Political Animal


December 04, 2012 5:12 PM That Pesky ACORN, and a Surge of Interest in Panetta-Burns

By Ed Kilgore

Public Policy Polling clearly decided to have some fun in its first post-election national survey. Take it away, Tom Jensen!

49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.
Some GOP voters are so unhappy with the outcome that they no longer care to be a part of the United States. 25% of Republicans say they would like their state to secede from the union compared to 56% who want to stay and 19% who aren’t sure.

During the “secession crisis” of 1861 that ultimately led to the Civil War, the crucial “swing” category of people in many southern states where those referred to as “conditional Unionists,” who did not favor immediate secession but opposed any use of coercion to restore the old Union. Is that where 19% of today’s Republicans stand?

Meanwhile, interest in big Grand Bargain deficit reduction plans that we have been told are essential to the survival of the Union remains relatively low:

As much of an obsession as Bowles/Simpson can be for the DC pundit class, most Americans don’t have an opinion about it. 23% support it, 16% oppose it, and 60% say they don’t have a take one way or the other.
The 39% of Americans with an opinion about Bowles/Simpson is only slightly higher than the 25% with one about Panetta/Burns, a mythical Clinton Chief of Staff/former western Republican Senator combo we conceived of to test how many people would say they had an opinion even about something that doesn’t exist.

The chattering classes are having a lot of fun on Twitter as we speak filling in the details of Panetta/Burns. Next up perhaps they can explain the ghostly presence of ACORN.

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.


  • T2 on December 04, 2012 5:27 PM:

    "Is that where 19% of today’s Republicans stand?" Yes, it sure is. That's why we have Tea Partiers wanting to "take our country back" to pre CIVIL WAR days where you could actually OWN someone to cook, clean and work for you, call you Massah.
    You want to know what's wrong with this country...look no further than this PPP poll.
    Helps you understand why they hate Obama so much, doesn't it.

  • Gary K on December 04, 2012 5:35 PM:

    Maybe they were thinking Pancetta. I'd be in favor of that!

  • c u n d gulag on December 04, 2012 5:38 PM:

    Why is that I'm not surprised that the members of the New Know Nothing Party think that ACORN is reponsible?

    Also too SDS, The Weather Underground, and the Yippies!

  • Doug on December 04, 2012 6:06 PM:

    Live by the bubble, die by the bubble.

  • jrosen on December 04, 2012 6:26 PM:

    These people are mentally ill.

  • Peter on December 04, 2012 6:37 PM:

    One of the Panetta/Burns tweets reminded me of an old Monty Python line: "To boost the British economy, I would tax all foreigners living abroad!"

  • bcinaz on December 04, 2012 7:30 PM:

    True or False: People who get their information from FOX News know less about events than people who do not watch any news at all.


  • R on December 04, 2012 8:56 PM:

    Fox "News" is indeed a scourge and should not be allowed to call itself a news organization. But shouldn't the other media outlets be working harder at presenting the facts and spending less time on opinion polls? Who thought up the question about Acorn stealing the election and why? When do questions like that qualify as push-polling? Here are some poll questions I'd like to see: What are the main goals of the Bowles-Simpson plan? What are marginal tax rates? What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid? What percentage of the federal budget is spent on defense? Can you express that percentage as a fraction? Who is Nate Silver? Who is John Boehner?

  • punaise on December 05, 2012 2:17 AM:

    @Gary K: six degrees of separation from bacon!

  • Yellowdog on December 05, 2012 7:38 AM:

    I am sure that is Monty Burns, who is the best representative of the GOP I can think of.

  • brewmn on December 05, 2012 10:34 AM:

    R's got it exactly right. It's galling in the extreme that members of the news media are gloating over how uninformed the average American is, when they spend so much of their time covering everything about politics except the actual substance. If people are misinformed, MSM, it's you fault. You should be ashamed of yourselves, not laughing at the rubes you've helped bamboozle. Disgusting.