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October 19, 2012 9:34 AM Galluping To Conclusions

By Ed Kilgore

It’s safe to say that yesterday’s Gallup Tracking Poll showing Mitt Romney opening up a 7-point lead among likely voters produced a serious freakout amongst the chattering classes. Weren’t we supposed to be seeing some positive momentum for Obama from the Biden/Ryan debate and then the second presidential debate? Hadn’t the Romney Surge from the first debate subsided? Some conservatives began to cultivate their inner Dick Morris and prepared celebrations for The Romney Landslide. All this overreaction, of course, was fed by a relative dearth of big national polls in the last few days, aggravated by widely varying surveys of battleground states (though most showed significant progress for Romney).

It’s possible to get a little more perspective this morning. Nate Silver published a long post last night that noted Gallup had published outlier polls in past elections:

Usually, when a poll is an outlier relative to the consensus, its results turn out badly.
You do not need to look any further than Gallup’s track record over the past two election cycles to find a demonstration of this.
In 2008, the Gallup poll put Mr. Obama 11 points ahead of John McCain on the eve of that November’s election.
That was tied for Mr. Obama’s largest projected margin of victory among any of the 15 or so national polls that were released just in advance of the election. The average of polls put Mr. Obama up by about seven points.
The average did a good job; Mr. Obama won the popular vote by seven points. The Gallup poll had a four-point miss, however.
In 2010, Gallup put Republicans ahead by 15 points on the national Congressional ballot, higher than other polling firms, which put Republicans an average of eight or nine points ahead instead.
In fact, Republicans won the popular vote for the United States House by about seven percentage points — fairly close to the average of polls, but representing another big miss for Gallup.
Apart from Gallup’s final poll not having been especially accurate in recent years, it has often been a wild ride to get there. Their polls, for whatever reason, have often found implausibly large swings in the race.

Nate Cohn chipped in with a look under the hood of the Gallup methodology, and particularly its likely voter screen, which produced a projected electorate that looked more like 2010’s than 2008’s:

[T]he idea that the electorate would be less white than the 2010 midterm elections seems harder to imagine, but Gallup’s likely voter universe is actually even whiter than their likely voter surveys prior to the 2010 midterm elections, which was 79 percent white.

And finally, this morning Ezra Klein published excerpts from a discussion with Gallup’s Frank Newport, after noticing that virtually the entire Romney lead was produced among respondents from the South, making him wonder if Gallup might be projecting a split between the popular and electoral college votes:

Last night, I spoke with Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup, to ask him if I was missing something. He said I wasn’t. “That’s certainly what it looks like,” he says.
But Newport was cautious in interpreting his numbers. Gallup’s poll cheered Romney supporters because it showed Romney gaining ground even after the second debate. But Newport didn’t see it like that. Remember, he warned, it’s a seven-day poll. “I think we’re still seeing leftover positive support for Romney and I don’t think we’re seeing impact yet from the second debate,” he says.
What you think is going on in the race depends on whether you think the electorate will ultimately look more like Gallup’s “likely voter” model, where the race is a blowout, or all registered voters, where it’s a dead heat. So I asked Newport to explain the likely voter model to me.
“The likely voters model takes into account changes in the response to questions about how closely they’re following and how enthusiastic they are,” he said. “It’s not just capturing underlying movement — it’s representing changes in enthusiasm.” That sounds, I replied, like a model that would tend to overstate the effects of major events that favored one candidate or the other, as their supporters would grow temporarily more enthusiastic and attentive, while the other side would grow temporarily disillusioned. Newport agreed. “I wouldn’t use the word ‘overstate,’ ” he said. “But it would be very sensitive to changes in enthusiasm.

Okay. So Gallup’s own chief seems to be hinting we are likely to see additional big swings in their Tracking Poll quite soon, a tendency that Nate Silver notes is not unknown to characterize Gallup results in the recent past. So there will be even more attention paid to the Gallup site than is usual when it posts its next update at 1:00 EDT this afternoon.

Meanwhile, NBC/WSJ/Marist published two new battleground polls partially capturing post-second-debate sentiment (they were in the field Monday through Wednesday) and showing Obama’s leads holding up pretty well in Iowa (8 points among likely voters) and Wisconsin (6 points among LVs). Both polls suggested a landscape similar to that that prevailed before any of the debates. The Wisconsin results were particularly interesting as a contrast to yesterday’s Marquette Law School survey, taken entirely before the second debate, which showed Obama’s lead down to one point. And the NBC/WSJ/Marist findings also indicated that Obama was doing very well among early voters in both IA and WI.

I’d normally say “we’ll know soon who’s right,” but then again, we have another presidential debate on Tuesday, so Lord only knows when there will be a juncture of non-event-driven public opinion that can be reliably measured. For the moment, everybody has reason to freak out with fear or joy.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • c u n d gulag on October 19, 2012 9:55 AM:

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I wish polling results were only released to the politicians and their campaigns.

    This way, reporters, if there are any left, can do something besides compare the polling results - like talk about what the candidates and campaigns stand for.

    Instead, it's all about the horse race.

    If the above is too much to ask, how about polling companies releasing results only once a week - say Fridays?
    That might help boost weekend newspaper sales, something they desperately need, and TV news show ratings.

    Now, besides regular lobbying groups, polling is now an entrenched part of what Stephen Colbert called the "Political Industrial Complex" - somthing the the new PAC's and Super PAC's are hoping to also become a permanent part of. FSM help us all...

  • auntie beak on October 19, 2012 9:55 AM:

    color me confused. why does anyone, anywhere, pay attention to a national poll on the presidential race? we don't elect presidents by popular vote. what is the point? the only important, relevant numbers are the electoral college numbers.

  • Ronald on October 19, 2012 9:56 AM:

    It has always amazed me how polling is such a 'dark art' in so many ways.
    The Gallup dude just really showed that- polls responding wildly to perceived changes in small things aren't something that can be relied on.
    Then the only way to gauge accuracy is to look back on a surveys historical performance to discern potential bias.
    But then when the polling firms then change their methodology, even slightly, the historical performance metric goes out the window.
    Might as well read tea leaves and be about as accurate.

  • T2 on October 19, 2012 10:01 AM:

    when it ends, the result will be very close. Winning by 7% these days is just not going to happen. It now appears that any state aligned with the Confederacy will vote for Romney..even though a lot of those people really don't care for him. It's a race thing.
    But the South is a block which will skew lots of polls and race is a driving factor there. Sure there are blacks and browns down there, but their voting record is no where close to the whites.

  • howie on October 19, 2012 10:29 AM:

    T2,

    I'll agree it's a race thing in that Democrats are seen as candidates of African Americans. While there is constant racism casually tossed at the President, the polls would look the same for any white Democrat these days. They wouldn't be able to use code directly at a white Dem President, but they've sure make it plain that he was the President of "those people."

  • Just Dropping By on October 19, 2012 10:33 AM:

    [T]he idea that the electorate would be less white than the 2010 midterm elections seems harder to imagine, but Gallupís likely voter universe is actually even whiter than their likely voter surveys prior to the 2010 midterm elections, which was 79 percent white.

    I'm assuming that he meant to say the "idea that the electorate would be more white than the 2010 midterms," because the rest of the sentence doesn't make sense.

  • stormskies on October 19, 2012 10:42 AM:

    Beyond these fucking polls it remains simply astonishing that about half of our voting age fellow citizens will vote for buffoon, corporate automaton, and pathological liar Romney.

    I mean just reflect on the entire history of his campaign to date. It is replete with with lie after lie, deception after deception, all of which have been exposed even by the corporate media only because of the sheer volume of it all, his actual policies which are identical to Bush's and worse, his and Ryan's plan to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid, and his tax plan that will require the average American to deposit about $4,000 dollars directly into the pockets of the already obscenely rich.

    And about half of voting age public will vote for this ?

    What a fucking commentary on the sheer cretinism of about half of our population. And that cretinism is a reflection of their totally delusional / fictional universe that they live in that is reinforced by the self enclosed right wing media. These cretins heard themselves within that bubble so as to reinforce their delusional/ fictional universes.

    Just like cows at a feeding trough.

    Then we wonder while much of the rest of the world, which these cretins are utterly unaware of, laughs at our country because of it's sheer stupidity.

    We are, indeed, United Stupid America.

    USA ! USA ! USA !

  • BJ smith on October 19, 2012 11:18 AM:

    I'm not addicted to polls, but if you were, not sure how you would keep sane. There is one voice I respect, mostly because of his track record & of course I refer to Nate Silver. After all the way too many weigh in with conflicting ideas, Nate steps up & sorts it out for us. He has been on target in the past & cautions against anything definative at this crazy time.

  • Mike S on October 19, 2012 11:21 AM:

    Isn't the next debate on Monday?

  • bdop4 on October 19, 2012 12:43 PM:

    SS - "These cretins heard themselves within that bubble so as to reinforce their delusional/ fictional universes. Just like cows at a feeding trough."

    More like leading cows to slaughter, given that 99.9% of them will not benefit from any of Mitt's policies.

    It is amazing. They rattle off a series of bogus spoon-fed stats on how bad Obama has been for the economy, but when you ask them how Romney will create jobs, nothing. They couldn't describe how it would work if their lives depended on it.

  • Eric Wilde on October 19, 2012 1:04 PM:

    @c u n d gulag

    Please don't hide polling data. Transparency is by far the better policy, regardless of the irritating attention paid to daily fluctuations.

  • brewmn on October 19, 2012 1:15 PM:

    Although I always appreciate stormskies righteous rants, I have one minor quibble with this one. romney's plan will not automatically raise taxes on the middle class; instead, they most likely will simply blow up the deficit. See, Reagan Ronald and Bush, George W.

    What pisses me off about this is that for four years, in the midst of the massive deprivation of average folks caused by the 2008 financial crisis, all we heard about was how the rising deficit (caused in large part by that very same financial crisis) was going to crush us all. and now that Romney is baldly stating that he's going to blow the deficit up by another half a trillion a year, nobody in the media seems to care.

    You can argue that middle class tax increases are not required in response to Romney's big tax cut. You cannot argue that he as of yet has provided no plausible way to pay for that tax cut. Failure to hold these putative deficit hawks' feet to the fire on their budget-busting tax plan is journalistic malpractice on the media's part and political malpractice on the part of the Democrats.

  • Chuck on October 20, 2012 9:30 AM:

    The answer to your question in the last paragraph is November 6 Kilgore, always the only poll that really matters. And to those attributing Obama's tailspin to racism, how do you account for him being elected 4 years ago (including in 3 of the former CSA)and for his rosy poll numbers before the first debate? Let me answer that for you...Obama choked and the nation got to meet Romney, it's that simple. "Turn out the lights, the party's over..."

  • David on October 20, 2012 10:02 AM:

    @SS Ahhh...i just love the smell of liberal hysteria in the morning.

    If your candidate had been even marginally competent instead of an inept ideologue pushing a party agenda ahead of the national interest, Mitt Romney wouldn't even be in this race.

    Instead, Romney is surging because, at then end of the day, Mr. obama has failed, and the American people aren't foolish enough to continue this spiraling death march towards more debt and total fiscal insolvency. It's time for competence in the White House, which is why my vote will be cast for Governor Romney.

  • David on October 20, 2012 10:04 AM:

    @SS Ahhh...i just love the smell of liberal hysteria in the morning.

    If your candidate had been even marginally competent instead of an inept ideologue pushing a party agenda ahead of the national interest, Mitt Romney wouldn't even be in this race.

    Instead, Governor Romney is surging because, at then end of the day, Mr. obama has failed, and the American people aren't foolish enough to continue this spiraling death march towards more debt and total fiscal insolvency. It's time for competence in the White House, which is why my vote will be cast for Governor Romney.

  • John on October 20, 2012 10:05 AM:

    Before speaking of who lacks the most intelligence, we should stick to the facts and realize that neither candidate has provided specifics on what they would do after being elected. I wouldn't use what Europeans think about us as an example of what is wrong with this country- having lived there for a decade I experienced their system And I prefer ours. As far as hatred towards us it's expected when you're a leader in the world. Many, even in Europe would love to see us lose our leadership role in the world. As far as Romney being this satan that the Obama campaign has worked so hard to depict, if it were true he wouldn't have been elected Governor of the most liberal state in the union if he were. Between extreme righ Bush (although not fiscally) and extreme left Obama, I prefer moderate Romney.

  • Tom Genin on October 20, 2012 10:18 AM:

    Ah, but the author fails to take into account that Gallup recently changed their polling methodology, at the behest of the White House no less.

    And the author ignored the basic reason for the poll is to pick the winner. Yes being spot on is better, but Gallup had the right winner in the last two....just like they will this time.

  • Mysterb on October 20, 2012 10:24 AM:

    I WANT YOU ALL TO REMEMBER THIS ELECTION !!!!
    The Republicans have totally dismissed the previous 8 years prior to Obama. As they feel that is something that should have been fixed by now. First, I don't know of any entity..personal or business that could have spent like a drunken sailor for 8 years and then pay it off in four. When the average person buys a car or house
    they spend an enormus amount of money in one day. It can take anywhere from 4 to 25 years just to pay that off.
    So now, If Mitt wins and fails to change anything in the next 4 years..You can bet when the election comes around in 2016 He will be whining about the massive mess left by Obama. They are such hypocrites and we have such short memories...Please do not forget this election

  • Danceswithtrees on October 20, 2012 10:26 AM:

    In 2008 candidate Obama said "If you don't have big ideas you use stale tactics to scare the voters" like Romnesia, Big Bird and binders. Romney has laid out a simple 5 point plan to get this country moving in the right direction. Americans, especially women, have heard Romney's plan and like it, and it shows in the polls moving his way. Obama is flailing with a new attack line almost daily now. He has ZERO ideas left. It will be a rout!

  • Massimo on October 20, 2012 10:52 AM:

    I don't personally believe Romney is up by 7 among LV, but I just feel the figure is wrong, not the colour. At the present time it's red anyway. Recently some polls showed Obama ahead by 2-3 points (IBD/TIPP Tracking, Hartford Courant/UConn, ABC News/Wash Post)but they all have a sample with way more democrats than they should. Dem +7 or Dem+9 would be comparable o even better (for Obama) than the turnout he had in 2008. Unlikely that's going to happen this year. I don't know the Gallup sample, but Rasmussen's has a very reasonable Dem+2-Dem+3 and Romney is still by 1 or 2, depending on the day. Keep in mind 2004 election CNN exit poll showed GOP and Dems tie at 37. This election is way closer to 2004 than 2008. If the two parties showed similar numbers on election day it will all come down to indipendents, and Romney confortably leads among indipendents this year. This is Massimo from Italy, watching closely the US election and sorry if my english is not as good as yours! :)

  • Manzoa on October 20, 2012 11:13 AM:

    Nice spin...roll out Nate Silver who whines about Gallup...but when you read his full article, his main complaint is that Gallup overstated the margin of victory in 2008 and 2010, not that it got the outcome wrong. Hellooo. This is not Vegas...point spread is irrelevant. Look at this way..in Vegas you can bet the money line where you only pick the winner without a point spread. So Mr. Silver and all the others whistling past the graveyard...this ain't Vegas baby. On more very inconvenient fact...no candidate above 50% in Gallup in mid October has EVER lost the election. This of course could be the first time, but I wouldn't bet on it.

  • ManInTheMoon on October 20, 2012 11:48 AM:

    Watching McLaughlin last night I was struck by the comment that OBama would win because of likeability. At first I thought this was absurd. Later it ocurred to me that people may be equating likeability and a concern for social justice. Does social justice trump economics as a campaign issue? Considering the total miasma of current economics it probably does. What people know for sure is that there is a strong correlation between American conservatism and monarchy. For some reason we all know that under monarchy the only security ( social justice ) is in being the monarch ( "Off with their heads!" ).

  • cleo48 on October 20, 2012 12:06 PM:

    I think Mr Kilgore has realized along with the rest of us that polls have now become more of a tool than an indicator.

  • CarolO on October 20, 2012 12:24 PM:

    I love the polls. Run to check everyday. I agree they area all over the place.
    I was surprised that Obama gained nothing from last debate. I don't vote so much on what they promise they will do but what they have done. bin Laden,the car companies, Obamacare and saving Medicare and Social Security is too big too ignore. I have to wonder how good it could be if the "job bills" had passed and the recession had not gone global.
    I could never vote for Romney. Too much hidden stuff. Hidden money, hidden tax returns. He is 15 behind in his own state because he wasn't the good Governor he claims to have been.
    Saving Medicare and Social Security is huge. I do not want a President who makes money off american workers everytime Bain buys another factory and the blatant disfranchising of voters is sickening.

  • Bart DePalma on October 20, 2012 12:55 PM:

    Actually, the polls are all showing the same thing - party members are supporting their own candidates and Romney is winning Independents by roughly 8%.

    The variation in the polling is driven by different assumptions concerning the number of minorities and cell phone users to put into the survey, which is resulting in more Democrats and far fewer Republicans in the respondent pool than have shown up in any recent election except the 2008 outlier. Even Rasmussen has a Democrat +4 bias.

    However, if you normalize the polling results to reflect the Democrat leaning exit polling of 2004 and 2010 when we had a similar GOP advantage in enthusiasm, Romney has an across the board lead within the margin of error in all of the polls.

  • Hillcrester on October 20, 2012 1:28 PM:

    The "excess" votes for Romney in the South don't give him extra electoral votes. Only FL, OH, CO, WI, and maybe IA or VA voters and polls matter now. If Romney loses OH, he would need all the rest of those states and maybe more.

  • camaraderie on October 20, 2012 1:42 PM:

    Well...Gallup is out today again with +6 for Romney.
    New Survey America has Ohio dead even. Ditto Iowa in the latest.
    FL,NC & VA are all also in the Mitt column in the latest polls.
    The Real Clear Politics average for the first time has Romney ahead in ELECTORAL votes...206-201 with the balance in tossup.
    If Obama doesn't have a big turnaround in the final debate, it is over. In other words...we WILL be Galluping to a conclusion...and happily!

  • E B on October 20, 2012 1:48 PM:

    I think you mean a freak-out among the liberal chattering classes.

    The media is playing us for fools. They mock Romney's plan and his "lack of detail" even though he does give detail (see his site) and they fail to report it. They don't mention that Obama doesn't even have a plan. They reference polls weighted unrealistically towards Democrats - above even 2008 levels. They create "gaffes" by taking Romney's words ridiculously out of context. They've created a fictitious, de-humanized Mitt Romney. They ignore Obama's terrible record with both domestic and foreign policy.

    Especially as we draw near to Election Day, it is important to read or watch both sides. Balanced coverage sure doesn't exist in one place and both sides leave stuff out. How can you make an informed opinion if you consider only one point of view? You can't. Thanks for listening.
    www.conservativemormonmom.blogspot.com

  • Joe on October 20, 2012 2:01 PM:

    Oh please Ed....what a crock...on one hand you suggest that Gallup is flawed and then show NBC/WSJ as accurate.... ? If Obama is not really down by six nationally, he sure as he'll isn't winning in Iowa by 8 or Wisconsin by 6.. Let's just call it for what it is...Romney has gained momentum and now leads slightly....deal with it!!!!

  • A. Hick on October 20, 2012 2:03 PM:

    The only likely good thing about a Romney presidency is that it would guarantee Jeb Bush never becomes president. Thank goodness for small favors.

    If Romney enters the White House, the US will run a 2 trillion dollar annual deficit at some point before he leaves office. He will argue it's not his fault, but

    1. Obama's fault,
    2. Clinton's fault,
    2. Jimmy Carter's fault,
    4. The fault of the terrorists, or the Iranians who made us go to war with them.
    5. Lazy welfare cheats.
    6. Fill in the blank with anyone but Romney, Republicans, or Wall Street speculators who (thanks to his tax "reforms") pay little or no taxes on the passive/unearned income they hoard offshore.

    Don't let Wall Street Willard do for America what he did to his dog. DON'T POOP ON AMERICA in 2012!

    Visit www.muttsagainstmitt.com

    Like Romney and think he offers FRESH AIR FOR AMERICA?
    Show your support at muttsformitt.com

  • Joe on October 20, 2012 2:09 PM:

    To the poster who mentioned that Obama could not be expected to fix the spending of a drunken sailor.. I agree but he wasn't supposed to down the rest of the sailors bottle and buy and drink another gallon....what an incredibly stupid comment to suggest that his predecessor was a drunken sailor and he is an Admiral....unreal

  • mark l. on October 20, 2012 2:20 PM:

    yes gallup has missed races...
    they overstated the final dem number in 2008, 2004, 1996, and 1992.

    rasmussen is also capable of mistakes. they had gore 49, bush 40, for 2000.

    with all due respect to nate silver fans...
    he isn't a pollster.

    in 2010 he had 16 congressional toss ups. the gop won 15.

  • exegesis on October 20, 2012 2:25 PM:

    Romney must win because he is able to fix the mess here and abroad that Obama exacerbated.

    If you voted for Obama last time, vote for Romney or stay at home. It is the only chance we have.

  • Kevin on October 20, 2012 2:40 PM:

    Interesting comments about Gallup, but I have to wonder, why no criticism of most media polls, which routinely over sample Democrats vs. Republicans by margins averaging 8% to 9%.

    Does anyone believe turnout will be +8% Democrats this election?

  • independentlady on October 20, 2012 3:03 PM:

    As an independent from Ohio, I am leaning Romney. I voted for Obama in 2008, but the reason I am more for Romney at the moment is two words: "media spite." I am so totally fed up with the biased MM that has completely trashed Romney throughout the election cycle and is totally in the tank for Obama. Actually, I'd love to vote in an effort to create the 269-269 electoral college tie. But, I'd love to see the looks on the biased media's faces who hyped Obama as the messiah of the western world if and when Romney wins the election.

  • Jaded-Fan on October 20, 2012 3:23 PM:

    So this is the fourth day in a row of a 6 or 7 point gap. When is Silver going to admit that his bias is undermining his work?

    Much like Crowley tried to act like the neutral referee and then took sides, Silver is acting like he is an impartial reader of numbers then puts together this convoluted piece of work trying to discount the poll he always pointed to most. Now I do not mind if Silver tries to explain in general why people should take polls with a gain of salt but he cherry picks. Where is the analysis of a large number of polls who oversample democrats to the point of ridiculousness, much higher than the 2008 election? Including some of the worst offenders who still are doing it and reflected in the RCP averages of polls? It undermines completely his credibility.

    The numbers look nice and are impressive. But I am an attorney. Let me handle your wife's divorce and I can get an appraiser to put an equally impressive set of numbers together to 'prove' that your house is worth half of what it is worth if she gets it, or double if you do. I know the games you can play when you have a horse in the race and it is obvious in this case that Silver is letting his bias cherry pick polls and discount others.

    The long and short of it is if he was correct about gallup reflecting lingering exuberance from debate one, you would not have a fourth day in a row of this gap.

  • valleyforge on October 20, 2012 3:26 PM:

    Since this was written, Gallup has put out two more days of polling. Romney is up 51-45 with 3 of the 7 days being after the debate. Obama actually ticked down today among registered voters (also 7-day sample) and in job approval (3-day sample of all adults). Rasmussen has Romney up 49-48 with a 3-day sample entirely after the debate. Doesn't look like Obama got any debate bounce, and perhaps the opposite.

  • Jaded-Fan on October 20, 2012 3:36 PM:

    To add to the above, the three polls that give Obama a +3 advantage in the RCP average ( http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html )

    Hartford Courant/UConn, ABC News/Wash Post and
    Politico/GWU/Battleground

    sample 7-9 more percent more democrats than republicans. That is one to three more percent than 2008 which is a ridiculous assumption. In the prior two elections democrats and republicans were within a point or two of each other. And everyone says that this election is close. There three polls consistently and very obviously oversample democrats as do a number of others. Where is Nate Silver's article about discounting these polls? He cherry picks which makes everything he says suspect.

  • truman on October 20, 2012 4:13 PM:

    I don't truat polls period. Just phrasing a question differently can skew a response. What bothers me is that people will let polls and ads influence how they vote. Most of the American public do not pay any attention until the very last minute and don't bother researching what a candidate stands for. It's a said state of affairs.
    I am one of those crazy people who is pretty sure that no president, Democrat or Republican, could turn this economy around within four years. This recession WAS the worst freefall we have seen since the Great Depression. Just ask people who actually were alive to feel the effects of the Great Depression.
    This president has had to deal with a do nothing Congress, just like Truman did, who are more concerned about getting rid of him than working to jumpstart the economy. They flat-out said that was their main goal only days after he took office.
    I say Congress is more the problem than any president. They have no term limits, they live high on the hog on the backs of the taxpayers, they get enormous amounts of cash from special interest groups to vote a certain way, and can even vote to raise their pay (which they always do).
    You can complain about a president all you want (this one got handed a steaming pile of you-know-what), but you need to follow what your congressional representatives are doing constantly, not just around elections. They are the ones who are really driving the car, and their poll numbers prove they shouldn't even have licenses.