Poll shows Americans fed up with Washington

Thomas Veil

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Here's a little something that backs up what a lot of us liberals have been saying here for a long time:

Poll: Public fed up with Washington
70% say government isn't working well; Obama approval back at 50%

By Mark Murray
Deputy political director
NBC News
updated 6:32 p.m. ET, Tues., Jan. 26, 2010

WASHINGTON - As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver his first State of the Union address Wednesday night, he will be speaking to an American public that’s fed up with Congress, the country’s two main political parties, and the federal government, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Only 28 percent believe the federal government is “working well” or even works “okay,” versus seven in 10 who think it’s “unhealthy,” “stagnant” or needs large reforms.

By comparison, in December of 2000 — during the height of the disputed Bush-Gore presidential election — 55 percent said the government was working well or okay.

What’s more, a whopping 93 percent believe there’s too much partisan infighting; 84 percent think the special interests have too much influence over legislation; nearly three-quarters say that not enough has been done to regulate Wall Street and the banking industry; and an equal 61 percent complain that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress aren’t willing to compromise.

And the percentage who believe the country is headed in the wrong direction now stands at 58 percent, the highest level of Obama’s presidency.

“The message is a big one,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. “The message is, ‘We hate what’s going in Washington.’”

Public’s anger isn’t directed at Obama
Indeed, the NBC/Journal survey finds that nearly half of the country (48 percent) said last week’s stunning election in Massachusetts, in which Republican candidate Scott Brown won a Senate contest in one of the nation’s most Democratic-leaning states, was aimed at sending a message to Washington. Only 15 percent disagreed.

But if the public is fed up with Washington, its anger isn’t necessarily directed at President Obama.

Only 27 percent say they blame him for not being able to find solutions to the country’s problems. By contrast, 48 percent blame Republicans in Congress and 41 percent blame congressional Democrats.

“The president has problems,” Hart adds, “but the Congress has much bigger problems.”

Obama’s numbers, in fact, are virtually unchanged from last week’s poll, which was released on the day of the Massachusetts election.

The president’s approval rating inched up two points to 50 percent, while the number believing his health care plan is a good idea declined two points to 31 percent.

“This data set reminds us that the Scott Brown election has been a huge event in Washington, D.C.,” said McInturff, the Republican pollster. “But around the country, I think this polling would suggest that it had a modest effect.”

Focus more on the economy, less on health care
However, the poll also suggests the public wants Obama to refocus his priorities: 44 percent say he has given too much attention to health care, 16 percent say he’s given it too little attention and 38 percent say he’s given it the right amount.

On the other hand, 51 percent maintain he’s given the economy too little attention, compared with only 5 percent who say he’s given it too much attention and 42 percent who say he’s given it the right amount of attention.

Still, a majority of Americans continue to have high hopes for Obama. A combined 54 percent either say that he’s facing a short-term setback from which he’ll rebound or that he’s not facing a setback at all.

That’s compared with 42 percent who say he’s facing a long-term setback from which he’ll unlikely recover.

GOP’s enthusiasm edge
Looking ahead to this year’s midterm elections, 44 percent of registered voters say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, versus 42 percent who want a GOP-controlled one. Last week’s survey showed a 41-41 percent tie on this question.

But Republicans continue to enjoy a significant enthusiasm advantage. Voters who are most interested in November’s midterms prefer a Republican-controlled Congress by a 49-41 percent margin.

Yet the poll also provides evidence that Obama might be more of an asset than a liability in November. Thirty-seven percent say their vote will be a signal of support for the president, while 27 percent say it will be a signal of opposition; 35 percent said it won’t signal anything about Obama.
While people can be forgiven for thinking that both parties need to compromise more (the Dems have been doing all the compromising; the Republicans just say "no"), you can understand why they're frustrated with both parties.

You can also see that Scott Brown's election was hardly a ringing endorsement of conservatism; it was more like a desperation cry from the voters who, seeing no other way out, are wildly swinging from one party to the other, seeking to punish whoever is in power...or who would be electing more liberal candidates if they weren't sitting home in disgust.

And while (ahem!) certain conservative posters may delight in Obama's numbers, they should note his personal popularity. It doesn't take a lot of reading between the lines to realize that his low numbers stem from the fact that he is not liberal enough for a lot of us.

The Dems' big problem is that enthusiasm edge. They need to find some liberal, transformative candidates that will actually give their party enough control in Washington to do something, instead of wallowing around in this Republican-Blue Dog morass we're stuck in.

And now let's sit back and watch the teabaggers apply their spin.
 

IntheNet

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Oct 6, 2009
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You can also see that Scott Brown's election was hardly a ringing endorsement of conservatism; it was more like a desperation cry from the voters who, seeing no other way out, are wildly swinging from one party to the other, seeking to punish whoever is in power...or who would be electing more liberal candidates if they weren't sitting home in disgust.
:rolleyes:

Oh please... spinning the Revolution in Massachusetts to anything less than it most definitely is - a complete capitulation of Democrat Ted Kennedy's decades long seat of liberalism over to the conservative Republican Party by Massachusetts' voters - is way beneath Democrats. Learn from it. The Democrat Party ignored the voter gatherings this past summer, ignored the cental veritas of the town meetings, and ignored the voter wrath at Democrat spending and growth of federal government. The sons and daughters of liberty corrected the situation. Learn from it. Scott Brown brought true conservatism to the voters and they responded. Learn from it. Conservatism's gains in Governor seats in Virginia and New Jersey, and a decades-old Senate seat switching over to the GOP in Massachusetts, expresses the will of the center right majority who have had quite enough, thank you, of liberalism and are "fed up" with it. No more. Learn from it.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
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You can also see that Scott Brown's election was hardly a ringing endorsement of conservatism; it was more like a desperation cry from the voters who, seeing no other way out, are wildly swinging from one party to the other, seeking to punish whoever is in power...or who would be electing more liberal candidates if they weren't sitting home in disgust.
The voters need to take some responsibility, too. Electing monsters (actually, I don't think Brown is a monster, but I think the teabaggers are) as a reactionary move against perception of bad politicians is inexcusable -- it's cutting one's nose off to spite one's face.

When the voters clearly supported public-option healthcare, as a large number of them did, we should all have been much more vocal to our politicians for putting together a bill that did what we want. It's all fine and good for Obama to have been willing to accept a variety of solutions to healthcare from Congress, but it was not okay for us to let our representatives barter away the parts of the healthcare bill that we wanted in order to gain parts for which we did not ask.
 

Eraserhead

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Nov 3, 2005
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As I said on another forum about the Google-China issue.

Eraserhead said:
mcmcc said:
Eraserhead said:
I think I'd rather know that I didn't have political freedom of speech but my government was actually competent.
The Chinese government is competent? I think you'll find that appearances can be deceiving.
So the 10%/year growth isn't happening, and the high speed rail projects (of which 1500km of 300km/h+ track has opened so far), new roads, airports and the numerous metro systems (of which 23 new lines have opened since the start of 2004) are a figment of the imagination.

In comparison the US has taken a year to not get a healthcare bill through congress.
The US government seems to be all talk these days, and much more so than other countries, so its not surprising people are fed up with Washington.

It's all fine and good for Obama to have been willing to accept a variety of solutions to healthcare from Congress, but it was not okay for us to let our representatives barter away the parts of the healthcare bill that we wanted in order to gain parts for which we did not ask.
+1
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
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:rolleyes:

Oh please... spinning the Revolution in Massachusetts to anything less than it most definitely is - a complete capitulation of Democrat Ted Kennedy's decades long seat of liberalism over to the conservative Republican Party by Massachusetts' voters - is way beneath Democrats. Learn from it. The Democrat Party ignored the voter gatherings this past summer, ignored the cental veritas of the town meetings, and ignored the voter wrath at Democrat spending and growth of federal government. The sons and daughters of liberty corrected the situation. Learn from it. Scott Brown brought true conservatism to the voters and they responded. Learn from it. Conservatism's gains in Governor seats in Virginia and New Jersey, and a decades-old Senate seat switching over to the GOP in Massachusetts, expresses the will of the center right majority who have had quite enough, thank you, of liberalism and are "fed up" with it. No more. Learn from it.
Uh, right, so what was the Democrat's picking up NY-23, a seat held by republicans since the Civil War era? Just a fluke? :rolleyes:
 

IntheNet

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Oct 6, 2009
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Electing monsters (actually, I don't think Brown is a monster, but I think the teabaggers are) as a reactionary move against perception of bad politicians is inexcusable -- it's cutting one's nose off to spite one's face.
Could you elaborate on the reasoning behind your perception of the Tea Party movement as "monsters" in any sense? I disagree but I'd like to hear your reasoning nontheless....

Uh, right, so what was the Democrat's picking up NY-23, a seat held by republicans since the Civil War era? Just a fluke? :rolleyes:
Interesting reply but I don't think NY-23 is equatable here as an example; as you recall, in that race, the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens won only because the alleged Republican in race, Dede Scozzafava, withdrew late in the campaign leaving her replacement, conservative Doug Hoffman, little time to organize even a basic campaign... The GOP was clearly at fault here... certainly this race did little to trumpet Democrats over Republicans in the larger sense.
 

yg17

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Aug 1, 2004
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St. Louis, MO
Could you elaborate on the reasoning behind your perception of the Tea Party movement as "monsters" in any sense? I disagree but I'd like to hear your reasoning nontheless....



Interesting reply but I don't think NY-23 is equatable here as an example; as you recall, in that race, the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens won only because the alleged Republican in race, Dede Scozzafava, withdrew late in the campaign leaving her replacement, conservative Doug Hoffman, little time to organize even a basic campaign... The GOP was clearly at fault here... certainly this race did little to trumpet Democrats over Republicans in the larger sense.
Oh, bull****. If Americans truly did want to embrace conservatism or whatever, they would've voted for Hoffman. Voters in NY-23 knew who he was and his positions, the race was nationalized and all over the news. NY-23 voters knew him and still rejected him.

Besides, if bad campaigns are an excuse as you're claiming, then that's the only reason Brown won, because Coakley ran a terrible campaign.
 

kavika411

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2006
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Here's a little something that backs up what a lot of us liberals have been saying here for a long time:

While people can be forgiven for thinking that both parties need to compromise more (the Dems have been doing all the compromising; the Republicans just say "no"), you can understand why they're frustrated with both parties.

You can also see that Scott Brown's election was hardly a ringing endorsement of conservatism; it was more like a desperation cry from the voters who, seeing no other way out, are wildly swinging from one party to the other, seeking to punish whoever is in power...or who would be electing more liberal candidates if they weren't sitting home in disgust.

And while (ahem!) certain conservative posters may delight in Obama's numbers, they should note his personal popularity. It doesn't take a lot of reading between the lines to realize that his low numbers stem from the fact that he is not liberal enough for a lot of us.

The Dems' big problem is that enthusiasm edge. They need to find some liberal, transformative candidates that will actually give their party enough control in Washington to do something, instead of wallowing around in this Republican-Blue Dog morass we're stuck in.

And now let's sit back and watch the teabaggers apply their spin.
(bold added by me)

To cut to the chase, are you saying the events of late (e.g. Brown election, Obama's numbers, focus on jobs, tightening spending, etc.) (1) don't have anything to do with voters desiring a more conservative path, but rather (2) have to do with voters desiring a more liberal path? Not putting words in your mouth; just trying to understand what exact point you are making.
 

bobber205

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Nov 15, 2005
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Could you elaborate on the reasoning behind your perception of the Tea Party movement as "monsters" in any sense? I disagree but I'd like to hear your reasoning nontheless....



Interesting reply but I don't think NY-23 is equatable here as an example; as you recall, in that race, the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens won only because the alleged Republican in race, Dede Scozzafava, withdrew late in the campaign leaving her replacement, conservative Doug Hoffman, little time to organize even a basic campaign... The GOP was clearly at fault here... certainly this race did little to trumpet Democrats over Republicans in the larger sense.
The "true" conservative that was in the race was about as smart as a rug. It's amazing he did as well as he did.
 

djellison

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Feb 2, 2007
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Us Brits are frankly bored stiff with our idiots in Westminster. This coming general election will have an epic epic low turnout - nobody gives a damn anymore.
 

Eraserhead

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Nov 3, 2005
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Us Brits are frankly bored stiff with our idiots in Westminster. This coming general election will have an epic epic low turnout - nobody gives a damn anymore.
Agreed, they aren't particularly impressive. I'm finding it difficult to decide who to vote for in May, probably the Green party (who aren't a major party).

Though at least you can say the Labour party (and the Conservatives before them) achieved something positive when they were in power (the NHS improvements for the former and the national curriculum for the latter for example), which is difficult to say for the recent US politicians.
 

Zombie Acorn

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I don't understand how you could judge that democrats have compromised more then the Republicans, the democrats are holding all of the cards. It would be like me having 100 dollars and you having 0, I give you 2 bucks and then bitch you out for being greedy by not giving me any back. ;)
 

leekohler

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Dec 22, 2004
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I don't understand how you could judge that democrats have compromised more then the Republicans, the democrats are holding all of the cards. It would be like me having 100 dollars and you having 0, I give you 2 bucks and then bitch you out for being greedy by not giving me any back. ;)
It's easy- we started out with a pretty good bill. Then the Republicans and Blue dogs cried till nothing liberal was left in the bill. The concessions all came from the left. And don't worry, we fault them as well.
 

Zombie Acorn

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It's easy- we started out with a pretty good bill. Then the Republicans and Blue dogs cried till nothing liberal was left in the bill. The concessions all came from the left. And don't worry, we fault them as well.
You were appeasing the blue dogs (which are democrats) then, that is compromising with your own party. The republicans were not needed for this legislation (obviously from the vote counts at the end).
 

MotleyPete

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Jun 9, 2008
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Blighty
Politicians fear being ignored way more than they fear being opposed. They need the attention to keep their tyrannical business in operation.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
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Could you elaborate on the reasoning behind your perception of the Tea Party movement as "monsters" in any sense? I disagree but I'd like to hear your reasoning nontheless....
I think they're motivated by rage, rather than by any desire to make this country a better place. I think this is clear by the utter lack of foresight shown by their proposals. Responding only to one's own rage is my very definition of monstrosity.
 

Zombie Acorn

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I think they're motivated by rage, rather than by any desire to make this country a better place. I think this is clear by the utter lack of foresight shown by their proposals. Responding only to one's own rage is my very definition of monstrosity.
While I don't associate myself with the tea-party goers, the time for civil discussion on these matters has long passed, its clear that the Republicans and Democrats do not listen to us, I am not for violence, but rage is well within reason at this point from both sides especially with the flopping of the health care bill. We need to clean house.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,641
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
While I don't associate myself with the tea-party goers, the time for civil discussion on these matters has long passed, its clear that the Republicans and Democrats do not listen to us, I am not for violence, but rage is well within reason at this point from both sides especially with the flopping of the health care bill. We need to clean house.
I'm fine with housecleaning by anyone whose fundamental goal is to make America a better place and to enable Americans to live better lives. As I said, I don't think the tea party people fit that description.
 

IntheNet

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Oct 6, 2009
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I think they're motivated by rage, rather than by any desire to make this country a better place. I think this is clear by the utter lack of foresight shown by their proposals. Responding only to one's own rage is my very definition of monstrosity.
Thank you for responding. While I disagree it is important to see how we are perceived by others. Might I suggest, if the opportunity arises, you visit one of these Tea Party protests; you might come away with a different perception. There are events scheduled throughout the nation all through 2010.
 

leekohler

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Dec 22, 2004
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You were appeasing the blue dogs (which are democrats) then, that is compromising with your own party. The republicans were not needed for this legislation (obviously from the vote counts at the end).
If you don't think Republicans had anything to do with that, you're kidding yourself.

I'm fine with housecleaning by anyone whose fundamental goal is to make America a better place and to enable Americans to live better lives. As I said, I don't think the tea party people fit that description.
Me neither. I've seen nothing hatred from those people. And their messages aren't even coherent.
 

obeygiant

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I think they're motivated by rage, rather than by any desire to make this country a better place. I think this is clear by the utter lack of foresight shown by their proposals. Responding only to one's own rage is my very definition of monstrosity.
The New American Tea Party is "a coalition of citizens and organizations concerned about the recent trend of fiscal recklessness in government...

This is about government forking over billions of dollars, OUR MONEY, to businesses that should have failed. This is about taking money from responsible people and handing it over to CEOs who squandered their own.

We are not opposing any specific legislation or politician. We are instead addressing the broader philosophical implications of a government that has grown too large and too distant from the very citizens it taxes."

http://newamericanteaparty.com/about/

The only thing is that there had been fiscal recklessness going on for quite a long time.
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
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I'm fine with housecleaning by anyone whose fundamental goal is to make America a better place and to enable Americans to live better lives. As I said, I don't think the tea party people fit that description.
Thank you for responding. While I disagree it is important to see how we are perceived by others. Might I suggest, if the opportunity arises, you visit one of these Tea Party protests; you might come away with a different perception. There are events scheduled throughout the nation all through 2010.

No need to actually go to a Tea Party, you can watch from home . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUPMjC9mq5Y
 

Zombie Acorn

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Feb 2, 2009
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The New American Tea Party is "a coalition of citizens and organizations concerned about the recent trend of fiscal recklessness in government...

This is about government forking over billions of dollars, OUR MONEY, to businesses that should have failed. This is about taking money from responsible people and handing it over to CEOs who squandered their own.

We are not opposing any specific legislation or politician. We are instead addressing the broader philosophical implications of a government that has grown too large and too distant from the very citizens it taxes."

http://newamericanteaparty.com/about/

The only thing is that there had been fiscal recklessness going on for quite a long time.
The problem is your rallies have too much of an anti-obama feel to them, I can't get on board with people who simply hate the president, or hate democrats. The common American is for fiscal responsibility, the tea-party needs to weed out all the people who are there just to hate on Obama though.
 

Rt&Dzine

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
736
5
The problem is your rallies have too much of an anti-obama feel to them, I can't get on board with people who simply hate the president, or hate democrats. The common American is for fiscal responsibility, the tea-party needs to weed out all the people who are there just to hate on Obama though.
Then the tea-party wouldn't exist. Just like it didn't exist before Obama.
 

obeygiant

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Jan 14, 2002
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The problem is your rallies have too much of an anti-obama feel to them, I can't get on board with people who simply hate the president, or hate democrats. The common American is for fiscal responsibility, the tea-party needs to weed out all the people who are there just to hate on Obama though.
They're not my rallies, ZA. :) I'm not in with tea party movement, just fyi.