First, about the responders per Fram.... of the 1005 people polled, 48.6% (489) of them were Democrats. 36.4% (366) of them were Republicans. And 14.9% (150) of them were independents. Not leaning to one side by much, eh?
Altho that portrayal is not quite right, per the poll itself. In fact, the poll data at the end becomes quite confusing. Perhaps indicating that those asked for their initial party affiliation couldn't maintain that thought to the next questions!
The poll section labeled "Initial Party Identification" identifies responders as this: 23% Republican, 31% Democrats. 27% Independents, and 19% declined to plead guilty by association to anyone.
The next question wants to know are they "sorta" Dem/Rep, or middle of the road. And that's where Fram pulls his numbers.
More "grim" news for the GOP, sez Fram...
In a gauge of the public's grim mood, just 26 percent said they think the country is heading in the right direction, about where it has been stuck since late last year. Only 43 percent of Republicans, and less than 20 percent of Democrats and independents, said they think things are going well.
Ominously for Republicans, just 25 percent of moderates and 38 percent of conservatives are satisfied with the country's direction.
"Ominously", it appears an overwhelming amount of those calling themselves Republicans appear to be happier humans than their Democrat counterparts. No surprise there.
But this "going in the right direction" question plays both ways. *I* think we're going in the wrong direction... what with nanny state promises of socialized medicine, troop pull outs, lack of concern with terrorism and self defense, and unprofessional ism and corruption in Congress. So virtually everyone thinks, to some extent, that our Congress and govt is truly screwed up.
But notice polls don't ask anyone WHY they believe the country's going in the wrong direction. So what the heck does the question mean in the scheme of things??
Bush is apparently holding approval rates near where he's been for years.. in the low 30s. Considering how media battered he's been for 3-4 years, I think that's amazing. But it's notable that Fram seems to think that the 69% of Republicans polled that approved of the CIC's job is an "anemic" showing. Okay....
So let's go to Congress. 22% approval rating, and another new low. How about that 48% of Dems participating in the poll? Only 25% of them gave a thumbs up to their own party elitists in Congress. Now THAT's anemic, Alan. Where's the adjectives for them?
But Alan didn't want the Dim (not a typo...) Congress to feel too too bad. He offered up an excuse for their low approval.
Congress' lowest approval reading in the poll had been 24 percent, most recently in July. Its popularity often lags behind the president's because of public distaste toward the institution itself, and people often have far more positive feelings about their own representatives and senators.
"Often lags behind...". Okay.
How else did Bush fare?
"A record low 34 percent" on the economy. Of course, because it's Bush's fault on the subprime mess, eh? Add to that 31% of the responders are not vested in the stocks, bonds or mutual funds. So a stable and happy stock market plays not into their opinions.
31 percent on domestic issues such as health care, just below June's 32 percent.
29 percent approved of how Bush is handling Iraq
On foreign affairs and terrorism, 36 percent approved. Interesting... so much approval on terrorism and foreign affairs. Uh, isn't Iraq a part of that? Goes to show most responders can't hold a thought in their heads from question to question.
Additional factors here... there was 8-12% more Democrats weighing in. Also consider that 21% of those polled are not registered to vote (and therefore probably not paying much attention... like why should they?). And 15% are unemployed... uh that's why they're answering pollster phone calls. Does this mean there are more unemployed Democrats than Republicans??? :0)
Now... how about a reality check? This oh so "divided" nation doesn't seem so divided after all. The 30 percentile approval for such hotly contested issues as Iraq, and the ongoing hate Bush mania, doesn't look so bad when you consider Clinton was elected to the WH with 49.1% and 43.3% - not even a popular majority - in his two elections. It should be noted that even in the last election, Bush had over 50% of the votes
Last ditty... and relating to Clinton's non-majority win in his WH bids. London's Guardian touts a headline that says the Dems are rallying to "defend" the Electoral College election system. A more indepth article, dealing with California pondering whether or not to award electoral votes in the huge state via percentages of popular vote, appears here.
Really? "Defend"??? Well that's a kick in the pants considering recent history. Anyone remember the 2005 House Resolution proposed, sponsored by Jesse Jackson Jr (D-IL) and Frank (D-MA) to completely abolish the Electoral College?
Or how about SB46 in 2007, where they wanted to merge the states' intent together to reflect the popular vote? Why have an Electoral College at all if it just mirrors the popular vote, eh? That was sponsored by Senator Gordon (D-CO).
The above attempts were by a disgruntled losing party in the past two elections. They want the urbanites in big cities to reign supreme in power over the rest of us in the country. Now, with risking the loss of a traditionally Democratic California looming, the Guardian labels them as guardians of this system?? Chutzpah.
And what a difference a day makes to a so-called, history/research challenged journalist....