Politics — By The Numbers 5-25-2010

May 25th, 2010 by Lee Eldridge

Polls are interesting, but it is important to understand that they’re only a snapshot in time. And polls can be misleading. Take it from a marketing professional, how a question is phrased can certainly impact the responses given. The polls that I tend to read the most are the ones that are repeated over time — the tracking polls. Even if there’s an element of bias built in to the poll — intentional or unintentional — the trend over time is still revealing. Here are a few recent poll numbers I’ve found interesting.

63% Favor Repeal of National Health Care Plan
As news continues to trickle out about the health care plan, such as the CBO’s recent revision of the costs associated with the bill, support for repeal of the plan continues to rise. According to Rasmussen Reports, 63% of U.S. voters now favor repeal of the health care plan, the highest level ever.

From the same poll, “33% of voters now believe the health care plan will be good for the country, down six points from a week ago and the lowest level of confidence in the plan to date. 55% say it will be bad for the nation. Only 3% think it will have no impact.”

Generic Congressional Ballot, Republicans Hold 8-point Lead
In Rasmussen’s Generic Congressional Ballot, Republican candidates now hold an eight-point lead over Democrats. These numbers have been fairly consistent for several months. “While solid majorities of Democrats and Republicans support their own party, the plurality (41%) of voters not affiliated with either major party now prefer the Republican candidate, while 20% like the Democrat.”

Obama’s Job Approval Numbers
Virtually all of the major polling firms has a presidential approval tracking poll. Real Clear Politics does an average across all of the major polls, and according to RCP, Obama’s favorables are at 47.9, and unfavorables are at 46.4.

RCP's Presidential Approval Graph

64% Favor Offshore Drilling
I think this is the number that surprised me the most. According to Rasmussen: “Despite the major oil rig leak that continues to spew an estimated 5,000 barrels a day into the Gulf of Mexico, the majority of U.S. voters still support offshore oil drilling. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows 64% believe offshore oil drilling should be allowed, up from 58% earlier this month.”

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