The White House is eventually going to have to make a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline. There have been mixed signals sent by President Obama. He’s told Republicans in Congress that he’s considering it, but his tough talk on combating climate change could pose a perilous future for the project.
While President Obama is still making up his mind on what should be a no-brainer, Pew Research released a new poll yesterday finding overwhelming support from Americans for Keystone XL:
As the Obama administration approaches a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a national survey finds broad public support for the project. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) favor building the pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas. Just 23% oppose construction of the pipeline.
Support for the pipeline spans most demographic and partisan groups. Substantial majorities of Republicans (82%) and independents (70%) favor building the Keystone XL pipeline, as do 54% of Democrats. But there is a division among Democrats: 60% of the party’s conservatives and moderates support building the pipeline, compared with just 42% of liberal Democrats.
While anti-gun filmmaker Michael Moore insists that the gun control crowd is the “majority,” the latest poll from CBS News shows that he’s actually out of touch with how Americans feel about the issue.
With the Senate expected to take up new gun control measures next month, there is a heavy push from both sides of the driving the discussion. Moore, whose anti-gun film Bowling for Columbine was filled with distortions and falsehoods, went on a rant against the NRA and other gun rights advocates during a recent MoveOn.org event.
“Every single piece of proposed gun legislation has the majority support of the American people, Moore claimed, according to GetRealSpin.com. “There’s no excuse for Congress not to pass these laws.”
Despite Moore’s ranting, the CBS News poll shows that 47% of Americans believe that gun laws should be made “more strict.” However, 50% feel that they should be “kept as they are” or “made less strict.” Those numbers are down from February, when 53% expressed support for stricter gun laws.
No matter who the Republican nominee is in South Carolina’s First Congressional District, they will have a tough match-up when they face Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who won the Democratic primary last week.
According to a new survey released yesterday by Public Policy Polling, both Mark Sanford and Curtis Bostic, both of whom are vying for the GOP nomination, are in a virtual tie with Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert.
As far as the Republican runoff goes, Sanford looks to have it in the bag, though he can’t take anything for granted. Public Policy Polling notes that Sanford leads Bostic by a 13-point margin, 53/40. That’s a tough hurdle to overcome with just six days to go. However, neither Republican candidate is overwhelming Busch.
Elizabeth Colbert Busch v. Mark Sanford
- Busch (D): 47%
- Sanford (R): 45%
- Undecided: 8%
Elizabeth Colbert Busch v. Curtis Bostic
- Busch (D): 43%
- Bostic (R): 43%
- Undecided: 14%
Neither Republican candidate is viewed favorably by voters in the district. Bostic is at 30/42, though 28% have no opinion of him. Sanford’s underwater favorability — 34/58 — is really dragging him down.
Despite all of the scare tactics and fearmongering from President Barack Obama in the days leading up to the sequester — $44 billion in spending cuts in the current fiscal year — a majority of Americans say that the sequester as had no impact on their lives, according to new numbers from Rasmussen:
Only 12% say the sequester cuts have had a major impact on them personally. Despite predictions that the sequester impact would grow over time, there’s no indication of that happening yet. The number experiencing a major impact is basically unchanged from the weekend the sequester first took effect. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey now finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters say they have experienced no impact of all in their personal lives from the sequester. That’s up seven points from the beginning of the month. Thirty percent (30%) say they have experienced a minor impact.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who led a 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination to the CIA, has certainly changed public opinion on drone strikes. According to a new Gallup poll, 79% now oppose drone strikes on American citizens on American soil and 52% oppose strikes against American citizens on foreign soil:
Over at Slate, Dave Weigel notes that this also represents a 50-point swing against the idea of drone strikes against American citizens who are merely accused of terrorism on foreign soil.
Within hours of Sen. Paul’s filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder clarified the Obama Administration’s position on drone strikes, stating that a president could not kill an American citizen on American soil.
Written by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
Ezra Klein has a post arguing that ObamaCare is unpopular because the public doesn’t understand it. It would be more accurate to say that ObamaCare is popular with people like Klein because they don’t understand it.
Klein notes an apparent negative correlation between the popularity of certain provisions of the law and public awareness of those provisions. If only more people knew about the good stuff in ObamaCare – you know, the subsidies to seniors and the provisions forcing insurers to cover the sick – more people would like it. But the polls showing public support for those provisions don’t ask respondents whether they think the benefits of those provisions are worth the costs. They only ask about the benefits. Since none of those provisions is a benefits-only proposition, those polls tell us essentially nothing.
For example, last year a Reason-Rupe survey asked respondents about laws forcing insurers to cover the sick. What made this poll interesting is that it was the first poll in 18 years to ask respondents to weigh the costs of such laws against the benefits. The below graph (from my latest Cato paper, “50 Vetoes”) displays the results.
We’ve heard it before — Republicans have an image problem. There aren’t many who deny this, after a brutal election last year, and continued messaging problems this year. But with the fight over the FY 2014 budget still far from over and an important mid-term election next year, Republicans clearly have their work cut out for them.
And the problem Republicans have isn’t because of their ideas on fiscal matters. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Early last week, The Hill released a poll showing that voters actually responded well to the Republican budget message…as long as they didn’t know that it came from Republicans:
Respondents in The Hill Poll were asked to choose which of two approaches they would prefer on the budget, but the question’s phrasing included no cues as to which party advocated for which option.
Presented in that way, 55 percent of likely voters opted for a plan that would slash $5 trillion in government spending, provide for no additional tax revenue and balance the budget within 10 years — in essence, the path recommended by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) last week.
Only 28 percent of voters preferred this option, which reflects the proposal put forth by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) last week.
An even stronger majority of respondents, 65 percent, said U.S. budget deficits should be reduced mostly by cutting spending rather than by raising taxes. Just 24 percent said the budget should be balanced mostly by increasing revenue.
There has been a lively debate on the UL list serve and on twitter about fusionism and the modern liberty movement. Let me be clear from the very beginning that I am a proponent of fusionism. I want to see libertarian ideas become libertarian policies. I think that libertarianism, for far too long, has been content to rule college classroom debates and think tank discussions and has not done enough to focus on how we actually implement libertarian theory.
I don’t think the real debate is about whether or not libertarians should engage in fusionism, the real debate – exposed clearly in the back and forth with some of my fellow writers at UL over the last few days – is over what that fusionism looks like.
I believe that if the point behind fusionism is to see libertarian ideas become policy, than any fusionism should be based around the achievable. The common ground we seek should be on those issues where our work with others will actually end up in changing policy in this country.
Right now the American people, and young people in particular, are becoming more and more libertarian when it comes to social issues. A recent Washington Post poll showed that voters aged 18-29 support same-sex marriage by a staggering 81%-15%. The same opinion polls show young voters overwhelmingly support ending the failed drug wars and as the recent Rand Paul filibuster showed – there is growing support from every segment of the country to safeguard our civil liberties.
Given that the American people are on our side on these issues, and that winning on these issues is achievable, one would think that libertarian fusion efforts would be centered around these issues. Alas, there are plenty clamoring for a fusionism that not only ignores these issues, but proposes a fusionism with forces openly hostile for these positions.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced yesterday that Assault Weapons Ban, a pet measure of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) doesn’t have enough votes to pass and wouldn’t be included in the measures that will be brought to the floor of the chamber next month:
Senior Senate Democrats bluntly acknowledged Tuesday that a proposed federal ban on assault weapons will not become law, bowing to the political calculus that only lesser gun control measures stand a chance of passing Congress, despite three months of emotional national debate since the Connecticut school massacre.
In separate remarks to reporters, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., both said they do not see Feinstein’s far-reaching proposal on assault weapons passing the Senate, let alone the Republican-led House, where opposition to the measure is even stronger.
Feinstein will apparently offer the bill as an amendment to other measures that will be brought forward in the Senate, but she refused to admit that she’s lost this fight. Maybe she should. According to Roll Call, Reid said, “Right now, her amendment — using the most optimistic numbers— has less than 40 votes. That’s not 60.” Additionally, Politico reports that the universal background check measure may also be in jeopardy.
While the Obama Administration making the claim that it has the power to use drones inside the United States to target and eliminate potential threats, a Fox News poll released on Monday shows that Americans are not at all comfortable with this prospect:
The poll finds that 32 percent of voters think that yes, the president should be able to authorize the use of deadly force domestically against an American terrorist. Still, about twice that many — 63 percent — disagree and want checks on the president.
Again, agreement is bipartisan, as most Republicans (70 percent) and independents (70 percent) and a majority of Democrats (54 percent) oppose the president having the sole power under these conditions.
There were actually two different questions in regard to President Obama and drone strikes, one of which was a general question about the policy. The other was a more specific question about giving the power to determine who should be target to the president.
Here are the two questions:
- Do you approve or disapprove of the United States using unmanned aircraft called drones to kill a suspected terrorist who is a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil?
- Do you think the president of the United States, on his own, should be able to authorize the use of deadly force, such as a drone strike, to kill a suspected terrorist who is a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil?
On the first question, the divide wasn’t that wide. According the poll, 45% — including 44% of Democrats and 47% of Republicans — approve of using drones to kill an American citizen suspected terrorism inside the United States. Only 50% disapprove.