Tuesday, November 09, 2010

More Spin About Voters' Motives?

More discussion of the voters' polling data from the election last week. Big article over at the New Republic. It supports my earlier analysis that people voted a bit out of confusion and anger (perhaps lack of knowledge) about the economy and what Obama's government has done to help improve it. However, a majority of voters said their financial situation was the same OR better than two years ago. A majority of the MINORITY (41%) who said their situation was worse voted Republican. The authors of the article spin it the other way. What to say about those 60% who feel better or at least don't feel worse off? That statistic causes problems for the quick inference that voters voted against Obama.

Calculate:
60% disapprove of Obama's job performance
+
60% say same or better off financially than two years ago
+
80% say very concerned about the economy
+
25% blame Obama for economy
=
Blame Obama and Democrats and vote Republican??

(Oh, and 20% think he's muslim, and and another 30% who just aren't sure. Figure that in)

The authors do overall suggest the voters are misinformed and voting out of frustration about their perception of the economy. As they say, and contrary to the spin about "the people" having had enough of "Big Govt" and the healthcare bill, blah blah blah, the data shows the contrary.

The authors write:

"The election did not appear to be a repudiation of the new health care reform law. About as many said they wanted to see it remain as is or be expanded (47 percent) as said they wanted it repealed (48 percent). Nor did it appear that voters were embracing the GOP position on tax cuts. A 52-percent majority of voters wanted to either keep only the Bush tax cuts for those under $250,000 or let them all expire compared to 39 percent who wanted to keep all the tax cuts.

Political commentators are notoriously prone to over-interpreting election results. Strategic and policy decisions certainly made some difference in the magnitude of losses, but in a horrible economy it's difficult to escape the reality that Democrats were poised to lose a significant number of seats no matter what they did."

This is more or less what I wrote a couple of days ago, albeit with a longer critique of public opinion polling and analysis that claims to speak for "the people." If you missed that, try it here.

Also published at OP-ed News


1 comment:

Jayson Harsin said...

To the "anonymous" commenter, if you dont' have the courage to sign your name with your words, I'm certainly not interesting in engaging you (and publishing) them. You might also want to give more than opinions for your claims--well, if you're interesting in talking to anyone but yourself and your pals who agree with you.