These people may well be God’s gift to the Democratic Party and by extension to the United State of America. They are extremely important in determining who the Republican Presidential candidate is and at the same time are so far outside the American mainstream.
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Central Florida. I was home alone except for my chocolate lab Buddy. We decided to indulge ourselves a nice nap. We left the sliders open and the ceiling fans going and nodded off for a little over two hours. Shortly after awaking I turned on the television and live coverage of Rush Limbaugh’s speech to CPAC was on. Now red meat is fine and I realize that people have different philosophies and viewpoints, I just wish people would be accurate.
Then one of the talking heads mentioned straw polling done at the convention. I decided to see what I could find online. After an exhaustive search – actually it took me well under five minutes, I came up with the CPAC 2009 Straw Poll; results as published by Fabrizio McLaughlin & Associates. But then again since I’m one of those liberal elites with a college education where my brain was filled with mush, I have an unfair advantage.
I just wanted to get the Presidential Preference poll results but I was able to get the entire package and then I became inspired to write out of the sheer joy of realizing just how out of touch these people are. They are incriminated by their own polls!
The surveys: who are they
Fabrizio McLaughlin & Associates actually did some very nice work. The first and last couple of pages are housekeeping stuff. The polling was conducted February 26-28,2009. 1,757 people voted. They hailed from 48 states and DC. 52% self identified as students. 36% self identified as individuals. 13% self identified as co-sponsors or associated with co-sponsors. This constitutes an acceptable rounding error for a total of 101%.
Ages were: 18-25 57%, 26-40 16%, 41-55 12%, 56-65 7%, 65+ 5% and under 18 2%. The following is not a typo. The published results for gender were: Male 59%, Female 29% and Refused 12%. Did they ask the question as “sex” and 12% though it was an offer?
The only things I find concerning about these numbers is that the sample size is the largest for any year covered in their statistics. However, they only covered 2005 through 2009. What were the numbers prior to that? Was participation up due to a factor other than interest? Did they make it easier or cheaper to attend?
The other number that concerned me was the high student participation. Was this due to the fact that students have an easier time of taking a few days off than working stiffs do? Or is there a genuine interest in regressive causes among our young?
The surveys: on Washington
The first Washington, D.C. oriented question at CPAC was, “Do you approve or disapprove of the job that Barack Obama is doing as President?” President Obama garnered a 4% approval with 80% responding “Strongly Disapprove”. The Gallup poll of February 27, 2009 shows president Obama with a 67% approval rating. That’s a difference of 63%. May I remind you there are only 100 percentage points and these people missed by 63. What America do they represent?
The next Washington, D.C. oriented question was, “Do you approve or disapprove of the job that the Republicans in Congress are doing?” CPAC gave the congressional Republicans a 70% approval rating. The way questions are posed often skew results so I was very careful in selecting a mainstream poll. The ABC News/Washington Post poll of February 19-22, 2009 asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their job?” Result – a 38% approval rating. I must admit I found the 38% number surprisingly high but I do operate from a position of prejudice. Still the CPAC people almost double the general population’s opinion. If I were a politician with a 70% approval rating I’d feel pretty secure. At 38% I’d be reexamining myself and/or dusting off my resume.
The surveys: 2012 Presidential preference
This was the question that most interested me. I am planning an essay on possible 2012 Republican presidential candidates and need this information so that I did not fail to include somebody of possible consequence. That essay is however for another day.
The question was, “Thinking ahead to the 2012 Presidential election, who would you vote for as the next Republican nominee for President?” The results:
Mitt Romney 20%
Bobby Jindal 14%
Ron Paul 13%
Sarah Palin 13%
Newt Gingrich 10%
Mike Huckabee 7%
Mark Sanford 4%
Rudy Giuliani 3%
Tim Pawlenty 2%
Charlie Crist 1%
I know folks that only totals 96%. Please don’t shoot the messenger. Let’s learn some lessons.
First off nobody here scares me. I need to learn more about Pawlenty and I promise to by the essay dedicated to this subject. My preference would be Sarah Palin because she would be the easiest to beat. My fear would be undecided. This 9% may well represent the brain trust of CPAC. If you excuse my relative ignorance of Pawlenty, nobody on this list can win. You say what about Romney? Let me just say that many Democrats were licking their chops to get a shot at his business record but we were smart enough not to fight a premature battle in 2008. We did not fall into the trap the Republicans did when they ran against Hillary Clinton only to have Barack Obama end up the nominee.
The other presidential question was, “Would you say that you are generally satisfied with the names that have been floated as potential Republican Presidential contenders for 2012 or do you wish the Republican Party had a better field of potential candidates?” 44% wished the GOP had a better field of candidates. This poll more than any other in this group shows signs of possible intelligent life.
In the world of politics 2012 is light years away. The results of the 2010 Congressional elections – which will depend to a great degree on the velocity of the economic recovery – will dictate so much about the atmosphere in which the 2012 election will take place. At this point I cannot see any Republican candidate that can beat Barack Obama in 2012. However the Obama administration could beat itself or be such a tainted “brand” that a Republican could win by default. I do not think that will happen but it is simply too far in the future.
The surveys: beliefs and priorities
The first question in this series was, “Which ONE of the following comes closest to your core beliefs and ideology?”
In first place an overwhelming 74% chose, “My most important goal is to promote individual freedom by reducing the size and scope of government and its intrusion into the lives of its citizens.” That’s right we don’t want government to intrude into people’s lives unless of course it’s into the womb of that dumb broad across town. You have the freedom to choose which non-union employer you will let exploit you but not whether to give birth.
Finishing last of the three choices at 10% was, “My most important goal is to secure and guarantee American safety at home and abroad regardless of the cost or the size of government.” This answer coming from the flag waiving “patriots” of the extreme right wing is simply stunning! The hypocrisy may be summed up as such. I want a safe and secure America as long as I don’t have to pay for it.
Next came an issue ranking question, “Which of the following issues is MOST and SECOND MOST to you personally?” Again, this is not a typo. I assume the word important is missing. The results are listed below with the first/second percentage:
Reducing Size of Federal Gov’t. 27/16
Reducing Government Spending 9/15
The War on Terrorism 12/11
Lowering Taxes 9/13
Doing Away with Abortion 10/5
Illegal Immigration 4/6
Stimulating the Economy 5/4
Restoring Gov’t Honesty 4/4
Promoting Traditional Values 4/4
Protecting Gun Owner’s Rights 3/4
Improving Education 2/3
The War In Iraq 2/3
I’ll begin with a statement of fairness. I don’t like questions like this one. It predetermines your choices and forces you to pick only two of what you may feel are many important issues.
However, we can draw some valid conclusions from analysis of the data. The members of CPAC are more concerned about their money than anything else. Greed is their favorite sin. Three of the first four on the list have to do with lowering taxes. 45% had one of those three, (from their mindset redundant issues), as their number one.
Finishing tied for last was improving education. Let’s keep Bubba dumb and he will keep voting Republican. Hell, that was the defacto policy of the Bush boys when they were the Governors of those great education states Florida and Texas.
Their social issues, (Doing Away with Abortion, Illegal Immigration, Restoring Gov’t Honesty, Promoting Traditional Values and Protecting Gun Owners Rights), fell mainly to the middle of the pack. I can understand why Restoring Gov’t Honesty is low on the list. We have made a lot of progress in that area in the 2006 and 2008 elections by getting rid of a lot of Republicans. Given a choice between their money and their principles Republicans will choose their money every time.
Last in this series is, “Which of President Obama’s and the Democrats in Congress policy initiatives do YOU fear MOST…” The results:
Expanding gov’t with new spending programs 36%
Nationalizing a government health care system 20%
Restoring the Fairness Doctrine 10%
Reversing the Bush tax cuts and raising taxes 9%
Allowing federal funds to pay for abortions/clinics 8%
Closing the Guantanamo Bay prison 6%
Establishing U.S. dialogue with Iran/Hamas 4%
Establishing a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq 2%
Taking away workers’ rights to secret ballot 2%
Having the U.S. sign onto the Kyoto Protocol 2%
Allowing gays to openly serve in the military 1 %
First off the question is in and of itself prejudicial. Common in polling especially when the GOP is involved. Can you say South Carolina? Second, many of the responses are also prejudicial, inaccurate or misleading. But I have to work with what I’m given. Money is king again. Four of the top five responses are money oriented and account for 73% of the votes. Interestingly enough I’m not sure the only non-money one in the top four, (Restoring the Fairness Doctrine), exists. But Brother Rush thinks it does and that is good enough for the CPAC crowd.
It was interesting to see that 2% actually listed “Taking away workers’ rights to secret ballot” as their number one fear. It warms my heart to see so many conservatives have such concern for the American worker. Perhaps it was just the misleading language that deceived them?
The surveys: popularity contest
I wasn’t even going to comment on this one at first but least I open myself to critics I will briefly cover it. The question was posed, “Who is your favorite conservative media personality on either TV or radio?” The results:
Rush Limbaugh 26%
Glenn Beck 17%
Sean Hannity 11%
Bill O’Reilly 10%
Ann Coulter 7%
Laura Ingraham 4%
Michael Savage 3%
Mark Levin 2%
Michael Medved 2%
Neal Boortz 2%
Bill Bennett 2%
Rush finishes first. No surprise there. Reviewing the top of the list in particular the first word that comes to mind is credibility. Some great entertainers there but rely on them as your source of news at your own peril! Even now Bill O’Reilly is probably trying to link his fourth place finish to some left wing conspiracy at the Obama White House or MSNBC.
Interestingly missing from the list are names like Tucker Carlson, Ed Rollins, Andrew Sullivan and P. J. O’Rourke. Perhaps I can answer that question with one word also, that word is credibility.
CPAC our friends
The only aspect of CPAC I fear is the 9-10% that is undecided and displays some semblance of intelligence.
With out of touch, right wing, regressive radicals like the vast majority of CPAC in effect controlling the Republican Presidential selection process, we are poised to win for some time to come. These people are so far from the American mainstream that they cannot beat the Democrats. Just like a good ball club, your opponent may not be strong enough to beat you but you can always beat yourself.
Barack and Joe please listen. Please continue to operate with the best intentions and integrity that you have displayed thus far. As the inevitable mistakes happen, recognize them quickly and make the appropriate corrections/admissions/apologies. The only opponent on the horizon that can be you is best viewed in a mirror.
This essay is the property of tellthetruthonthem.com and its content may not be used without citing the source. It may not be reproduced without the permission of Larry Marciniak. Its original date is listed at its conclusion.