POS in the News, 3/13/09

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Gerald Seib writes:

But William McInturff, a Republican pollster who is co-director of The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, notes that an approval rating in the 60% range is about where new presidents often find themselves about now. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were in the same range at this point. Jimmy Carter actually had a 75% approval rating in Roper Center polling in mid-March of his first year. That certainly didn’t last.


Mr. McInturff and Peter Hart, a Democratic pollster who also oversees the Journal/NBC News poll, write in an analysis that it is noteworthy that confidence readings are lower “among groups that are likely to drift away from him eventually.” Among those in rural areas and small towns, for example, just 44% say they are confident in his goals and plans; 46% of independents say so. Confidence among senior citizens declined between January and March.


In response to poll questions, most Americans say they expect the recession to last for two years or so. Mr. McInturff thinks that, in reality, they will give the president less time, more like eight to 10 months, to show progress. Which reading is correct could be crucial.

There are also multiple articles since yesterday regarding the Pew Economic Mobility Project survey. PR Newsire has the official release.

Ronald Brownstein writes:

“People still think that individuals matter a great deal in this country, more so than government in determining their fate and what happens to them,” says Glen Bolger, the POS pollster who worked on the survey and accompanying focus groups.


“There is a decided lack of trust in government to do things and do things well, but on the other hand people certainly see a role for government to enact certain policies [that can help] improve their economic mobility,” Bolger says.

Voice of America:

A new study shows that Americans are optimistic that their economic prospects will improve within their lifetime and from one generation to the next. This, despite data that shows the United States has less economic mobility than many other industrialized countries.

A new study shows that Americans are optimistic that their economic prospects will improve within their lifetime and from one generation to the next. This, despite data that shows the United States has less economic mobility than many other industrialized countries.


The nationwide survey of 2,119 adults found that:

* 79 percent said it is still possible to get ahead in the current economy;

* 72 percent said they believed they will personally be better off 10 years from now;

* 74 percent said they were at least somewhat in control of their economic situation, but only 43 percent said that other people were in control;

* 71 percent said personal ambition was a more important determinant of success than external conditions.


The survey, conducted between January 27 and February 8, also found widespread skepticism toward government efforts to reduce inequality. Some 46 percent said the government does more to hurt than help people’s efforts to move up the economic ladder.

From the Journal of Healthcare Contracting:

You may not have heard the joke about the Congressman, the FBI agent and the ethicist, but if you attended HIGPA’s Pharmacy Forum (Feb. 9-11), you could have raised your hand and asked any one of them your questions about the issues facing the healthcare industry.


Additional highlights of the Pharmacy Forum included the following:

  • Bill McInturff, lead pollster for the McCain presidential campaign, recounted the events of 2008 from his unique insider’s perspective. He also discussed how healthcare issues played out in the campaign and how they are likely to figure in the days, months and years to come.
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