A wide range of polls over the last three weeks show that as Tax Day approaches Americans are becoming more and more convinced that congress and the president do not listen to them, tax too much, spend too much, have run up too much debt, and are on the wrong track for curing the ills of the nation, particulary jobs and the economy. Whether old respected polls or the polls of the networks or spot polls on the internet, the conclusions have been the same. More recent polling paints a “hardening” of those attitudes . . . today, Rasmussen Reports pollsters found "more of the same" in their surveys:
Item: only 21% of the voters believe that the decisionmakers in Washington have the consent of the governed while 61% believe Washington does NOT have that consent
Item: 66% of those polled say Americans are overtaxed including 81% of mainstream America feeling we are overtaxed . . . but in contrast 69% of the political class feels Americans are NOT over taxed
Item: 69% say the American Dream is becoming impossible for their children and grandchildren and 58% favor repeal of Obamacare and 47% say repeal of Obamacare will be good for the economy and only 33% say repeal of Obamacare will be bad for the economy
Item: 50% of unaffiliated voters say their views are closer to the TEA Party than to President Obama 38% of unaffiliated voters align with President Obama’s views and overall 48% of Americans feel closer to the TEA Party views than to Obama while 44% feel the President represents their views better.
Item: 96% of the political class** have an UNfavorable view of the TEA Party movement but 58% of the mainstream hold a favorable view of the TEA Party. To understand this polling statistic better . . . the Political Class typically varies from 6% to 18% of the populace depending upon the answers to three key questions on any given polling date. The mainstream percentage typically varies from 46% to 70% depending upon when a given poll takes place. The upshot is that the political class believes that the people in Washington are the experts and they know what’s best for America. The mainstream believes the voters have a much more realistic idea of what’s needed and what’s NOT needed at any given time.
Ya'all live long, strong and ornery,
** Understanding "Mainstream and Political Class" designations
Rasmussen's designations of "political class" and "mainstream" do more to clarify attitudes than perhaps any other system of classifying voter trends. The two groups not only shift in temperment from time to time, but also shift in the sizes of the respective groups over time, for example, a late January, 2010, Rasmussen poll showed that only an unbelievably low 4% aligned with the political class at that time. It is unusual for the political class to drop and stay much below 8% for any extended period of time. The three questions Rasmussen uses to calculate the Index are:
-- Generally speaking, when it comes to important national issues, whose judgment do you trust more - the American people or America’s political leaders?
-- Some people believe that the federal government has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. Has the federal government become a special interest group?
-- Do government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors?
To create the designations, each response earns a plus 1 for the mainstream answer "YES", a minus 1 for the political class answer "NO", and a 0 for not sure.
Those who score 2 or higher are considered part of the Mainstream. Those who score -2 or lower are considered to be aligned with the Political Class. Those who score +1 or -1 are considered leaners in one direction or the other.
In practical terms, if someone is classified with the Mainstream, they agree with the mainstream view on at least two of the three questions and don’t agree with the Political Class on any; and someone is classified as part of the political class if they agree with the political class view on at least two of the three questions and don't agree with the mainstream view on any.