23 April 2010

poll came back

Here's the original

The Raw

Couple surprises. The church going rate was lower than I anticipated. I'm guessing that this is because I'm not sure how many people still go to church nationally. This did skew a bunch of the social conservative elements down further than I expected (gay marriage is not popular, but civil unions were, and abortion was not significantly higher than where the national average is, and lower than the overall "Republican" voter on all three issues). I'm not sure what the difference between a bunch of poor Mexican workers seeking jobs and a bunch of poor Chinese workers taking them is either, but there's a big gap between people pissed about immigration and people not pissed about Chinese competition (or outsourcing). Seems like you should be either pissed about both or pretty ambivalent about both. If there's some other non-xenophobic reason to be afraid of Mexico but not China, do tell (if it's drugs or crime, then my response is stock Libertarian: legalise it and end the ruinous interdiction policies). The distance factor seems relevant, since we can in theory see the person who "stole our jobs", whatever that means. I suppose the psychology of that matters for purposes of opinion forming, but it's not very informative (and in the real world, doesn't matter anyway).

The primary thing I took away here though was that there are ton of Bush-McCain voters (plus Palin supporters, basically the same thing) who are identifying as "Independent" for some reason. I suspect this means two things
1) Anti-incumbent feeling will cut against Republicans as much as Democrats. This will not help at the mid-terms, especially in the Senate. It's fairly possible that Republicans could win back the House at this point, but I'm pretty confident they've got no shot at the Senate. The lady talking about trading chickens for medical care in Nevada may still win. But that's because she'd be running against Harry Reid. The chickens could probably win that one at this point.
2) The Republican brand is still perceived as an embarrassment or as somehow abandoning some critical issue. Since most of the issues that are expressed as significant and meaningful to these folks haven't changed in a decade, my guess is that few of them were informed of these events as they unfolded over the course of that decade and became activated when Team Red lost the election(s) in 2006 and 2008. But since team Red had lost, it was deemed that there must be some reason to appear to be something else, such as "Independent". There are still a healthy percentage of what I perceive as the original core for the Tea Party movement (Ron Paul supporters). But I don't think this more disciplined group (that was protesting Bush activities and deficits) has swelled up to encompass many thousands of angry demonstrators without some other cause.

One other critical point was "leadership in my state government" didn't seem to annoy people. My observation here is that this would have one of two major causes.
1) People are ignorant of the activities of their state and local governments and perceive those intrusions as federal, and in particular as emanating from the President (this happens a lot).
2) People moved or voted their way to more pleasant circumstances such that they could "safely" ignore state and local government. With this group, a mostly affluent and well educated demographic without significant racial pressures, it's pretty likely more the second answer than the first. Note: the second answer does not preclude ignorance of local and state activity, it just means that these are less meaningful, justifying the lack of knowledge and attention as more rational.
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