Sunday, April 18, 2010

CHANGE! Poll Finds Epic Distrust as Public Repudiates Congress, Obama Administration!

A new survey at the Pew Research Center finds "epic dissatifacation" with government and elected officials. See, "Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor: The People and Their Government":

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By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days. A new Pew Research Center survey finds a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government -- a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials.

Rather than an activist government to deal with the nation's top problems, the public now wants government reformed and growing numbers want its power curtailed. With the exception of greater regulation of major financial institutions, there is less of an appetite for government solutions to the nation's problems -- including more government control over the economy -- than there was when Barack Obama first took office ....

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Source: Pew Research, "Public Trust in Government: 1958-2010"

Hostility toward government seems likely to be a significant election issue and an important element in both midterm voting intentions and turnout. While there was widespread distrust of the federal government in the late 1990s, just 37% went so far as to say that the federal government needed "very major reform." Today, that figure stands at 53%; increasing numbers of Republicans, independents and Democrats say that government needs very major reform. Still, far more Republicans (65%) and independents (54%) than Democrats (41%) express this view.

Consistent with this pattern of partisanship, anti-government sentiment appears to be a more significant driver of possible turnout among Republicans and independents than among Democrats. Among Republican voters who are highly dissatisfied with government, 83% say they are absolutely certain to vote in the midterm elections; that compares with 67% of Republicans who express low levels of frustration with government. By contrast, there is no difference in intention to vote among Democrats who are highly frustrated with government (63%) and those who are less frustrated (64%).

Perhaps more troubling for Democrats, the link between dissatisfaction with government and voting intentions is at least as strong among independent voters. Independents who are highly dissatisfied with government are far more committed to voting this year than are independents who are less frustrated (78% vs. 58%). Overall, independents voters slightly favor the GOP candidate in their district by a 41%-to-34% margin, but those who are highly dissatisfied with government favor the Republican candidate by an overwhelming 66%-to-13% margin. Independents who are less dissatisfied with government favor the Democratic candidate in their district (by 49% to 24%), but are much less likely to say they are certain to vote.

While the GOP has a decided enthusiasm advantage predicated on discontent with government, it has a potential unity problem given the appeal of the Tea Party to many of its members. Only about half of Republicans (49%) say that the GOP is the party that best reflects their views right now, while as many as 28% cite the Tea Party. Among independents who lean Republican, the problem is potentially greater: As many say the Tea Party best reflects their views right now (30%) as the GOP (29%), with nearly as many saying nobody is representing their views (28%).
IMAGE CREDIT: Serr8d's Cutting Edge.

4 comments:

Rick said...

This comes as no surprise. This administration is the most secretive ever--even more than Nixon.

Donald Douglas said...

Thanks for commenting, Rick!

Rick said...

DD,

Thanks for balancing the information.

dave in boca said...

I'll see Rick and go him one further---this regime is the most dishonest ever---even more than Nixon or Clinton when he pardoned Marc Rich & the 19 FALN Puerto Rican terrorists. Oh yeah, and lying to a Federal Judge under oath that got Billy Jeff disbarred for five years, let alone his fibs under oath about Monica L. under oath in other areas where he got off with a symbolic impeachment.

We don't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more, but we still have that lyin' Waco & other horrific misjudgment POTUS Billy Jeff to clobber when his whack-a-mole head pops out of the carny game's numerous holes!