In a last ditch effort to gain public support for military strikes against Syria, President Barack Obama will take his case for intervention directly to the American people in a televised address tomorrow evening.
While the White House insists that its confident that Congress will sign off on the strikes, the political reality is that there isn’t much support for involvement in another country’s internal conflict after more than a decade of war in the Middle East. Members of Congress have heard from constituents, many of whom have called or written their representatives to speak against the proposed military strikes.
Public opinion, which is driving the opposition to intervention in Syria, remains a high hurdle for President Obama to clear, according to three polls released on Monday.
CNN finds that Americans overwhelmingly believe that Bashar al-Assad’s government used chemical weapons against its own people. Despite that, however, 59% said that they don’t want Congress to authorize force against Syria and 55% said that they would oppose intervention even if Congress does approve military strikes. Only 39% support President Obama’s push for war.
While the White House has reserved the option to attack without support from Congress, the CNN poll also found that 71% of Americans oppose military strikes against Syria without congressional approval.
From The Washington Post’s The Fix:
Moderate Democrats are quitting on Obamacare
By Scott Clement, Published: July 23 at 9:00 am
The landmark health-reform law passed in 2010 has never been very popular and always highly partisan, but a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that a group of once loyal Democrats has been steadily turning against Obamacare: Democrats who are ideologically moderate or conservative.
Just after the law was passed in 2010, fully 74 percent of moderate and conservative Democrats supported the federal law making changes to the health-care system. But just 46 percent express support in the new poll, down 11 points in the past year. Liberal Democrats, by contrast, have continued to support the law at very high levels – 78 percent in the latest survey. Among the public at large, 42 percent support and 49 percent oppose the law, retreating from an even split at 47 percent apiece last July.
Earlier this week, CNN released its latest job approval ratings for President Barack Obama. As noted on Monday, the poll found that Americans have soured on Obama, correlating with the string of scandals that have emerged out of his administration over the last two months.
In May, President Obama enjoyed a 53/44 approval rating. But the latest CNN poll shows that the numbers have nearly reversed, now standing at 45/54. The most interesting aspect of this poll is the significant drop in support from Americans between the ages of 18 and 34, a voting bloc that helped propel President Obama to the White House in 2008 and to re-election last year.
In May, President Obama held a 63/34 approval rating among this age group. But in June, that his approval rating with young voters was underwater, at 48/50. That’s a 15-point drop.
In an interview with CNN on Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) attributed the drop in support among young voters to the recent NSA scandal and explained that it gives Republicans an opportunity for outreach.
“You know, there was a poll out just this week that said well over 60 percent of Republicans think the NSA has gone too far; that they think your private phone calls and your records, [the government] should have to have a warrant,” said Paul.” I think as we have a full debate on these issues, you’re going to find that not only Republicans are with me on this issue — the youth are.
Written by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll provides a fascinating look into how factors other than the content of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affect people’s views of that law.
Kaiser asked respondents their views of the PPACA, alternately describing it as “ObamaCare” and “the health reform law.” Here’s what happened:
- Among Republicans, calling it “ObamaCare” caused the share reporting an unfavorable view to rise from 76 percent to 86 percent (+10 percentage points), with no discernible change in the share reporting a favorable view.
- Among independents, calling it “ObamaCare” caused the share reporting an unfavorable view to rise from 43 percent to 52 percent (+9 percentage points), with no discernible change in the share reporting a favorable view.
- Among Democrats, calling it “ObamaCare” produced no discernible change in the share reporting an unfavorable view, but caused the share reporting a favorable view to rise from 58 percent to 73 percent (+15 percentage points).
A few conclusions can be drawn.
President Obama loves to point to a poll that said 90 percent of all Americans wanted tougher background checks. After the measure failed in the Senate, Obama wanted that 90 percent to let Congress know how they felt.
But a new Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll suggests that post-vote attitudes stray from the wide support for the background check measure before the debate, which hovered around 85% in multiple polls.
A plurality of Americans–47%–say they are either “angry” or “disappointed” with the Senate’s action on gun legislation, far different from the amount of people who strongly approved the proposal before the vote. Meanwhile, 39% say they are “relieved” or “happy” about the vote.
I always thought those earlier numbers were soft, and they were.
You see, one of the issues has always been that many polls don’t really capture how committed to something a respondent really is. Someone may support the idea of tougher background checks, but how important is really is to them.
Written by David Boaz, executive vice president at the Cato Institute. It is cross-posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
News reports quote President Obama, in discussing the debt ceiling and the ongoing argument over tax and spending policy in his press conference yesterday, saying:
It turns out the American people agree with me.
Do they? It’s true that a majority of respondents told pollsters that they wanted to raise taxes on someone else. And Congress did that in the “fiscal cliff” legislation.
But what about the president’s insistence on a larger government and essentially no cuts in federal spending? The election day exit polls shed some light on those questions.
51 percent of voters polled said the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals—8 points higher than in the 2008 election. Only 43 percent of voters said they believe government should be doing more.
49 percent said the 2010 health care law should be repealed, with only 44 percent of voters supporting it.
Gun rights had been enjoying a miniature golden age. Following the Supreme Court decisions of Heller and McDonald, gun rights advocates have kind of been skating on cloud nine. Even the halfhearted pushed by President Obama for more gun control, spurred on by violent crime south of the border, sputtered and died following “Operation Fast and Furious” came to light. Unfortunately, that seems to be changing.
More Americans prioritize gun control above Second Amendment rights by the widest margin since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new poll released Thursday in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
Forty-nine percent of those polled said it’s more important to control gun ownership, compared to 42 percent who say it’s more important to protect Americans’ rights to own guns, according to a Pew Research Center Poll.
It’s election day. We’re finally here. This grueling, seemingly non-stop campaign ends today. President Barack Obama made his last campaign stops yesterday. Mitt Romney hopes to pickup what undecided voters remain during visits to Ohio and Pennsylvania today.
Despite public polls showing a close race in swing states, though Obama has a slight advantage, Romney’s campaign says that their internal polls show him leading in Ohio and tied in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Writing at National Review yesterday, Jim Geraghty saw reason to hope that Romney will pull off a win tonight. And Aaron Blake surmised that the early voting numbers suggest that the race will be tight. However, Blake points out that “[i]n basically every state, Democrats’ early vote edge is between four and eight points less than it was in 2008.” That could mean trouble for Obama, especially in Colorado, Iowa, and Pennsylvania.
We’re coming down to the final hours of this electoral cycle. By late Tuesday night or perhaps even Wednesday morning, we’ll know whether voters will trust President Barack Obama with another term in office or if they’ll elect a different direction with Mitt Romney.
National polls are showing an incredibly close race, but those polls mean little when it comes down it. And though there are are many states considered to be part of the electoral battleground, those that will determine the election — Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia — were made clear weeks ago. Early voting is considered to be a key part of success either candidate hopes to have in these states. And while it appears that Obama has a lead over Romney in early voting, Molly Ball reports that Republicans are performing better at this aspect of the election than they did four years ago.
I am not a poll truther, indeed when Romney was trailing in the polls and the trendline for him was bad in September, I warned conservatives to take those polls seriously and stop trying to claim that every poll was part of some secret plot to undermine Romney. That having been said, someone needs to explain to me how — according to the new NYT/CBS/Quinnipiac poll — Romney leads among independents in Virginia by 21 points but is somehow losing the state to Obama by 1 point. Is there a single sober person who has a turnout model for Virginia that would allow Obama to overcome a 21-point deficit among independents? I don’t think so. If Romney wins indies by 21 points on election night, he carries VA by 5 points.
In 2008, independents made up 27% of the Virginia electorate and Obama won them by 1 point en route to a 6 point win. NYT/CBS/Quinnipiac says Romney leads by 21 points among independents in Virginia today. Yet, somehow their poll shows Obama actually ahead in Virginia by 1 point. For the sake of argument, lets just pretend 2008 turnout turnout model, a model most analysts believe overstates Obama’s numbers, is the turnout model for Virginia in 2012. Even by the 2008 turnout model Obama simply can not lose independents by 21 points and win the state.
Its not just Virginia, in Ohio the Quinnipiac poll shows Romney ahead among indies by 6 but losing the state by 5 points. Again, if you assume the 2008 turnout model - the most advantageous to Obama as humanly possible - this simply defies logic. Obama won independents in Ohio in 2008 by 8 points, independents made up 30% of the Ohio electorate in 2008. If Romney leads independents in Ohio by 6 points, and even assuming the 2008 Obama super turnout model, how in God’s name is Romney losing by 5 points? Simply put, it is not possible.