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CA: 2010 Gov (Rasmussen 2/15)

Topics: poll

Rasmussen
2/15/10; 500 likely voters, 4.5% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
(Rasmussen release)

California

2010 Governor (trends)
Whitman (R) 43%, Brown (D) 43% (chart)
Brown (D) 46%, Poizner (R) 34% (chart)
Feinstein (D) 45%, Whitman (R) 43%
Feinstein (D) 48%, Poizner (R) 36%

Job Approval / Disapproval
Pres. Obama: 57 / 42 (chart)
Gov. Schwarzenegger: 26 / 73 (chart)

Favorable / Unfavorable
Meg Whitman: 56 / 28
Jerry Brown: 53 / 41
Steve Poizner: 38 / 37
Dianne Feinstein: 53 / 42 (chart)

 

Comments
Ryan:

All of these numbers are about where previous polls have them, with the exception of MW getting 43%. Given her low unfavorable rating relative to Brown, she needs to get to work on those who don't have an opinion before Brown does.

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StatyPolly:

Whitman has been running plenty of TV and Radio ads recently. Brown is not even an announced candidate yet, as far as I know.

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Farleftandproud:

Whitman and Fiorino are completely the worst elements of politicians of both parties. They would both look ridiculous to be running in the same election year, when the GOP message is to throw the book at the Democrats for the bailouts and their corporatism.

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Field Marshal:

Why would someone want this job? You have to be crazy. The state of CA is completely ungovernable. Arnold has shown us that. If he can't strong arm the lethargic and inept legislature in Sacramento with his 24 inch pythons, no one can.

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Stillow:

FM - Thats a good point. Who really does want this job....its unmanageable. The state of CA has created such a largedemand for spending that its simply not sustainable. CA I think is what most libs want the entire country to look like. One big giant entitlement state with half the people on some form of g'ment assistance.

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Farleftandproud:

The weather is so beautiful in Southern CA, and that is the reason so many people want to live there. I honestly can't blame them. That is why the home prices are so expensive, so being a desirable place to live, that makes population explosion out of control. It is ungovernable. It shares a border with Mexico and faces a huge problem with overcrowded prisons. I would love to live there, but not be a governor.

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LordMike:

"I think is what most libs want the entire country to look like."

Ummm... not really... We'd like a government that is not held hostage by a right wing extremist minority. That's why the state is ungovernable and is falling apart. You can't have a government where a supermajority is required to do anything, hence the senate, especially when you have a party (the republicans) who believe in nihilism and anarchy.

The GOP wants limited government? There you go... California has a government that is so limited, it can't even pass a budget.

You should love, California, Stillow... it's become a conservative limited government dreamworld!

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Xenobion:

I don't know where people are getting this but Republicans are running California. But really this is all about Prop 13 that needs to be over turned and the California tax system needs to be overhauled. All huge politically damaging projects both parties know they need to tackle but won't.

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Field Marshal:

LM,

Yeah, when i think of California, i think of conservative. LOL. The liberals decimated that state with their statism.

I never thought i would see the day when California began losing people because, like Farleft stated, they have a great climate.

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Stillow:

You libs are a total crackup. Liberals dominate this state, yet its the GOP's fault....hahahaahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahhh man, where do you ugys do your stand up shows on weekends? I'd liek t ocome watch!

Whenever a liberal like X says a tax system needs to be overhauled, that usually mean a massiv etax increase. Ya, cus CA is not taxed enough already.

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Xenobion:

The assembly is mostly democrat but the Gov has been Republican 3 of the past 4 times. California's gov powers are incredibly powerful compared to most states too.

Stillow I don't think you understand Prop 13 and what budgetary problems it caused especially with a housing recession. Talk to me when you educate yourself.

Typically conservatives not willing to pick up the tab on their own work. California has had a Republican Governor since 1983! minus Grey Davis for 4 years. Fess you to your responsibility Republicans you let California sink on your watch lol.

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Stillow:

Ya everyone understand Prop 13....if it was not for conservatives stopping at least soem of the spending and tax increases the state would hav ealready collapsed.

Republican does not equal conservative.

Its kinda cute though that your like mini obama's in a way. even though libs control everything, tis still all conservatives fault.

Its like arguing with my wife...you know how its my fault she forgets her purse at the restaraunt.

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Xenobion:

All of us with an understanding that the world existed before last year. Yes we have a notion of history and actually back our facts up with the fact that Republicans helped get us to this budgetary nightmare. You also have the lack of foresight to see that Republicans were spending like crazy too in this state. So you're either coming up with jokes or are a conservative hack by not fessing up to the crimes that conservatives help make in this state.

California conservatives are some of the most conservative in the country (as per 538.com legislative check). They voted yes on these budgets. Live with the facts.

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Stillow:

I'll try one more time simply cus your name is cool....anyone else I would just write off as a lost cause.

Ready.............here goes.

Not all republicans are fiscal conservatives. George W. Bush and Arnold to name just two. Your problem is that your stuck on republican vs democrat. The problem CA has and what is amplified nationally is SPENDING. I don't care what party your from, if your abig spender and love big g'ment spending then your a fiscal liberal. Who the hell cares if there is a D or R next to your name.

CA has created a humungous entitlement system....half the damn state is on some form of g'ment aid.....they have made people dependant on the state to survive in exchange for there vote. What is happening now is the end result of that liberal strategy.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to sustain the nanny state like CA. Huge entitlement, huge pensions for its public workers, etc, etc, etc, etc are all bleeding the state dry. As a lib you of course just say, hey lets just raise taxes....CA already has one of the highest tax burdens on its people. Countless people have left the state who took there money with them. Company's have relocated out fo the state. Taxes kill jobs, thats a fact.

You like to blame "republicans"........I blame liberal rpeublicanslike Arnold and Bush too....

Get off your d vs. R kick and get to the problem. We have tried the entitlement project and it does not work. CA was the great big g'ment liberal expirament. We tried the notion tha tg'ment can provide everything for you.....it doesn't work. The state is very near collapse financially. Its unsustainable......and its and its the fault of fiscal libs in both parties who cannot control there spending.

Just like the national situation is the fualt of big fiscal liberals like Bush and Obama who also cannot control there spending. This is why hte nation was founded on LIMITED g'ment.....cus the big g'ment nanny strategy is a miserabel failure.

Ben Frnaklin said our republic will fall once people figure out they can vote themselves goodies from the public treasury....paraphrased.

Liberalsim is fiscal insanity. There isn't enough money you can steal from americans to pay for the nanny state stuff.....its about to bring down CA and eventually its goign to bring down the country.....you simply can't run deficits forever and ever and have ever icnreasing debt.....and raising taxes won't solve every problem. G'ment is simply doing to much and providing to much....it wa snot designed to be this big and we are now witnessing the reuslts of the great liberal expiraments that started way back with FDR.

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Field Marshal:

Luckily here in Colorado, the people voted in a TABOR amendment capping spending increases at population plus inflation. Best thing we could have ever done.

Big government, as Stillow stated, is a liberal ideal, not a conservative one. And liberals come in all shapes and sizes, even republican. Arnold wanted compromise in that he wanted spending cuts and tax increases. His legislature was happy to raise taxes but when it came to spending cuts, they were more interested in accounting gimmicks than actual cuts.

CA is in for a big hurt if the economy does rebound fast and soon. I expect countries like Japan and the southern Mediterranean countries will not be far behind. Hopefully, these state failures will be a huge wake up call for the US.

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Stillow:

Its so frustrating. Every liberal every time tells me its my fault. I shoudl be paying more in taxes......for cryin out loud man, I already give half my money in the form of taxes. If there's 20 million tax payers in CA and you raise taxes one dollar on each of them....thats $20 million dollars out of the ecnomy....do you know how many jobs 20 million bucks can create? Instead the state takes that 20 million, wasted half of it on paper work, over regualtion and inherant inefficiencies built into all levels of g'ment....then the other half goes to giving fat pensions to politicans and making sure g'ment officials have privat ejets to fly aorund.

You libs think the answer to every single problem without exception is more g'ment and higher taxes. All that does is slow and eventually shrink economic growth, inhibits hard work and creats an ever expanding need for more entitlements. G'ment responds by creating an entitlement, then it runs out fo money in a few years and they want to raise taxes more to pay to expand the entitlement program.

There is no logic behind liberalism, none at all...its sole purpose is to control people, make them slaves to g'ment so htey can be controlled and to get votes. Its very easy to get votes when you promise someone, hey I will just give you money every month to live on, that other guy running actually wants you to work for it....vote for me.

Liberalism is and always has been about power and control over the rights and freedoms of the individual. Enttitlements are designed to create dependancy so that you have to keep coming back on your knees to be taken care of.

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Farleftandproud:

As a progressive, I would like to agree the excessive spending can be a huge problem. I think that there is a lot of waste, especially in NY state. A few years back they were going to raise some taxes on people to build a new stadium for the NEW York jets. Pataki ran up the debt in NY, and Paterson got left holding the bag. As governor though he has cut education and health coverage for medicaid. NY pays high sales tax, high property tax, and high income tax. The infrastructure in upstate NY is dreadful; bridges are not safe, roads are falling down.

In contrast, states like NC and VA keep their roads in good shape, and downtowns are well kept.

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Farleftandproud:

The problem I see is the middle class are still overtaxed in this country. I am sorry if any of you make over 250,000 a year, but I think those people can pay a little more. When I look at other industrialized countries the middle class sometimes pays fewer taxes. I think the Bush tax cuts set us back years and the affects are still here.

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Xenobion:

Here's a revelation for you then. Prepare for it..............

Not all Democrats are fiscal liberals!

It works both ways and being a social liberal is different from being a fiscal liberal. So I'd hope you'd respect that most of us here are social liberals and fiscal moderates/conservatives. We vote in liberals to turn over don't ask don't tell, we favor the environment, ect. ect. These are all social causes.

So before you start calling ALL OF US LIBERALS. Hopefully, you'll get it through your skull that we're on board with you on many fiscal changes. We're happy to get rid of much military spending, ect. ect. that many conservatives covet.

Liberalism is the protection of liberty for all. That an unfettered system of governance can be inherently discriminatory towards people. That the right to vote, serve in the military, ect. based on your sex, economic status, religion, ect. is protected. That's why we vote the way we do.

I'm stuck on Republican and Democrat because the Republican party doesn't stand for this. You may say conservatives stand for this and that but you've got no party to vote in to represent your views unless you're ideally a Libertarian or Constitutional Party person.

But here you are defending any prospect of a republican even if he doesn't stand for what you believe in. Backing Scott Brown? One of the most liberal republicans ever?

Stillow you're a partisan hack. Fess up to it. You don't stand for conservatism. You want your boys in the field and won't take responsibility when they do something wrong. Fess up boy, fess up.

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Farleftandproud:

I know that the PA governor Ed Rendell lowered the business tax considerably, making things more lucrative for small businesses.

I agree with the previous comment on most things other than Scott Brown being a liberal republican.That remains to be seen. He opposed medical marjuana and wanted to keep tough drug laws for non-violent offenders. For Mass, any Republican is a conservative. Others like Judd Gregg and Olympia Snowe talk the talk and get our hopes up and when push comes to shove, they have fought most of Obama's ideas, even when Obama has used ideas borrowed from Nixon or Reagan. As soon as Obama incorporates a more conservative idea, the GOP is automatically against it.

In my book I may have some Republicans I like better than others, but the one thing moderates and extreme conservatives from the deep south have in common is they have not yet had any legitimate plan on healthcare reform, and they all tend to support tax cuts for the rich. That is my main reason for despising Republican fiscal ideas in general.

In the same way the GOP is trying to bring in social moderates or even liberals, I like it when Democrats find a good pro-life candidate like Bob Casey who has principles be believes in, yet he is pro-union and cares deeply about reforming the health system. I want to see more leaders like him.

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Ryan:

I have to agree with you OL, not all dems are fiscal liberals, and not all repubs are fiscally (or socially) conservative. Schwarz and Bush couldn't keep their checkbook in their pocket. The unfortunate thing is that most new voters think Bush is the definition of a Republican, even though he spent like a democrat, even though his fiscal policies were conservative relative only to Obama.

The way things are spun now though, there is only one axis, with dems/progressives on one side and repubs/conservatives on the other, when this is not really the case. The people who lose out are those that aren't within those narrow lines, like Bayh. Here's a fiscally conservative guy who is willing to give up power (the only type of people who should be in power), for now at least, and he's driven out by the extremes in his party. it's happening in both directions.

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Stillow:

X - Well I tried. You are to caught up in your love for Dems. I have stated on mutliple occasions I liked Clinton after 94, I've also stated many times I voted for him in 96 because he began working very well with a conservative congress. And i will always appreicate his "the era of big g'ment is over" line. I didn't vote for Bush in 04, I did in 00 though as he ran as a fiscal conservative. Obviously he turned out otherwise. In 2008 I've been on record as not voting for McCain, but rather voted for barr as a protest vote, much like liberals voted for nader in 2000.

A partisan hack does not do those things. Right now I support candidates who are not liberal dems or liberal repubs. Scott brown is not fiscally liberal, you can make that claim til your blue in the face, reality defeats your claim easily. Christie in NJ, made an outstanding speech the other day on fiscal restraint and cutting spending.

Your valid points are washed away by your left wing rhetoric....you are anything but fiscally moderate or conservative. You've posted in countless threads that higher taxes and more g'ment spending is necessary........that is liberal, nothing else, just liberal.

We have tried the liberal thing and its proven not to work. Entitlements ALL go bankrupt. For you younger people do any of you honestly beleive social security will be around when you retire....no it will not. Like all liberal programs, its a program that was impossible to maintain..

I have no problems voting for a democrat if they are truly fiscally conservative or not your typical anti business loon. I'm a fan of Goodman, he is no republican. I actaully liked Nelson before his rollover on HCR where he betrayed his conservative alues.

You lefties seem to think its radical to demand smaller more reasonable g'ment....all you want is bigger and bigger g'ment and you want it at all cost. You want people with means to pay higher and higher taxes. You want to cut military spending, but increase abortion clinics.

These games you people on the left play don't work. The people are onto the gimmicks you run. When I speak of liberalism, I speak of fiscal liberalism. Socially I am libertarian and everyone knows it.

You can throw around cute little catch phrases like partisan hack, but my record is clear across the board. I am just as critical of republicans as democrats, ie Bush, arnold, etc.

Its htis attitude you have right now which is why your losing elections and why this fall is going to be brutal for you.

Again, we've tried the great liberal expiramtne in economics and its a total failure. CA leads the way...the entitlement society does not work and all it does is bankrupt everyone.

So X, my young freind, perhaps you should evaluate your policy posoitions and review mine that I speak of every day before you start tossing around partisan hack. I support candidiates who support putting limits on g'ment, cutting spending and engaging in sensible tax policy. 99 percent of the time that is not a democrat in this day and age.

You also know I am a former republican, now an Indy. I am a conservative indy who yes, would like very much if the republican party as a whole would once again return to its fiscally conservative values it once held. I will support any politican of any party label who stands for the things I mentioned.

You simply cnnot stand it that me and millions like me are standing i nthe way of your liberal take over....people like me ar standing in the way of your wish to have g'ment run all our lives and take all our money.

But you'll need to get over it, cus there is more of me than there are you.

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Aaron_in_TX:

Yeah, conservatives heart Clinton. They heart him soooo much!

Republicans (conservatives) IMPEACHED him.

Also, Hillary Clinton used to be the most hated woman in America until about March 2008 when it became clear she would not be the democratic nominee. How quickly they forget.

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Stillow:

Sarah Palin has taken over as the most hated woman in america.

Aaron, I totally agree, the republican party was totally out of line that impeachment mess. I think that actually cost Bush some votes in 2000.

Elected conservatives did not like clinton, but he had grass root conservative support. I know my dad also voted for him in 96 and he is just as staunchly conservative as I am fiscally. My mom never tells me, so I cannot say for her.

There's no doubt the two parties play stupid games with one another, but ideaology must prevail at some point and fiscal liberalism is a failure. If we had a magic pot with an endless supply of money in it, I'd be gun ho with you libs and say lets do it, but unfortuantely money trees do not exist and we must live i nthe real world.

Money makes the world go round, like it or not....and liberalism is bankrupting us.

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Stillow:

Let me give you an example of why libs really erk me. I am watching judge judy tonight cus I am addicted to the show....and some idiot lady who is 22 has a 15 month old and a 2 month old and is pregnant again....she has no job, receives welfare payments....one of the fathers has no job, the father of the oldest earns $9.50 as a cachier at walmart. The idiot lady is telling he rstory and mentioned she got a taxx refund of $6500....Judy asked how she did that with no job...the lady said thru various tax credits she gets that refund....

So liberals setup a system that provides these idiots to live off my dime. so I pay $49,000 in taxes and work my ass off....and this lady gets $6500 for staying home and making babies. I'm working and paying out the wazoo, she stays home and gets paid by me.

Liberals want everyone to suffer for the stupidity for a few. liberalsim is the equal distribution of misery.

If society did not provide means for these morons to live like this then perhaps they would wise up and learn to take care of themsleves instead of me doing it.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Sarah Palin has taken over as the most hated woman in america."

Not Nancy Pelosi? Makes you wonder if sexism has replaced racism as the intolerant streak in our politics. It does seem as though female politicians from both sides take a disproportionate share of criticism, especially if they are passionate.

If you want a low tax, low service regime, the USA is probably the best among the industrialized nations, except maybe for Switzerland. Other than that, you could go to Mexico. They are not taxed highly at all and your dollars go a long way. Their lack of concern for their poor shows it too, although if you are lucky enough to be middle class you can have a good standard of living comparable to the USA. There's also the Islamic countries, but somehow I think you might not like that.

".and liberalism is bankrupting us."

We don't have true liberalism. We have liberal wannabes. They want to give services and not pay for them. True "liberalism" would be like some European countries where they trade off dynamic growth and windfall profits for a social safety net. In some countries it works well, like Finland or Denmark; in others not so well. Seems like northern Europe in general does it better than the Mediterranean, although I think some of this may be cultural. In the southern mediterranean, they don't like working all that much, (when I was in Greece they literally closed stores from about 2-4:30 pm and went to the beach). They would probably still do that even if those governments did not give entitlements. In northern Europe they work diligently even though they get benefits.

In America we work incessantly for that fancy car and house we never fully enjoy because we're always working to pay for the financing of those things.

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Aaron_in_TX:

".and some idiot lady who is 22 has a 15 month old and a 2 month old and is pregnant again"

I can't speak for people like that. But judge shows tend to highlight the trailer trash set, so what can I say? I can empathize since I worked at Wal-Mart for a while, it gives you a rather depressing outlook on life. I'm probably a little more liberal because I worked there. I guess that lady gets the EIC. I would rather they give people like that tax credits for college tuition or trade school or something that would get them out of that situation. $6500 would more pay a year's tuition at a comm. college or a number of state schools.

This doesn't encapsulate all liberals though and it's inconsistent even among conservative stereotypes of liberals. Let's take another liberal stereotype - college professors. To get where they are, college professors have to go through 4 years college, 6-8 years graduate school, and 10-15 years as junior faculty where they must be productive and publish articles and/or books while teaching 4 or 5 classes a semester. All the while they could have been making more money by working elsewhere. This doesn't sound like laziness to me.

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Farleftandproud:

I think after the Scott Brown Victory, it was a wake up call that the media hype, the back room deals between liberal senators and Nelson and Lieberman who really don't care about their party, and all the counterattacks from the right, even Mass. had had enough. Payoffs to Princess Mary Landreu was something I found ridiculous. At that point, I began to feel as though reconciliation was a better way to go.

Howard Dean advised Democrats to revise the health care plan and not get the 60 votes, but most democrats wouldn't listen. Meanwhile the GOP was able to block out the Bush/Cheney years and distance themselves from Limbaugh and Palin, and try to win moderates. It is clearly working and Democrats need a miracle quick. No longer can I sit back and assume the GOP is only going to be a factor in the South and places like Indiana, Great plains and mountain states, but in places like IL, DE, NH, CT and even Mass.

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Ryan:

AiT-
I don't think Hillary is less hated because she wasn't the candidate, she's less hated because our frame of reference has changed. I remember watching the early Dem debates in 2008 and wondering to myself why Hillary sounded so realistic and grounded. It took me half the debate to realize that it was not because of what she herself was saying, but because of what BO was saying, and relative to him, she sounded great.

About the professors vs welfare democrats, it isn't that they are both lazy, it's that half of them want the gov't to take care of them (the welfare side) and half of them want to tell everyone else what is better for them, and they are willing to work to make sure that what they think is best is imposed on everyone else (the professors). So you end up with a party that is run by a small group of elitists and voted in by a large group of people clamoring for handouts. That leaves the middle class with the other political party.

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Xenobion:

I think its easy to understand that we prioritize things in voting for either a Democrat or a Republican. Many people vote Republican because it is their sole care about thinking about taxes at all times or something on the agenda. The same goes for Democrats where you are interested in the environment, equal rights, or something of the manner.

The ultimate problem is that you end up getting all of the cow when you vote for it Republican or Democrat. You can't go around vying for the tenants of convervatism or liberalism like you're going to get some pure candidate. And Stillow while you reference all the supposed failings of liberalism you fail to recognize the failings of conservatism. Liberalism doesn't STAND for big government, higher taxes, ect. ect. That's what it's been deamonized to stand for. It is not the opposite of Conservatism as many want to believe. Its a different priority of beliefs in our system and how it should opporate that may not prioritize the lowering of taxes, ect. ect. Yet the conservatives have always put a huge campaign to demonize Liberalism as against everything they stand for which is inherently false.

Liberals embrace a free trade, neo-liberal (economically speaking) system that was championed by conservatives. This used to be a huge fiscally conservative divide until Liberals were convinced that a tariff based system was horrible for the global economy.

What I'm reiterating is the beliefs of conservatives and liberals are no opposite but prioritized differently at the possible expense of one belief or another from the other side. I honestly challenge you to find a liberal that actually LIKES big government, high taxes. Liberals justify taxes through expenditures as you say but conservatives alike embrace these social expenditures like Social Security, the minimum wage, ect as their own agenda.

Obviously this gets down to redistribution of weath, which tax schemes are of course but noone will admit. When we get to the parties Democrats & Republicans each have their own constituents one believing the poor need help and the rich need help to make the poor better, direct distribution or trickle down. Both work in different instances and I think are prescriptive of problems.

But when I say partisan hack to you Stillow, you honestly seem to believe that every newly elected Republican we have coming at us is a new face of conservatism when that is not true. The party has not fundamentally changed.

I watch Judge Judy too, half the people on that show are liers despite taking oath IMO. Democrats and Republicans both create these bizzare tax schemes that anyone can take advantage.

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moooog:

Wasn't the new 10% tax bracket (formerly 15% under Clinton) on the first 12,000 of income created under Bush? That is a large percentage cut for lower incomes. Weren't the standard deductions raised from 7900$ to around $10,000 under Bush? Wasn't the 15% bracket greatly widened under Bush, so that many in the middle class who were paying 28% on a lot of their income received a large cut? Wasn't the 28% bracket lowered to 25%? Wasn't the Marriage penalty eliminated under Bush? Weren't the child tax credits created during the Bush administration? Weren't the time limits placed on the student loand interest deduction eliminated under Bush? Weren't the tax rebates that came in the mail several times from the Bush Administration? I am self-employed middle class in the 60-100 thousand area, and I received an incredible amount of tax relief under Bush compared with the Clinton years. Yes, he lowered the top rate from 39 to 35 or so, but when I checked out all the new brackets a few years ago, those making around 75 - 125,000 received the most benefit - and everyone benefitted from the new 10% bracket. I just don't know what the left means when they talk about the middle class being left out of the Bush tax cuts. If you're talking total dollars, sure - but % wise, it was very helpful - and a few 1000 is a big deal to me. I can't name a single thing that Obama has done for me on the tax front, and he said 95% of us have received a cut? What exactly is this tax cut in detail? I know I benefited from the things I listed above under Bush, and I fall squarely in the middle class. I'm not sure what Obama is doing for me - and frankly feel enough has been done. I'm more concerned with local property taxes.

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Aaron_in_TX:

Ryan,

First, conservatives seem to want their fair share of imposition on a host of issues.

Second, I work in higher education right now. I can assure you that professors do not want to impose their ideas on others. I also think their influence is very limited. Students do not care what profs think unless they need to remember it for the test, which they forget once it's taken. If profs really wanted the power to impose some agenda, academia is not the place to do it. At best your ideas will influence a few dozen of your peers and maybe some students angling for a curve in their grade.

Plus they love a good debate. I'm studying to be a historian...personally I think there are too few conservative historians; based on my observations they are about 20%. But in my experience someone with conservative sensibilities is less likely to be attracted to this line of work for various reasons, so the profession is self-selecting. The same probably goes for journalism. I've been told by conservatives that pursuing my dream is a waste of time, which seems odd to me since they are supposedly for personal liberty and the American dream and whatnot. I guess for them it's only good when it's their version.


As for Hillary, I think in 2008 there was a strong desire to have someone - anyone - different: not a Clinton or Bush which who have been in the presidency or vice presidency since 1980. It's not surprising that young people wanted someone different than the people who have been in power their entire lives. Obama happened to be the beneficiary of that sentiment, although it could have gone to a number of her challengers had they played their cards right. When I think back on it, my dislike of Hillary was irrational, kind of like hating the Yankees. Everybody loves to see the underdog pull an upset of the Yankees.

Obama was always more vague and had few convictions, particularly about domestic policy. I think a major reason health care failed was because Obama never had any real convictions about the issue other than vague agreement with democratic sentiment. Which is why congress was able to hijack the issue and get caught up in the weeds.

On foriegn policy I think he's doing exactly what he said he would during the campaign.

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CHRIS MERKEY:

stillow please explain to me how it is the democrats that are to blame for this recession when republicans have been in the presidential office for the past thirty years (minus 8 years for Clinton). They have been the majority in Congress from 94-06. i would really like to know. You might even be able to convince me but I don't think so.
IMO Reagan, i know conservatives think he is the 2nd coming of the Messiah, really screwed this country up. He made it ok for companies to become greedy, send jobs overseas even though they were making a lot of money already. All of those manufacturing jobs that we loss and are still losing is the reason why this country has fallen apart. we have to make something. 41% of our corporate net income is from Banking. if that isn't a pyramid scheme, i don't know what is. If people don't have good enough jobs to pay for things like mortgages, cars, utilities, then how will they be able to pay back the interest and fees that the banks like to overcharge. I have a lot more to say but i guess I will end it there.

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CHRIS MERKEY:

stillow please explain to me how it is the democrats that are to blame for this recession when republicans have been in the presidential office for the past thirty years (minus 8 years for Clinton). They have been the majority in Congress from 94-06. i would really like to know. You might even be able to convince me but I don't think so.
IMO Reagan, i know conservatives think he is the 2nd coming of the Messiah, really screwed this country up. He made it ok for companies to become greedy, send jobs overseas even though they were making a lot of money already. All of those manufacturing jobs that we loss and are still losing is the reason why this country has fallen apart. we have to make something. 41% of our corporate net income is from Banking. if that isn't a pyramid scheme, i don't know what is. If people don't have good enough jobs to pay for things like mortgages, cars, utilities, then how will they be able to pay back the interest and fees that the banks like to overcharge. I have a lot more to say but i guess I will end it there.

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Stillow:

X liberalism is the oppositte of conservatism. Show you a liberal hwo wants bigger g'ment adn higher taxes? Pelosi, Obama, Reid, Schumer, Frank, Sanders.....I could go on but it hurts to type these days.

Do I love the GOP? No, but at least this past year they are getting abck to some fiscal responsibility. They opposed more uge entitlements like HCR, raising the debt ceiling, etc. We cannot afford liberals in power right now, fro meither party. And your wrong, there is a resrugance in the GOP by conseratives. Go watch hristie's speech to his state legislature, that is good stuff. He is talking serious about getting spending under control.

Would I vote for a democrat, yes...do I favor republicans more, yes. Though I actually align with dems more on social issues. But things are so bad in this country with sepnding that I put those out of my mind.

Even if its politically motvated, the GOP is more fiscally conservative than they were two years ago. Spending help cause this recession and spending is making it worse.

I've been around a long time, I'm very good with finances and I can tell you the country is headed for financial collapse. This spending and these entitlements cannot be sustained. G'ment is to big and is doing to much.

There is a major problem in this country with entitlement and class warfare. You cannot make a weak man strong, by making a strong man weak. You do not create wealth by dividing it.

There is a fundamental problem with htis country that started in the 1930's and has been growing ever since. And its entitlement. Life owes no man a living, it only owes every man the opportunity to earn a living. We are on a direct path to financial collapse. Politicans spend money on fancy programs to get elected in the now, but do so at the expense of the future.

We are bankrupt, our people taxed to high and g'ment is to big. I am sorry if those things offend you, but it is what it is.

The country is in far worse shape than peole realize....look around the country....we are selling off key infrastructure to foreigners, bridges, buildings, transportation systems all being sold to the highest bidder in order to pay the bill currently. America is taking on tomuch debt to sustain outrselves. We will fall as a country if soemthing is not done...and ya know what, to fix this problem it will hurt. We need a Winston Churchill to show up, someone who says I have nothing to offer you but pain. Cus its going to hurt and hurt bad to save this country from collapse. We need to cut spending t othe barest of bones, yes raise taxes where w ecan and throw every dime at paying off the debt. If we got serious about it we could pay the debt off in 15 years. Then we should pass a balnaced budget ammendment making it illegal to go int othe red. At the end of that long dark tunnel, we would have plenty of money to pay for things like healthcare, new infrastructure.

But with our project deficits and debt over the next decade, we are simply killing ourselves, intrest payments alone will eat us alive. With moves countires like china are making our dollar may very well not survive this decade. Ther eis already a movement to move away from dollarrs for oil....that will kill us.

We have no conservative leadership saying any of this, our current crop of leaders are people like Bush and Obama who have no idea what they are doing....Bush was an idiot and Obama is stuck in permanant campaign mode talking about things like HCR which will only make our collapse come quicker.

Spending, it has to stop. Its not just words when people say its unsustainable, its a fact....the piper always comes knocking at some point. Its like a couple years ago that guy in your neighborhood who remodeled his house, bought the pool, has the new bmw in the driveway, joined the local country club and you sat there going how the heck is he doing that....two years later, the bmw is repo'd, the hosue is in foreclosure, he's in ch. 7 living in a tiny one bedroom apartment with no country club card.

So call me prtisan hack or whatever, but if we do not do something about liberal spending, we won't be arguing about what direction to take the country in cus we will not have one.

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Ryan:

AiT-
I'm in higher education too, a postdoc at Indiana University. I have to say I disagree that profs don't try to tell students what to think and what is correct, and they do it in a number of ways. In classes, they tend to tell them what to think as opposed to how to think. I'm in the Neuroscience & Psych departments, and while I'm on the neuro side of things, the social psych people are very political in class, albiet often not in a defined partisan way, but more in an issue-based manner. I am not that familiar with our History department, so I can't speak to that. The second way that politics is influenced here is in the non-class activities that are supported either by the university admin or professors, and it swings very left. I also don't think that this is always done intentionally, but I think that the profs can have a large effect on students, at least in the short term. Perhaps not each individual prof, but after a highly influencable 18 year old hears the same nuance over and over from people who they think are really smart (and I'll be the first to admit that people in academia on both sides of the isle aren't that much smarter than Joe-Shmo off the street), it has an effect on them. I also think that the 20% conservative side that you reference tends to be less vocal, at least here in Bloomington. I make a very conscious effort to not even hint at my political preferences at work. I am very aware that they would not be welcomed, with the exception of the whole research-on-animals topic. When i went to work at the polls in 2008, I even made sure that I went to the polling station south of Bloomington as opposed to in the town to avoid University affiliates.

Just to give one example, a lot of the research talks I go to are related to primate research. It was quite common over the past few years to see researchers include a slide that made some referrence equating Bush to a chimp. Now that particular practice would obviously be avoided with Obama for other obvious reasons, it made a clear statement that of course everyone in the audience was OK with the presenter taking a pot-shot at Bush, but this has never, not even once, gone in the other direction, at least in the talks that I have attended.

I have to say I agree with you that the political distribution is at least somewhat self selecting, and that probably is a source of the programming and course offerings which are skewed heavily to the left, and would probably not be if there were more conservatives in the departments. I also think that this self-selection might be related to what the currant make-up of higher education is. If you are of a particular political slant, I would assume you would be more likely to want to work in a politically friendly environment.

With that said, I don't think the influence of universities on the political makeup of their students should be underestimated.

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Aaron_in_TX:

Ryan,

Like you, I can only speak for the liberal arts departments that I'm familiar with, and psychology would not be one of them, nor do I know much about the professors in the sciences or fine arts. At best I had one class with each of them as an undergrad.

I'm not sure what you describe happens at all universities. Certainly some are more liberal than others. I'm at Texas State, where I find the faculty is less ideological than a major research university like University of Texas, where those people are writing seminal works in their fields and looking to influence it significantly. We certainly don't have the kind of campus activism that they do. Here, both college republicans and college democrats hold events, bring speakers, etc... Might be like the difference between UI and idk...Ball State. The philosophy department brings in liberals generally, but our political science department, for example, is quite conservative. Karl Rove came to speak on campus twice. It was funny how the first time (2002) it wasn't a big deal at all but the second time (2007) he got heckled badly. I've never been to any professional conference where political potshots are taken openly like what you describe, although some papers, especially dealing with 20th century subjects, have strong political undertones.

In my experience teaching, I can convince students on subjects that I'm expert in, specifically the 17th century. I can make it difficult for them to question my iterpretation of the English Civil War, Puritan culture, or the Dutch trade regime because I can bring primary sources to bear that they are unfamiliar with. How this might influence them politically or ideologically is beyond me, but if they want to do research to challenge me I would certainly encourage them to do so. As for other subject areas I can only give them synopses of the secondary literature.

Frankly I'm more interested in developing their ability to write coherent sentences and see connections between events rather than impose an ideological framework. I've had some students write papers that have conservative inflections and I give them the same high grade a liberal student would if they constructed their argument as well and based it on sources.

As far as "how to think?" I'm more interested in getting them *to think*, period, and produce quality research and analysis commensurate with their level. Trying to convince students of the superiority of an ideological approach like historical materialism (Marxist interpretation) would be too demanding for most of our undergraduates. It's difficult enough to teach them the basic facts and significance of a complex event like say the French Revolution let alone the leftist, conservative, or other interpretations of it and how to apply those interpretations elsewhere.

So when I teach, I give my preferred interpretation, but I make sure to acknowledge other prominent views. I even give a reading list of views that clash with mine, which very few students ever take advantage of; it's not required but extra credit.

For the record, Marxist interpretation does not work well for my research so I don't buy it much. I use that example here because it's something conservatives dredge up and demonize because of the name "Marx."

While it's true professors probably don't have much of a higher IQ than most people, they have spent their lives becoming expert in their field and I think that should be respected.

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