Pre-State of the Union Poll

Sotu_poll

With great reluctance and fear of over-stimulating the  lizard part of your brains, here are the key findings of a recent Harris Interactive Poll:

• Four out of five Americans (81%) think that the current state of the country is fair or poor while just 19 percent think it is excellent or good.

• Just under half (46%) of Americans say they may watching the State of the Union address while just one-quarter (25%) say they will be, and three in ten (29%) say they will not be watching.

• Four in five Americans (81%) say that plans to strengthen the economy are going poorly while just 16 percent say it is going well.

• Three in five (61%) Americans think the war on terrorism, normally one of President Bush’s strongest issues, is going poorly with just one-third (35%) saying it is going well. The war in Iraq fares even worse, as two-thirds (66%) say that is going poorly.

• The economy is the top issue people would like to see President Bush emphasize in the State of the Union. Almost two-thirds (64%) of Americans believe he should emphasize it up from just one-third (33%) who thought so last year. Half of Americans (49%) believe the war in Iraq should be emphasized; just about the same as last year’s 51 percent. Less than one-quarter of adults say any of the other issues asked about deserve emphasis in the State of the Union.

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  1. doc commented on Jan 28

    http://www.ofheo.gov/newsroom.aspx?ID=410&q1=1&q2=None

    For Immediate Release
    January 24, 2008

    STATEMENT OF OFHEO DIRECTOR JAMES B. LOCKHART ON CONFORMING LOAN LIMIT INCREASE
    We are very disappointed in the proposal to increase the conforming loan limit as we believe it is a mistake to do so in the absence of comprehensive GSE regulatory reform. To restore confidence in the markets we must ensure that the GSEs’ regulator has all the necessary safety and soundness tools.

  2. 4degreesnorth commented on Jan 28

    “Harris interactive poll”: does this mean that the poll is conducted online? Studies in other countries show that these kind of polls are substantially less “reliable” than traditional polls and, on occasions, biased. The latter is, of course, the pollster’s version of the seventh stage of hell.

  3. AGG commented on Jan 28

    We’ve been in deep shit since June of 2005 but now the fed is out of perfume. Do you smell something?
    Let’s all be calm.
    The markets aren’t tanking. There is no panic. The markets are ‘retreating’. Sure, it’s heavy profit taking in Asia, India, Russia, Europe, etc.
    That’s it; move slowly towards the exit.

  4. Jon H commented on Jan 28

    I ain’t watching. I can’t stand listening to Bush. He always sounds like a 5th grader awkwardly reading his oral book report.

  5. Francois commented on Jan 28

    Observation:
    The only group that has a significantly higher proportion of “Good” ratings are the Republicans vs the “Others”.

    Analysis: (100% objective, guaranteed “trust me” no BS)
    The “Others” are part of the reality-based crowd. I get it now!

    It could be that Republicans’ lizard brains cannot agree with (accept/apprehend) reality.

    (Ducking for cover…he he!)

  6. Michael Donnelly commented on Jan 28

    Dramatic poll results, there really are two Americas Mitt, take a look at these results.

    Does Bush mention the Dow down 15% since October? Up 600 points on Wednesday? Both? Neither?

  7. Andy commented on Jan 28

    @4degrees: Harris Interactive is the name of the company publishing the results. It’s a standard Harris Poll®. See the details on the poll here:

    http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/

    You could have done the googling yourself instead of trying to discredit the results based on the name on the logo.

  8. 4degreesnorth commented on Jan 28

    “These are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,302 U.S. adults surveyed ONLINE between January 15 and 22, 2008 by Harris Interactive®.”.

    I had done the googling. I rest my point.

    Full disclosure: I couldn’t care less about this or another company as I do not own their stock, and do not work for a polling company and am not into politics, etc…

  9. JMH commented on Jan 28

    I plan to watch volume three of my Looney Tunes compendium during the “State of the Union” time slot and will still be grounded in the reality based universe, just enjoying my self more..

  10. mappo commented on Jan 28

    The divergence between Republicans and everyone else demonstrates the danger of getting your news from Fox.

  11. BDG123 commented on Jan 28

    That poll says it all. What I’d really like to see is to exclude the top 15% from the poll. In other words, if you are making less than $50K per year, what would that poll look like.

    It’s also telling that many won’t be watching the SOTU address. That’s because Americans know no one in Washington is going to pay their bills or make their lives better. That politicians promise the world and never deliver much of anything except pandering. The only one who will make their lives better is themselves. And rather than watching a pandering politician, they’ll be out trying to solve their own problems. And, that is the only way the economy will recover. The industriousness of individuals and society. The ‘financial’ economy ist kaput. And, because of it, so is Wall Street.

  12. Stuart commented on Jan 28

    I’d like to know what it takes to become an expert. Is the primary qualification how deep up your ass you can bury your head. I just heard several expert analysts CNN discussing what Bush will say this evening. “He will highlights that we have fundamental challenges that the next President will need to address”. Gimme a freakin’ break. It’s his last speech. Anybody with one and a half brain cells will realize he cannot say anything other than “all is well” else he’ll leave his legacy to the historians always noting he acknowledged he left the state of the union in a weak state of affairs. There is a snowballs chance in hell he will acknowledge this in his final state of the union. Experts… Right! With disdain and disgust, you gotta be kidding me.

  13. Doug Watts commented on Jan 28

    The most interesting pie chart is people who label themselves Independent (upper left chart). 87 percent rate the state of the country as fair or poor and the split is almost even between fair and poor. That is striking.

  14. Andy commented on Jan 28

    @4degrees: turns out to be a bit more complicated than a typical “online poll” where you post a poll question on a site and people can bang on it all day long.

    http://www.harrispollonline.com/question.asp

    Seems they start with a large universe of people who have signed up to be polled and then randomly choose from that universe to take the survey and then count the answers they get. Admittedly not as perfect as ringing someone up during dinner to answer the survey questions, but I’m sure there’s some statistics to back up their error percentage.

    My own disclaimer: I’m just interested in how polls get taken and don’t have a dog in this hunt. I think the content I have already recorded on TiVo is perfect to watch during the SOTU, regardless of who is president.

  15. Pat Gorup commented on Jan 28

    I will not watch because Bush will be just feeding us more lies and distortions. Bush has no credibility. The good news here is that it’ll be his LAST state of the union!!

  16. Karl K commented on Jan 28

    You know what this poll proves?

    Most Americans are ignorant when it comes to economics.

    Most people don’t know what “bad” is as they watch “Two and a Half Men” on their flat screen TV they bought from Wal Mart, wondering whether they should have fish or chicken for dinner.

    You want bad? Try getting a job in France. Or wondering, like many Italian men between the ages of 25-35 whether they will ever get out of mama mia’s house. Or driving a cab in Mexico City where you wonder what’s going to get you first — choking to death from the smog, or getting your throat cut by roving gangs.

    I am sorry, the American public is a bunch of wussies. Quit eating Doritos and go for a walk. You can even take your iPod.

  17. 4degreesnorth commented on Jan 28

    @andy

    We share the same interest (polling techniques though, not tivo, I am just an economist living many thousand miles away from the US).

    This kind of polling, even drawing from a large sample, is usually biased. The only reason some companies are reverting to this type of polling is because they are less costly to implement than traditional, quota-structured, phone banks polls. Unfortunately, this is not a case of technical progress leading to better polls at a lesser cost, it is a case of the search for that evanescent 15% return on assets…

  18. michael schumacher commented on Jan 28

    Bush legacy???

    Ha

    Where is the children’s library going to be Put?

    Ciao
    MS

  19. Lord commented on Jan 28

    With all the Republicans reaching for Reagan’s mantle and ending up with Bush’s, how can they offer anything but more of the same?

  20. Karl K commented on Jan 28

    Lord said:

    With all the Republicans reaching for Reagan’s mantle and ending up with Bush’s, how can they offer anything but more of the same?

    Let’s see if I can get this straight — you, and many others on here, are posting on an economics blog. And yet is it possible that you long for candidates who, at the very least, are quasi-socialist in temperament?

    Is that right?

    Would you rather have as president a person who thought just a few years back — when she was in her 40s, so not an immature person at the time — that she could create a system that would top down manage 20+ percent of this nation’s GDP?

    And does anyone out there think Barack Obama has the foggiest idea of how the economy really works?

    The only candidate who does, frankly, is Mitt Romney — and he has more oil in his personality that he does on his finely coiffed hair. All the other candidates, Dem or Repub, are economic naifs.

    Look, a pox on all their houses. Frankly if you and others think that, somehow, things politically and economically are going to get THAT much better with Bush gone…well, naivete doesn’t begin to cover it.

    All of the presidential candidates have incredible intellectual and moral flaws. Frankly, I don’t care who wins as long as the government is divided so no politician can do too much damage.

  21. Lord commented on Jan 28

    And Mitt is quite lavish with his praise of Bush, but then no one believes a word he says.

  22. donna commented on Jan 28

    Mitt doesn’t even know enough not to put his dog in an open crate on top of his car. Come on.

    I’m a freakin’ libertarian and I see the need for national healthcare. if you can’t see it, then I would suggest you are the one who is naive – the healthcare costs are rapidly becoming out of control and have come close to destroying many companies, and are a major reason so many jobs are exported to other countries.

    Wake up already. You already pay all those costs for the uninsured anyway.

  23. Karl K commented on Jan 28

    Donna wrote:
    I’m a freakin’ libertarian and I see the need for national healthcare.

    In that case, Donna my dear, either the definition of “libertarian” has changed or you really aren’t one.

    Tell me, why is it that today you can buy a computer for $500 that 20 years ago would have cost $500,000? It certainly wasn’t because the computer making industry was nationalized.

    Competition, innovation, and the incentive for wealth are the things that allow greater choice and bring down the costs of goods and services. Lots of folks on here don’t hesitate, with some justification, to lambast our monetary policymakers for getting us addicted to cheap money. When happens when we start mainlining the drug of cheap/cost free health care?

    Really, people spend more time figuring out the best deal on a refrigerator but don’t want to worry one bit about cost-effective insurance. “Gimme free health care!! Gimme free health care?”

    That’s what the Dhimmocrats are going to promise…and if you believe that promise, I can find some long positions in AMBAC to sell you.

  24. Pat Gorup commented on Jan 28

    “Frankly, I don’t care who wins as long as the government is divided so no politician can do too much damage.”

    The “gridlock” mentality resolves nothing. If we are to evolve as a nation, we have to change.

  25. muckdog commented on Jan 28

    Gee, I read it a bit differently, BR.

    I saw that only 38% of Americans think that the current state of the country is poor. While 62% believe the state of the country is fair to excellent.

  26. Winston Munn commented on Jan 28

    Is this the night Bush announces his “No Stock Left Behind” program?

  27. The Guy Laura Bush Killed commented on Jan 28

    I chalk up the 35% good amongst Republicans to being team players. That and the fact that an increasingly large part of conservativism is strict adherence to the national mythology, and that demands wild eyed optimism, no matter what the realities portend.

  28. Karl K commented on Jan 28

    Pat Gorup wrote:
    The “gridlock” mentality resolves nothing. If we are to evolve as a nation, we have to change.

    Really? Why?

    Some time ago, Hedrik Hertzberg, editor of The New Yorker, was on CSPAN, an he was bemoaning the fact that the government was “inefficient.”

    I had to chuckle at that one. Really, Hedrik (and you too Pat) have you read The Federalist Papers?

    The Founders purposely created a creaky, squeaky, inefficient setup. They WANTED government to be slow, plodding, full of give and take and compromise. Their view — and it’s STILL the right one after all these years, despite today’s vacuous and unthinking mantra of “change” — is that a powerful smooth running central government is just the sort that creates all kinds of problems when it comes to freedom and individual liberty.

    Heck, give me any day a Congress that passes worthless non-binding resolutions of outrage as opposed to, say, Sarbanes Oxley. Good God.

    Barack Obama calls for unity. Frankly, to hell with that. I don’t want unity — I want DIVISION. I want competing ideas to slug it out.

    Government has four roles, and four roles only, in the context of offering up the largest amount of individual/private freedom:

    1. Provide for the common defense
    2. Ensure a sound currency;
    3. Protect the lives and property of its citizens; and
    4. Establish laws that allow for productive, beneficial and appropriately moral PRIVATE commerce.

    And THAT’S IT.

  29. kennycan commented on Jan 29

    Karl K writes Barack Obama calls for unity.Frankly, to hell with that. I don’t want unity — I want DIVISION. I want competing ideas to slug it out.

    AMEN TO THAT. (I’m not an evangelical – it’s just an expression.)

  30. Karl K commented on Jan 29

    Thanks, KennyC,

  31. Pat Gorup commented on Jan 29

    “I want DIVISION.”

    You would be in a minority. Probably where you find yourself often.

    “Government has four roles, and four roles only, in the context of offering up the largest amount of individual/private freedom:

    1. Provide for the common defense
    2. Ensure a sound currency;
    3. Protect the lives and property of its citizens; and
    4. Establish laws that allow for productive, beneficial and appropriately moral PRIVATE commerce.

    And THAT’S IT.”

    And they are not doing very well at any of those. Could it be that they can’t get anything passed and done because they’re too divided? The world is catching up by leaps/bounds while we slide backward.

  32. engineer al commented on Jan 30

    35% of Republicans also think the Earth is flat.

    The next 47% are waiting to see what FOX has to say about it before they decide.

  33. engineer al commented on Jan 30

    13% of the polled Republicans were RINOs, Dems posing as Republicans to skew the poll results.

    And that other 5% of polled Republicans who think the economy is doing excellent? That would be the “Bush base”, they’ve seldom had it this good.

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