Americans not concerned about climate change


Like a Baptist preacher delivering a “hellfire and brimstone” sermon from the pulpit, a number of Senate Democrats pulled an all-nighter on Monday into the wee hours of Tuesday, pushing alarmist climate change rhetoric from the chamber floor.

The effort is, apparently, the first of many by these Senate Democrats to raise awareness to climate change, hoping to put in the issue back on the public’s radar and, by extension, place pressure on Congress to take action on global warming.

The planned stunt hasn’t received great deal of attention. The media did cover it, but other stories since Monday evening have dominated the news cycle. In short, the 15-hour sermon from Senate Democrats fell flat.

When it comes down to it, Americans are much more worried about the economy, federal spending, and healthcare, according to a new survey from Gallup. Climate change ranks near the bottom on the list of issues with which the public is concerned.

Today in Liberty: Conservative groups won 2013 fundraising, Obama on Clapper, Vermont takes on NSA

“A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort…is not strictly speaking a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang violence.” — Ayn Rand

— Insurgent conservative groups won the 2013 fundraising war: The New York Times pointed out over the weekend that outside conservative grassroots groups outraised their establishment-leaning counterparts in 2013. “Insurgent conservatives seeking to pull the Republican Party to the right raised more money last year than the groups controlled by the party establishment, whose bulging bank accounts and ties to major donors have been their most potent advantage in the running struggle over the party’s future, according to new campaign disclosures and interviews with officials,” noted the Times. “Groups representing the party establishment, like Karl Rove’s Crossroads, are struggling to bring in the level of cash they raised in 2012, when Crossroads spent more than $300 million in a failed effort to defeat President Obama and retake the Senate, leaving donors grumbling that their dollars had been wasted.”

Gallup: Obama’s approval rating hit second-lowest mark of presidency

Barack Obama’s average yearly approval rating fell to the second-lowest point in his fifth year in office, according to a report released this morning by Gallup, and the final quarter of 2013 nearly matched the lowest of his presidency.

Consumed by scandal and controversy, the first year of President Obama second-term in office was a quite a struggle, to say the least, with the White House frequently playing defense. In May, for example, it was revealed that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had improperly targets conservative groups seeking nonprofit status.

The following month, in June, the public learned that the National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting phone records of virtually every Americans for domestic surveillance purposes. In the fall, controversy arose over the disastrous Obamacare rollout and millions of health plan cancellations caused by the law, despite frequent assurances from President Obama that Americans could keep their current coverage.

In his fifth year in office, President Obama averaged an approval rating of 45.8%, according to Gallup, the second-lowest point of his presidency.

Gallup based the results on more than 175,000 interviews conducted between January 20, 2013 through January 19, 2014. His third year in office remains President Obama’s worst, when his approval rating averaged 44.4%.

Looking at the fifth-year numbers compared to past two-term presidents, Obama ranks near the bottom, barely surpassing the 45.7% average approval rating of George W. Bush. Richard Nixon has the lowest fifth-year approval rating, at 41.1%.

Gallup: Record-high 42% of Americans identify as “independents”

independent voters

Americans are increasingly declaring their independence from the two major political parties in the era of hyperpartisanship, according to a new Gallup poll, and they’re doing so in record numbers.

The poll found that a record 42% of Americans identify themselves as independents in 2013, up from the 40% in 2012. The figures represent the average for the entire year in which the polling was conducted.

The quarterly numbers found a sharp increase throughout 2013, with 37% identifying themselves as independent. That number rose gradually throughout the year, reaching 46% in the fourth quarter. The government shutdown happened at the beginning of October and the Obamacare meltdown which occurred through out the last three months of the year.

The bad news for Republicans is that fewer Americans are identifying with them. Gallup found that just 25% self-identify as Republicans, down from 34% in 2004 and 29% in 2010, the year that the GOP won 60-plus seats in the House of Representatives. The poll found that those who identify themselves as Democrats remained steady at 31%.

Including independents who lean Republican, the GOP gets 41%, down from 45% in 2011. Democrats attract 47%, which, again, is steady from 2012, but up slightly from a couple years ago.

Poll: 59% of uninsured report negative experience with Obamacare exchange websites

Despite fixes to the federal Obamacare exchange website,, most uninsured Americans who’ve visited a state or federal exchanges report that they’ve had a negative experience, according to the latest daily tracking poll from Gallup.

The poll found that just 39% of Americans report a positive experience on the state and federal exchanges, up from 33% in October and November, the first two months of the open enrollment period.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) report a negative experience, down slightly from 63% in October and November. Gallup reports that just 26% of the uninsured have visited an Obamacare website as of December.

Gallup notes that though the “selected plan” numbers have increased — up to 2.1 million, according to the administration — the report of a negative experience aren’t encouraging to prospective enrollees.

“[T]he fact that most uninsured Americans who have visited the exchanges report a negative experience is problematic, particularly given the Obama administration’s efforts to improve the federal sites,” wrote Jeffrey Jones at Gallup. “If uninsured Americans continue to have bad experiences with the exchanges, it could hinder the Obama administration’s goal to insure as many Americans as possible.”

No, Americans don’t trust President Obama

Some of President Obama’s most ardent apologists spent some time on the Sunday talk show circuit desperately trying to spin the Obamacare implementation disaster and the millions of insurance cancellation notices that Americans are receiving because of the law’s narrowly written grandfathered plan regulations.

The message was that President Obama didn’t lie when he said people could keep their health plans under Obamacare, Americans just misunderstood what he was saying, and that people still trust him. Or something.

During a panel discussion on ABC’s This Week, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), one of the most leftist members of the House, tried to spin President Obama’s oft-repeated, now-infamous promise. The problem is that the Minnesota Democrat was incredibly misleading in doing so.

“You know, I just want to say that I think that everything that the president said and did was in pursuit of trying to get Americans, all Americans health care. So I think even though he may have said, if you like your decent insurance, your insurance that works, then you can keep it, I think that people really get that,” Ellison said. “He owned it. He said, look, man, if you misunderstood what I was trying to say, I’m sorry about that.”

“I think that shows integrity. He didn’t do anything to self-promote. He did — what he was doing he was trying to do — to help Americans all over this country for decades,” he added.

Poll: 56% of Americans say healthcare isn’t a government responsibility

The number of Americans who don’t believe that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure that everyone hasn’t health insurance coverage is on the rise, according to a new poll from Gallup.

The poll found that just 42% of Americans believe that the federal government should take responsibility to ensure health coverage, down from 50% just two years ago. In 2006, 69% believed it was a government responsibility.

A majority of Americans, 56%, said that the federal government doesn’t have a responsibility to ensure health coverage. That’s up 10 points from 2011 and a substantial shift in opinion since 2000.

The poll comes amid a disastrous rollout of Obamacare, which has further soured public opinion toward the law. Gallup also noted, separately, that 53% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s job performance. Just 41% approve.

Gallup notes that 86% of Republicans, 55% of independents, and 30% of Democrats oppose a federal government role in ensuring health insurance coverage. As you can see below, the shift really began in 2009 when the debate over healthcare reform began in Washington.

Gallup: Opposition to Obamacare soars

Yet another poll shows public opposition to Obamacare amid the embarrassing rollout of the federal Obamacare exchange, millions of canceled health plans, and extremely low enrollment numbers.

Gallup released a poll yesterday finding that 55% of Americans now disapprove of Obamacare, up from 47% a little more than two weeks ago. Just 40% approve of the law, down from 44% at the end of October.

The polling firm notes that the main reasons given from those who disapprove of Obamacare are that it’s “government interference” (37%) and increases health costs and makes coverage less affordable (21%).

Eleven percent (11%) cited their lost health insurance coverage as a reason for disapproval. Eight percent (8%) cited the website problems and 7% said that they disapprove of the law because President Obama lied about Americans keeping their health plans.

Of those who approve of the law, 23% said that it “makes healthcare more accessible.” Fifteen percent (15%) cited their belief that health insurance is a “right” as their reason for support of the law.

Shutdown unlikely to be a big factor in 2014 mid-term

Pundits and talking heads have been weighing in on the effects of the 16-day quasi-government shutdown on the Republican Party and the 2014 mid-term election. Many are saying that the electoral consequences could be steep, and could even cost the GOP control of the House of Representatives.

It’s hard to counter arguments and polling data that the Republican Party’s standing with Americans has been hurt by the shutdown. Gallup recently found that just 28% of the public has favorable view of the GOP, the lowest of any party on record. The good news is that Republicans are still favored on the economy. They were also given a gift by the endless problems plaguing the federal ObamaCare exchange.

But the shutdown could help Democrats with fundraising and candidate recruitment, Stu Rothenberg recently wrote, at a time when President Barack Obama’s poll numbers with his own party had been softening.

Number of uninsured Americans refusing to purchase insurance rises

In the weeks since the ObamaCare exchanges went lives, the number of uninsured Americans who say that will pay the individual mandate tax rather than purchase health insurance coverage has risen, according to the latest poll from Gallup.

Uninsured Americans are still overwhelmingly unfamiliar with the exchanges, though the number has slightly declined since Gallup polled the issue last month. According to the poll, 71% are either “not too familiar” or “not familiar at all” with the exchanges, down marginally from 72% in September.

More uninsured Americans (73%) say they are aware of the individual mandate, which requires them to purchase health insurance coverage, up from 68% last month. Just 26% say they are unaware of the individual mandate.

But even with the increased awareness of the requirement to purchase health insurance, the number of those who will purchase health insurance has actually declined, from 65% last month to 56% in October. More of the uninsured plan to pay the individual mandate tax (34%) than they did in September (25%).

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.