Rasmussen Reports

Poll: Blame Mental Issues Not Guns


The left’s standing policy of never letting a tragedy go to waste when it comes to pushing gun control in the wake of gun violence is falling flat yet again with the public. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, Americans are unwilling to blame guns for the recent shooting of two journalists in Roanoke, Va.

No matter how much Obama and his supporters may wish it otherwise, the simple fact is that the public is not buying the idea of passing more gun laws in order to stop the problem of shootings by the mentally disturbed. They aren’t even interested in laws that would be aimed at preventing those with mental health problems from acquiring weapons, presumably because the public realizes that the government would be in charge of deciding who is (and isn’t) sane enough to have a weapon.

The recent survey found that only 29% of the public think that stricter gun laws would have prevented the shooting in Virginia, while 60% believe that more gun laws wouldn’t have prevented it at all. Those results are consistent with previous ones in the wake of the shooting of Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords. Add to that the fact that 68% of those surveyed believe that the real problem is mental health issues, and the case against more gun control is even more solid. That result is also consistent with previous surveys after the Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut.

Voters Believe Economic Growth Trumps Fairness


In a recent Rasmussen Reports Poll, voters stated that they believe economic growth is more important than economic fairness. With the 2016 election season promising to have wage equity on the front burner for the Democrats, this may not be the best news for them. The current results are also in the wake of a spate of protests calling for radical minimum wage increases - the now infamous $15.15 demands - which could indicate that the message is not resonating well with voters.

As reported on the Rasmussen site:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of Likely U.S. Voters say that economic growth is more important, while 39% say that economic fairness is more important….

Voters place higher importance policies which encourage economic growth over  
economic fairness. Ninety-three percent (93%) of voters say that policies that encourage economic growth are at least somewhat important, with 65% who say such policies are Very Important….That compares to 78% of voters who say policies which encourage economic fairness are somewhat important, with 53% who say such policies are Very Important.

Quality of Healthcare Going Down Say Voters


About 70 percent of likely voters rate the quality of the health care they receive as good or excellent, down one point since January, according to a recent Rasmussen poll. While that might seem “not so bad,” that is the lowest level in two and a half years of polling. This number should be relatively good for limited government activists, however it is coupled with another statistic that is rather worrisome.

About 38 percent of respondents on this poll stated that they are for a single-payer system for health care. More disturbing is that 64 percent of those voters feel that more government involvement in health care would be a good thing.

Now that everyone is really scared, the silver-lining remains that a majority (51%) believe that Obamacare will make health care in America worse, and support for less government involvement in health care (44%) still outpaces support for a single-payer system.

Yes, this means that more Americans are thinking that less government would be a good thing, however this trend is starting to flatline a bit. One big reason for this is the lack of a concrete proposal from Republicans to replace Obamacare. Repeal is simply not going to be enough, if only because of the few items under the new law that are extremely popular, like keeping children on parental policies until age 26, and protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Time to Sell Economic Growth

lower taxes for dummies

While many people like to pay attention to polls so that they can end up offering tidbits of information to their friends with relatively easy to understand numbers, when it comes to activists, polls often guide policy decisions. Right now, activists that are concerned with the concept of promoting small business growth should be leaping to sway the public and politicians toward initiatives involving tax reform. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, public opinion is trending toward cutting government spending, and decreasing taxes.

This is a concept that Libertarians and free market activists have been pointing out forever, and it seems the public is getting the message, since 52% of voters now believe that cutting government spending helps the economy. However, there is a minor dissonance in these results, since about 47% of voters would support a candidate that would tax the rich more, while dropping taxes for others - that number is up from 44% in December. So, while people are getting that taxes hurt the economy, they aren’t quite comprehending that the governmental definition of “rich” as far as taxation is concerned could include the family-owned coffee shop down the street that only employs a handful of people.

What South Park can teach us about current politics

South Park ran an episode in 2004 that revolved around an election of a new school mascot, the choices for which were a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich. Stan Marsh, one of the four main protagonists of the show, refused to vote and was subsequently booted from the fictional Colorado town.

Eventually, Stan came back to the town to cast his vote in the election, saying, “I learned that I’d better get used to having to pick between a douche and a turd sandwich because it’s usually the choice I’ll have.”

The episode wasn’t just brilliant indictment of the 2004 presidential election between then-President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), but also an American political system that presents Democrats and Republicans as the parties with the only answers to the United States’ woes.

Not much has changed in the 10 years since the boys from South Park were forced to choose between a Giant Douche and a Turd Sandwich. Voters are still presented with the same options at the ballot box, often forced to cast a ballot for a party that they feel doesn’t best represent the American people.

Rasmussen Reports released a survey on Thursday which found that 53 percent of likely voters “think it is fair to say that neither party in Congress is the party of the American people.”

Majority of Americans think U.S. public education is not World-Class

Common Core

Education is a perennial issue that tends to hit taxpayers pocketbooks more than most, and because of that, gives rise to more debates about how to get the most out of those dollars. The upcoming elections will undoubtedly have their fair share of political hopefuls that will be hanging their election (or re-election) hopes on convincing voters that the solution to all our education problems is more spending. That’s been the trend for many years now, but pushing for even more might not be the best political strategy.

When the people, that are fully aware of this generally increasing spending, state that they don’t think the U.S; public schools are offering a world-class education, it’s reasonable to assume they might not be enthusiastic about spending even more. In fact, they’ve already been saying that, when it comes to increasing spending on Pre-K education, that has been touted as absolutely necessary by the Obama administration.

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 65% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that “world-class education is the single most important factor in determining whether our kids can compete for the best jobs and whether America can out-compete countries around the world.” However, only 18% believe that our public schools actually provide that - down from 26% in August 2011. And that is the trend that should give politicians something to think about.

MT Senate: Newly minted Democrat incumbent trails by 14 points

More than a month after his controversial appointment, Sen. John Walsh (D-MT), has been unable to gain any traction in a race that is looking more and more likely to change hands this fall, making it one of the six seats Republicans need to take control of the Senate.

The latest poll out of Montana, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, finds that Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) holds a 14-point lead, 51/37, over Walsh.

Daines also holds an 18-point lead, 52/34, over another Democratic candidate, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger, who is seen as a long-shot to knock off Walsh in the party’s June 3 primary.

Rather than picking a placeholder, Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) appointed then-Lt. Gov. Walsh to the seat last month after Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) was confirmed to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to China. Baucus was already not running for reelection, having announced his retirement early last year. He wasn’t nominated for the diplomatic post until December. Walsh announced his campaign in October.

Walsh is seen as Democrats’ best shot at keeping the seat in their hands, and they’d hoped that the appointment would give him time to establish himself as someone who is independent of his party and raise his profile.

AR Senate: Pryor trails Republican challenger by 5, Obama disapproval at 63%

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), the most vulnerable Senate Democrat up for reelection this year, trails his Republican opponent (R-AR), by 5 points, according to the latest poll out of the Razorback State.

The poll, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, found that 45% of likely Arkansas voters would cast their ballot for Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), while 40% would vote for Pryor. Five percent (5%) would back another candidate and 10% are undecided.

While the poll didn’t ask voters about Pryor’s job performance, it did show that his favorables are above water, at 48/43. Cotton, however, is viewed more favorably, at 51/37.

The drag on Pryor is, as expected, President Obama. Just 35% of Arkansans approve of President Obama’s job performance, while 63% disapprove.

Obamacare is also hurting Pryor. The poll found that 66% have an unfavorable view of the law. Just 30% view it favorably. Sixty-eight percent (68%) oppose the individual mandate and 73% believe that problems with the law will be fixed within the next year.

Pryor voted for Obamacare and opposed attempts to repeal or defund the law despite the overwhelming sentiment against it in his home state. Like many vulnerable Democrats, Pryor has been trying to distance himself from President Obama and his agenda.

The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports between February 4-5. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%. The Rothenberg Political Report gives Republicans a slight edge in the race, which would be a pick-up and one seat closer to a majority.

KY Senate: McConnell tied with Dem challenger, Bevin leads

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can’t be happy with the latest poll out of Kentucky, released yesterday by Rasmussen Reports. It’s not that he finds himself in an unusual position against his Democratic challenger, but rather than his primary opponent is outperforming him.

The poll found that McConnell is tied with Alison Lundergan Grimes, at 42/42. That’s on par with other recent polls, which have found the Kentucky Republican holding slight, statistically insignificant leads.

McConnell’s Republican primary challenger, Matt Bevin, however, holds a 4-point lead over Grimes, at 40/36, just inside the margin of error.

Though the poll didn’t offer any hint of McConnell’s approval ratings, Rasmussen did measure voter favorability of the three candidates.

Kentucky voters have a mixed view of Grimes, who is viewed favorably by 40%, while 37% hold an unfavorable view. Bevin isn’t well known, but 32% have a favorable view. The same number said that they’d never heard of him. Twenty-six percent (26%) view him unfavorably.

McConnell’s numbers aren’t bad, though he’s still underwater, with 46% holding a favorable of the Senate minority leader and 49% expressing an unfavorable opinion.

As one might imagine, Bevin gloated about the numbers.

“These poll numbers are an accurate reflection of what I see and hear every day traveling across the Commonwealth,” said Bevin in a statement. “Kentuckians have had enough of career politicians like Mitch McConnell who compromise our conservative principles and instead vote for Obamacare, bailouts, amnesty and tax increases.”

LA Senate: Poll shows Landrieu down by 4 points

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) trails her likely Republican challenger for the first time, according to the latest poll out of the Pelican State.

In a poll released on Thursday, Rasmussen Reports found that Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) takes 44% of the vote to Landrieu’s 40%, while 5% of Louisianans would back some other candidate. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.

Now, Louisiana does elections differently. It’s basically a “top-two” system where voters have everyone on the ballot in the general election, even multiple candidates from the same party. If no one takes a majority of the vote, there is a runoff weeks later, usually at the beginning of December.

This could complicate efforts to unseat Landrieu, who has managed to survive politically, winning close reelection bids in 2002 and 2008, despite being a Democrat from an overwhelmingly red state. The biggest problem for the GOP is Cassidy isn’t the only Republican running.

Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel, is also looking to unseat Landrieu. The insurgent conservative candidate has been endorsed by the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Madison Project. Rasmussen didn’t include Maness in the poll, at least not in its public release.

If Cassidy doesn’t receive a majority on November 4, he’ll face Landrieu in a runoff. Assuming this scenario comes to pass, Republicans will have to overcome Landrieu’s New Orleans-based political machine, which proved essential to her previous successful reelection bids.

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