Vox Pop

Vox Pop
: Lots of interesting poll nuggets from Gallup:

: Most Americans now believe we are winning the war on terrorism. As of April 22, after the war, 65 percent said we’re winning; before the war, on March 3, only 37 percent said that. So most people bought the connection between Saddam and terrorism? Yup. See this:

: Most Americans say the war in Iraq made the country safer from terrorism. By a 58 to 33 percent margin.

: Americans are still worried about terrorism — and terrorists spreading disease. The level of terror anxiety has not changed. About a third are fretting, roughly the same fret level as before the war — and the same level worried about terrorists spreading a disease.

: Most Americans are no longer willing to give up civil liberties to fight terrorism. This tide shifts. Right after 9.11, it was evenly divided; now its’ 64 to 33 against curtailing liberties. The position is most strongly held on the left. Among Democrats, 74 vs. 21 favor civil liberties (and liberals 80 to 16); among Republicans, it’s 52 to 45.

: The job situation is getting worse. 60 percent know someone who just lost a job, up from 43 percent right before 9.11.

: The economy is not perceived as a disaster. In Bush I’s reign, in 1991, 88 percent said we were in a recession; today, 56 percent say so. Bush I’s disapproval rating on handling the economy was 57 percent; Bush II’s is 45 percent.

So… Things look rosey for Bush and difficult for the democrats. He not only won the war in Iraq, he’s now perceived as winning the war on terrorism (until, of course, the next attack). His father was defeated by the economy, but he’s in better shape (unless, of course, the economy keeps tanking — especially after the next attack).

  • You do underscore the Democrats’ main problem–their best “hope” is that there is another attack or that the economy indeed tanks (I would argue that is not currently tanking, but, rather, limping along). The Democrats are in a very difficult position, as they really don’t have a positive message to run on–it is either Bush Lite, or anti-Bush–neither of which appears to have a chance to work. Even another attack may not help the Democrats, as it would have to be an attack that could be blamed on Bush administration failure, and/or one which the Bush administration handles poorly. An attack that is well dealt with could actually help Bush.

  • Nima

    It’s interesting how the minds of Americans are directed by US ‘patriotic’ mass media…

  • Soren Ryherd

    News items like this drive me nuts. Public opinion is not reality. Our perception of whether or not we are safer has *nothing* to do with whether or not we are, in fact, safer.
    The best question of the lot was the one pertaining to civil liberties, as public opinion should drive policy on this issue. Well, yeah, and whether constitutional rights are being infringed.

  • felix

    Bush is riding high in the polls because Americans are not aware of any alternatives. The Dems don’t need “another attack” (that would actually help Bush) or the economy tanking (it is tanking), they need a candidate who can put into words their true fears – That was Reagan’s secret.

  • Catherine

    Oh yeah, Nima, we are all sheep…baaahhh! baaaaah!

  • And yeah, felix, Americans are not “aware” of other alternatives. It’s not like other alternatives are being considered and rejected, no not at all. That would disturb that pleasant picture of the general US population as consisting of rather stupid children.

  • watch this video and you will understand that these polls are completely irrelevant.

  • The Democratic Party has a deeper problem than Bush’s popularity.
    Democrats lost big in 2002 because the party leadership spent the six months leading up to the elections proving that they can’t be trusted with governance in wartime. No solutions, only anklebiting, plus the unedifying spectacle of Terry McAuliffe announcing that Americans only care about “kitchen-table issues” (and by implication are too stupid to understand all that hard foreign-policy stuff). Then after the elections…. well, McAuliffe is still there, Nancy Pelosi is the new Minority Leader, and the party core as far as I could see gave an excellent “La la la I can’t hear you!” performance over the election.
    The thing is, this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s greater agreement by the electorate with Republican policies as opposed to Democratic… but few going to want to elect a set of irresponsible airheads to public office, policies or no policies. Not now. If the Democratic Party wants to thrive, it needs to start worrying less about undercutting Bush and more about looking responsible to the voters.