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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Four polls, one conclusion: We're all fucked.

I know I've been silent, but then again, it's not like I get all that much, or frankly, any, traffic. From the beginning, I viewed this blog with a bit more honesty than I saw in other blogs, and realized that, in the final analysis, this would be nothing more than one of several million places where one guy vents his spleen, a small act of self-indulgence made far larger by modern technology. So, in keeping with those roots while introducing something new, I bring you recent polls collated by, with a touch of the old, snide commentary as the mood strikes me.

According to a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll conducted from November 8-9 with 900 registered voters and a margin of error of ± 3%, asked the question, "Overall, do you think the Bush Administration is more ethical, less ethical, or about as ethical as other recent presidential administrations?" The response was 29% believing the current administration is more ethical, 39% less ethical, 28% same, and 5% unsure. Gee, this really sounds like a guy who promised to clean up the ethical problems of the previous administration has been doing a bang-up job. What I find even more interesting is that this was a poll conducted by Fox News, an unapologetically center-right news network, and yet Bush did that poorly.

From November 8-13, The Harris Poll asked 1,011 adults, "Do you think that the Bush Administration generally provides accurate information regarding current issues or do you think they generally mislead the public on current issues to achieve their own end?" The margin of error was ± 3%, and the response was as follows: Among all adults, 32% accurate, 64% misleading, 4% unsure; among Republicans, 68% accurate, 28% inaccurate, 4% unsure; among Democrats, 7% accurate, 91% misleading, 2% unsure; and among Independents, 25% accurate, 73% misleading, 2% unsure. One could take several conclusions could be derived from this poll, such as the possibility that Republicans are less likely to vote in lock-step with their party than Democrats or that the Republican Party's base is even becoming disgusted with the current administration. Naturally, I pay the most attention to the Independents, whose votes are critical in winning any election. Republicans will almost invariably vote Republican and Democrats will almost invariably vote Democrat, but Independents decide elections. I listen to what President Bush says, and I can't believe some of the bullshit he's spewing, though other things, I actually agree with. Among those policies of his I agree with, I either agree with them for different reasons and/or feel he's approaching in an inept manner. Then again, I felt almost the same way about President Clinton.

This brings me to my last poll for this extended rant. Between November 8-13, The Harris Poll asked 1,011 people how Republicans and Democrats are doing in Congress, with a margin of error of ± 3%. The results were equally dismal, with Republicans being rated 27% excellent/pretty good and 69% only fair/poor, and Democrats being rated 25% excellent/pretty good and 70% only fair/poor. I cannot honestly claim to be an expert, but I know bad numbers when i see them. If there were viable alternative parties, I would be seriously worried if I were a member of either party's leadership. As it stands, I would only be worried if I were a member of the Democratic Party leadership. I say that because it's far more difficult to unseat an incumbent than it is to retain a seat, and to successfully do so, one must be demonstrably better than the incumbent one is trying to replace. According to this poll, it is painfully clear that the Democrats are utterly failing to do so. I've posted my opinions on the reasons this is so, but the most critical of these is that the Democratic Party leadership hasn't evolved beyond a "not them" stance. As evidenced by Hilary Clinton's election to the United States Senate, that's simply not sufficient to win major elections. That was the core of her opponent's campaign, and as a result, Hilary Clinton won the election with about 70% of the vote, if memory serves. To retake control of Congress and have a real shot at the White House in 2008, the Democratic Party needs to express a real and realistic vision for the future and produce a candidate who can appeal to a wider base than the two clunkers they've turned out for the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

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