POS in the News, 3/18/09

Under Staff Picks of  Political Browser (Washington Post) we learn that Polling Director Jon Cohen is reading Neil Newhouse’s post from yesterday.

Glen Bolger is quoted in an article on National Journal’s vote ratings:

Republican analysts said the landscape is interesting, but not entirely surprising, considering how few conservatives aspire to serve decades in public office. “This is not something that conservatives do for life, generally,” said veteran GOP pollster Glen Bolger. “Over the years, a lot of conservatives have left to do other things. They’re not in public service quite as deeply as liberals; it’s part of [liberals’] genetic DNA.”

So, how does that affect public policy? “Well, is government getting smaller or bigger? It’s getting bigger. And there’s a correlation,” Bolger said. “It’s easier for liberals to not only win the battle, but over time, to win the war.”

More commentary and articles today on the NPR survey results.

Glenn Thrush of Politico:

A new NPR poll shows that Democrats are still in relatively strong position nationally — but Republicans have tied them in a question about generic preference for Congressional candidates, a potential trouble sign for a party riding a wave.

The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies/Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research from March 10-14. It consisted of a telephone survey of 800 likely voters nationwide. The survey carries a margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points.

Paul Mirengoff of Powerline:

None of this is very surprising. We recently elected Obama by a margin in this range, and thereafter his popularity surged, as it would for any new president who presented himself well following his election. The public isn’t likely to repudiate that president’s policies less than two months after he takes office.

The most interesting result, I thought, is that self-identified conservatives outnumbered self-identified liberals by a margin of 45-19 (35 percent identified themselves as moderates). Obviously, there is a disconnect between this result and the answers to substantive questions about the stimulus plan, the budget, etc (though it should be noted that the pollsters stated the Democratic position in moderate sounding terms).

Gary Andres of The Weekly Standard

Right track/wrong track numbers have improved since last year (63 percent wrong track now versus 80 percent in May 2008) and are about where they were in March 2006, the last time the question was asked before Democrats won control of Congress in the November 2006 election (64 percent in March 2006).

Like several other national polls, the NPR survey shows the president’s approval at 59 percent.

Congressional approval has climbed back to 2007 levels (36 percent approve), an improvement over the lows of 2008 (22 percent).

Mark Silva in The Swamp:

Bipartisan polling is not new — a number of firms have teamed up on their own in similar ventures, and other media companies have hired such pairings.

But in this exercise, each of the firms wrote “their strongest messages in each area” and tested public reaction. On health care and energy matters, people sided with the Democratic message by a margin of 53 to 42 percent, the pollsters report.

“As Democrats hold the advantage on key issues, President Obama’s approval rating remains strong,,’ they report, with an approval rating for Obama similar to the one reported this week by the Pew Research Center. “Nearly six-in-ten voters (59 percent) approve of the job President Obama is doing while just 35 percent disapprove.”

Jeff Mapes of The Oregonian also weighs in:

A new poll conducted for National Public Radio shows that the “generic ballot” now shows no partisan advantage, with voters equally likely to say they’d support a candidate of either party.

President Obama remains popular with voters with a 58 percent approval rating. But it’s clear that the worsening economy and the congressional infighting over a stimulus package has taken a toll on the Democratic majority on Capitol Hill.

I know this is just one poll, but my question is whether it signals that there is an opening for Oregon Republicans in the congressional races next year.

Pollster.com, Oregon Public Broadcasting and KXMB also have reports.

Mark Blumenthal links to Its Independents Day by Glen Bolger and Obama’s Support Deflating? by Neil Newhouse.

The Riverfront Times blog has more on red-light cameras in Missouri:

In response to some of these attacks, camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) recently commissioned a poll of Missouri voters. In a press release issued today, pollster Neil Newhouse says 66 percent of Missourians favor the cameras as opposed to just 30 percent who oppose the devices.

Even more surprising — according to Newhouse — is the misconception that most Missourians disapprove of the cameras.

He says his study found that by a margin of 47 percent to 31 percent, most voters incorrectly assume that their neighbors oppose the cameras.

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