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US: National Survey (Pew 2/3-9)

Topics: poll

Pew Research Center
2/3-9/10; 1,383 adults, 3.5% margin of error
1,129 registered voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Pew release)

National

Obama Job Approval
49% Approve, 39% Disapprove (chart)

State of the Country
23% Satisfied, 71% Dissatisfied (chart)

2010 House: Generic Ballot
45% Democrat, 42% Republican (chart)

Would you like to see your representative in Congress be re-elected in the next congressional election, or
not?

49% Yes, 31% No

Regardless of how you feel about your own representative, would you like to see most members of Congress re-elected in the next congressional election, or not?
32% Yes, 53% No

Do you think of your vote for Congress this fall as a vote FOR Barack Obama, as a vote AGAINST Barack Obama, or isn't Barack Obama much of a factor in your vote?
24% For, 20% Against, 51% Not a factor

Favorable / Unfavorable
Republican Party: 46 / 46
Democratic Party: 48 / 44
Congress: 41 / 50
The Tea Party Movement: 33 / 25

As of right now, do you generally favor or generally oppose the health care bills being discussed in Congress?
38% Favor, 50% Oppose (chart)

Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military?
61% Favor, 27% Oppose

Party ID
31% Democrat, 26% Republican, 37% independent (chart)

 

Comments
Stillow:

Congress needs term limits.

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Farleftandproud:

I don't know about term limits in Congress because anyone can be vulnerable when their party is going through a tough time as was the case in MS and Idaho in 2008. It is just two years, so any opponent can poke holls in a candidate they see as weak. The supreme court is where I have a problem. I think they should not be appointed for life. In fact I wish they could be re-elected every 6 years from their initial appointment. I find that at least governors, senators and reps if they aren't doing a good job have the chance to be voted out, but with the courts, people's mindsets can change, yet the 5-4 split has been responsible for some very unfair and undemocratic laws.

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Field Marshal:

This poll is all over the place. Approval/Disapproval for Obama seems high as does generic ballot.

But favorabilities for Dems and Reps are also very high with Reps net zero (dont think i've seen any poll where thats the case). In addition, Tea Party has a net positive favorability.

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Stillow:

Most polls I have seen have the tea party with a net positive favorable. As the movement continues to grow that positive rating will grow.

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Xenobion:

I doubt the Tea Party movement will get beyond a low 40's favorability unless done by some random Republican pollster.

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Ryan:

A general question:

It seems like whevever there is a large amount of "undecided", or in this case, a large majority of people not included in the approve/dissaprove (49/39 - so 12% missing), that it mainly comes out of the disapprove, relative to other polls.

Is this usually the case?

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Ryan:

A general question:

It seems like whevever there is a large amount of "undecided", or in this case, a large majority of people not included in the approve/dissaprove (49/39 - so 12% missing), that it mainly comes out of the disapprove, relative to other polls.

Is this usually the case?

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Field Marshal:

Ryan,

Yes. Ras' daily president poll is a good example. The poll doesnt allow an undecided. Its approval is usually just a few points below Gallups (the likely voter vs adults phenomenon) but the disapproval is usually significantly higher than Gallups.

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jamesia:

Stillow:

Congress does have term limits: elections. If you mean hard term limits, there's a reason our Constitution was designed without them. A Congress critter can be elected repeatedly depending upon how well their constituents are represented. The impetus is toward better representation. Adding hard term limits removes accountability, as a representative could vote without regard to their constituency. After all, there's no re-election possible.

The fact that Congress is consistently unpopular is a testament to a failure of the "likely voter" model. Clearly, if all these "likely voters" were "actual voters", Congress would look completely different. Among actual voters, Congress is probably popular.

I bet the Tea Party movement receives a net positive in most polls because the movement itself is mostly known only by its supporters. Clearly, according to this poll, when asked about the movement, most people say "huh?"

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IdahoMulato:

Ryan:

"A general question:

It seems like whevever there is a large amount of "undecided", or in this case, a large majority of people not included in the approve/dissaprove (49/39 - so 12% missing), that it mainly comes out of the disapprove, relative to other polls."

Could we apply the same analysis to the tea party? The tea party has approvals /disapprovals of 33 / 25 - 42% missing. So if we apply your analysis, it will be 33/67.

It's too simplistic to make such analysis. Also, remember ABC polls puts it at: 25/40.

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IdahoMulato:

Ryan:

"A general question:

It seems like whevever there is a large amount of "undecided", or in this case, a large majority of people not included in the approve/dissaprove (49/39 - so 12% missing), that it mainly comes out of the disapprove, relative to other polls."

Could we apply the same analysis to the tea party? The tea party has approvals /disapprovals of 33 / 25 - 42% missing. So if we apply your analysis, it will be 33/67.

It's too simplistic to make such analysis. Also, remember ABC polls puts it at: 25/40.

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Stillow:

jamesia

Term limits are now requried these days. Incummbants become so entrenched and powerful they are difficult to defeat. They make allies with key players i nthe media and big business. They have power funding advantages, etc.

The same reason we term limit out a president so that he cannot become an elected king.

Yes its nice to wish elections served as term limits, but once an incumbant becomes entenched with corruption and key allies, its very diffciult to unseat him.

We woudl benefit from a constant in/out flow of people in Congress. We have people who serve for decades in the same seat....they become out of touch with the people.

1 six year term for senators
2 two year terms for Reps

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Stillow:

Idaho - ABC was 35/40 for tea party.

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jamesia:

But if there was that much turnover, we'd constantly have freshmen Senators that didn't know what they were doing. Any long, ongoing proposals would have to be reviewed with each new round of elections. They'd spend the first year of each election cycle reinventing the wheel.

Getting around funding and media favorability type disadvantages that you mention seems like more of an argument for publicly/alternatively funded elections. Now that (even foreign) corporations can buy our elections, it's only going to get worse. Even with term limits, we'd end up just having a multiple dynasties of corporate Senators. Exxon could just sponsor a new candidate each time, effectively replicating a single, long-serving Senator.

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Uchenna Oguekwe:

Very interesting question:

Do you think of your vote for Congress this fall as a vote FOR Barack Obama, as a vote AGAINST Barack Obama, or isn't Barack Obama much of a factor in your vote?
24% For, 20% Against, 51% Not a factor

More pollsters should ask this question. I think it would give some insight on whether or not making this election about the president will work for the GOP.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Do you think of your vote for Congress this fall as a vote FOR Barack Obama, as a vote AGAINST Barack Obama, or isn't Barack Obama much of a factor in your vote?
24% For, 20% Against, 51% Not a factor"

The 2009 gubernatorial and 2010 MA special elections also reported similar numbers regarding their vote and Obama's role, yet the media narrative is that Obama himself is the crucial determinant in all political decisions even at very local levels.

"We woudl benefit from a constant in/out flow of people in Congress."

Good Lord, Stillow clearly knows nothing about our founding. There were 3-year term limits in the articles of confederation. James Madison answered the question "Why no term limits for representatives?" in Federalist #53, and term limits for the house of representatives has been found unconstitutional by the supreme court.

Madison used the basic argument Jamesia used:

"A few of the members, as happens in all such assemblies, will possess superior talents; will, by frequent reelections, become members of long standing; will be thoroughly masters of the public business, and perhaps not unwilling to avail themselves of those advantages. The greater the proportion of new members, and the less the information of the bulk of the members the more apt will they be to fall into the snares that may be laid for them. This remark is no less applicable to the relation which will subsist between the House of Representatives and the Senate."

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