. Rasmussen is not biased in favor of republicans. In fact, I think he may even tilt the other way. I never said Obama wasn't popular to a degree. Just not to your dream world level that this bogus poll shows. NYT/CBS polls have been notoriously unreliable. Try to control your emotions, relax, and use your head before you post.

Posted by: commonlogic on April 7, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, two-thirds of Americans think the tax code should be changed so that middle-class Americans pay less than they do now and "upper income" people pay more. [...]
...
Fifty-seven percent of Americans say they are willing to pay higher taxes in order to provide all Americans with health care coverage

There is a contradiction. Somebodies in that poll believe that their taxes should be both increased and decreased.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 7, 2009 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

NEW york times/cbs poll has no credibility

NYT does push polling to get the results they

want in a poll.....CBS same....trust

Rasmussen Polls,Gallup Polls ....nbc,cbs,abc,

nyt,cnn forget all of these.

Posted by: whitney montrose on April 7, 2009 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

NEW york times/cbs poll has no credibility

NYT does push polling to get the results they

want in a poll.....CBS same....trust

Rasmussen Polls,Gallup Polls ....nbc,cbs,abc,

nyt,cnn forget all of these.

Posted by: whitney montrose on April 7, 2009 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

NEW york times/cbs poll has no credibility

NYT does push polling to get the results they

want in a poll.....CBS same....

Most reliable polls RASMUSSEN,GALLUP,and

Zogby. three separate organizations.


Posted by: whitney montrose on April 7, 2009 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

sorry. it's my first time on the internets!

Posted by: whitey montrose on April 7, 2009 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

It's agreed that many in the repub right wing as represented on TV is next to insane and desperate people do desperate things.

The repubs always put party first over country voting against anything which promotes the middle class.
I would not put making some false flag operation in order to gain political power past them. I see them as willing to lie cheat and steal to win elections so winning is of top priority.

I see them as willing to do anything that might make Obama fail or dems look bad. Not just pointing out what they might construe as failure but actually doing things to cause it. (I recommend putting shock collars and tracking devices on Michelle Bachmann and Glenn Beck, as behavior modification techniques in order to guage their success in controlling insane rhetoric and to prevent them from rabble rousing the afflicted. I don't remember dems ever speaking so insanely.)

Just saying...don't let success prevent you from watching your back. Just because most Americans are caring sharing sane people doesn't mean we can close our eyes to those who aren't. Remember, the profit motive usually makes things worse.

Posted by: bjobotts on April 7, 2009 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: JohnR on April 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Yeah John, I drive my little car right past all those huge freight trucks and think they shouldn't have top payy any more taxes than I do for highway upkeep.

Being born into the 5th generation of Johnson & Johnson and inheriting several billions of operational cash sure puts me on an even keel with those born in the poor neighborhoods...why should I pay any higher taxes than they do just because I have selling them my products for 50yrs and using up the country at 100Xs the rate they ever could, polluting the air the breathe , the water they drink, the food they eat. Their sickness just means more profits for me...and hey, I earned it. So don't you dare tax my 2nd billion at a higher rate...I need it to buy groceries-ha.

It's not wealth redistribution...it's "tax" redistribution and it doesn't prevent the rich from getting richer...it just keeps the poor from getting poorer. They don't pay increase tax on $250k...just on the dollars after $250k so excuse me if you think that causes suffering...it's still over $250k so I'm unsympathetic...those folks are doing just fine.

Posted by: bjobotts on April 7, 2009 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

There is ample evidence of Rassmusen polls tilting in favor of republican results. Pew polls are much more accurate.

Fox polls are everything you accuse nbc or cbs,cnn of being.

Rasmussen polls are notorious for asking questions in a manner designed to get certain results.

Compare their survey questions when you get a chance and you'll see. Here the questions seem pretty straight forward so why dispute the results? It's all in the wording of the questions and I see no problem with the wording here.

Posted by: bjobotts on April 7, 2009 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

bjobotts: I truly feel sorry for you. You are so confused about so many thing and what makes an economy work. Read your own post again. I'd be embarassed. Please ... use reason; use common sense and logic. Work on you writing and communication skills as well.

You say "Remember, the PROFIT MOTIVE usually makes things worse." What??? Don't you realize that if there wasn't a PROFIT MOTIVE, very few people would have jobs? Let me grant you that Obama may have the best intentions as he spends all these hundreds of billions of dollars. Where do you think the money comes from? Do you think it grows on trees? No! It comes from small, medium, and big businesses that have a PROFIT MOTIVE! It also comes from millions of americans who are employed by these businesses that have a PROFIT MOTIVE! Why do businesses exist? Why would they put up with all the risk, regulations, hassles, taxes, complications if there wasn't a PROFIT MOTIVE! Come on dude! You have to use your head! Bottom line: If there wasn't a PROFIT MOTIVE, Obama would have no money to spend. He would not be able to be so generous with everyone elses money. Take away the PROFIT MOTIVE and we'd all be miserably destitute.

One thing you did do however, is provide an interesting glimpse into the liberal democrat mindset.

Posted by: commonlogic on April 7, 2009 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

bjobbots: You couldn't be more ignorant about polls. Pew does have a fairly good track record but Rasmussen has been proven to be more accurate by independent studies that compare polls to actual election results. You are so far off to the left that you think Rasmussen tilts right when in reality he is in the middle and perhaps even tilts a little left. Please try to do a little research before you post.

The survey questions asked are important but the sample used is much more important. This is why NYT/CBS got their highly skewed results.

Posted by: commonlogic on April 7, 2009 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Whenever a poll is positive for the Democrats the Republicans claim that it is innaccurate. If the President slides a bit downwards, the Republicans take that poll as gospel. Give me a break Republicans. This poll plus CNN's polls (which are quite accurate. For example, they were accurate throughout the election and on election day, etc.)are a reflection of America. All polls show the President at a majority and the Republicans in Congress at its lowest in modern history. Check ANY poll for that. I guess conservative Fox and Rasmussen polls are legit, right? RIP GOP!!! Republicans have made ZERO gains with the American people despite their constant criticism of our President. Sore losers!!!

Posted by: Debbie on April 7, 2009 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

bjobbots: I'm sorry for being unkind in some of the things I wrote of a personal nature. I need to work on limiting what I write to the topic at hand and not lower the level of discourse.

The profit motive is crucially important for businesses and the economy. Stating this does not mean I'm in favor of profits at any cost or that involve breaking the law, which is part of the reason we are in this recession. I think we can agree on this point.

Posted by: commonlogic on April 7, 2009 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Debbie: Though there are many bogus polls that are skewed in favor of the GOP, Rasmussen is not one of them. You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own set of facts. One of the most accurate pollsters in general and especially in the last presidential election according to an independent analyst is and was RASMUSSEN. CNN was down in 8th place. This CBS/NYT was next to the last right above NEWSWEEK in 22nd place. The fact is that either CBS/NYT has no idea of how to obtain a sample or manipulated the sample to obtain this result. It is generally accepted that party affiliation favors democrats by about 6% at the low end to 12% at the high end. For this poll they interviewed 16% more democrats. Obama is popular and has a decent approval rating. The Rasmussen poll indicates this. However, he's just not as popular as this CBS/NYT poll would like us to believe.

Posted by: commonlogic on April 7, 2009 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Yet another story on this poll that totally fails to mention how it was sampled. This poll sampled 39% Democrats and only 23% Republicans. I don't care how much you hate the Republican Party, that sampling is totally bogus, period. This is even more true when one considers that recent generic ballot and party identification numbers that heavily favored the Democrats have been narrowing. On election day, exit polls showed that Democrats had a party identification advantage of only 7%. During the entire election season, the highest it ever got was 12%, and that was only shown in one poll. Furthermore, last month this same poll only had a 10% advantage. Not even a partisan Democrat can claim with a straight face that the number has increased by 6% in one month, especially when you consider the polls I discuss below.

Multiple recent polls, including ones by Diageo/Hotline, NPR, Democracy Corps, Fox News and Rasmussen demonstrate this. Furthermore, there was an article in National Journal just today indicating more independents favor the GOP now, as well as detailing how party identification is narrowing.
Moreover, when considering other polls, particularly the Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls, this one is clearly an outlier, as it has Obama's approval rating a full five percent higher than any other poll of the past week or so.

And frankly it is hilarious for people to claim Rasmussen and Fox News are biased and the NYT is not. Seriously, even the most ardent leftwinger would tell you that the NYT is biased.

As the gentleman above me so eloquently detailed, almost all recent polling has indicated a Democrat party identification advantage of about 6%. 16% is quite simply not believable, particularly when you consider this same poll, as I mentioned before, had it at 10% just three weeks earlier.

Also, here is the National Journal article I mentioned earlier. I guess some will claim they are biased though.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/pn_20090406_8228.php

The sampling used by this poll make it pure garbage. As much as I think the Republicans screwed things up in the past eight years, lying about polling numbers helps no one. Feel free to slam me and call me a liar. I have provided the necessary links to back up my post.

Posted by: Mark on April 7, 2009 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.pollster.com/polls/us/10-us-house-genballot.php

While the above is a generic ballot and I guess not technically a party identification poll aggregate, it shows, quite clearly, that a 16% party identification difference is not even remotely accurate. This is a poll aggregation so one would assume it has polls that are biased on both sides.

Posted by: Mark on April 7, 2009 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

"...quite clearly, that a 16% party identification difference is not even remotely accurate." Mark @ 8:36 PM
Yet, amazingly enough, that 23% Republican identification in your 8:26 PM posting is very close to the Republican approval ratings.
Let's face it, the citizens of this country prefer winners and, right now, that definitely doesn't describe the Republican Party. If running with the winners requires someone to agree to higher taxes for health care or on incomes over $250,000, apparently they're willing to do so.

Posted by: Doug on April 7, 2009 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly