"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Another week, and another batch of polls – almost all good news for the Republicans in their efforts to hold the House and gain a majority in the Senate this November. There’s still plenty of time for the GOP to turn the tide, and grasp defeat from the jaws of victory. But for those of us who hope and dream for some change we can believe in, let’s enjoy the possibilities while we can.
*The latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll has found that President Obama's approval rating remains “ominously weak” among the constituencies that could tip the battle for control of the Senate in November. According to an April 28th article posted at natinoaljournal.com:
“Obama's overall approval, standing at just 41 percent, remains near the lowest level ever recorded in the 20 Heartland Monitor Polls since April 2009. And only one in four adults say his actions are increasing economic opportunity for people like them, also among his worst showings in the polls. His numbers are especially meager among the non-college and older whites that dominate the electorate in the seven red-leaning states where Democrats must defend Senate seats in November.”
*The President’s continuing decline in popularity was highlighted in the results of a new Washington Post/ABC News poll published yesterday at USATODAY.com:
“A new Washington Post-ABC News poll gives President Obama an approval rating of only 41%, the lowest mark of his tenure in this survey.
That's down from the 46% approval rating Obama had for the first three months of 2014, according to the poll.
The numbers bode ill for Democrats in the November elections, as the party fights to keep control of the Senate.
From the Washington Post:
"Just 42% approve of his handling of the economy, 37% approve of how he is handling the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and 34% approve of his handling of the situation involving Ukraine and Russia."
"Obama's low rating could be a significant drag on Democratic candidates this fall -- past elections suggest that when approval ratings are as low as Obama's, the president's party is almost certain to suffer at the ballot box in November."
*A new poll released by Harvard University's Institute of Politics yesterday found that millennials have “historically low” levels of trust in government – especially in the President (think “Commander-in-Chief”) and the military:
“Harvard's poll showed millennials, which the pollsters defined as people aged 18 to 29, have lost trust in a variety of different major public institutions including the President, the military, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the federal government as a whole. Of all the institutions tracked by the poll, the President and the military lost the most trust among young Americans with a seven point drop. Overall, the pollsters said the level of trust millennials have in "most American institutions tested in our survey" had dropped below even "last year’s historically low numbers."
NOTE: The poll also found that young people have little interest in the upcoming midterm election, EXCEPT FOR THOSE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE REPUBLICANS.
*In the increasingly important issue of ObamaCare, the Washington Post/ABC News poll cited above revealed the following:
“The Post-ABC poll found that 44 percent say they support the law while 48 percent say they oppose it, which is about where it was at the end of last year and in January. Half of all Americans also say they think implementation is worse than expected.
Last month, a Post-ABC poll found 49 percent of Americans saying they supported the new law compared with 48 percent who opposed it. That finding was more positive for the administration than most other polls at the time. Democrats saw it as a possible leading indicator of a shift in public opinion, but that has not materialized.
A 58 percent majority say the new law is causing higher costs overall, and 47 percent say it will make the health-care system worse. While a majority say the quality of the health care they receive will remain the same, a plurality expect it to result in higher personal costs for that care.”
*Sticking with ObamaCare, KFF.org
reports the results of the “Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: April 2014.” Here are a few excerpts:
“The enrollment surge at the end of March in the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was widely covered in the news, as was the announcement that at least 8 million people have used the new marketplaces to sign up for coverage. The news got a fair amount of attention from the public, with over half saying they followed the enrollment numbers “very” or “fairly closely.” But the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that this news did little to change the public’s impressions of the law, with overall opinion remaining exactly where it was last month (46 percent unfavorable, 38 percent favorable).”
“While almost four in ten believe the early problems with the law have been fixed, almost six in ten say “there have been so many problems since the law’s rollout that it’s clear the law is not working as planned.” There are expected partisan divisions on this question, but even among Democrats, who generally view the law favorably, about a third believe the law is still not working.”
“When asked to say in their own words why they don’t currently have health insurance, the most common reason mentioned by the uninsured is that IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE (39 percent), followed by employment-related reasons such as being unemployed or working for an employer that doesn’t offer coverage (22 percent). Roughly one in ten say they just haven’t gotten around to getting coverage or missed the deadline to apply (11 percent), and a similar share feel they don’t want or need coverage (9 percent).”
“When reminded of the law’s requirement for individuals to get coverage or pay a fine and asked to choose the main reason they haven’t gotten coverage this year, cost again turns up as the biggest barrier for the uninsured; over a third (36 percent) say they tried to get coverage but IT WAS TOO EXPENSIVE. Fourteen percent of the uninsured say they don’t think the law’s requirement to have insurance applies to them personally, and another 13 percent say they didn’t know about the requirement. Twelve percent say they tried to get coverage but were unable. Just 7 percent say they would rather pay the fine than pay for health insurance.”
For the entire poll results, see: http://kff.org/health-reform/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-april-2014/
*Finally, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released just today has nearly 70% of Americans agreeing with Republican First Lady Barbara Bush that: “Political dynasties aren’t necessarily a good thing when it comes to presidential candidates.” According to USATODAY.com:
“The findings are potentially bad news for Jeb Bush, as the former Florida governor weighs whether to follow his father and brother and run for the White House, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In the poll, 50% of adults believe Barbara Bush’s point of view applies equally to Jeb Bush and Clinton. The former secretary of State, U.S. senator and ex-first lady has said she’ll decide later this year whether to run again for the Democratic presidential nomination.”
While I would personally prefer Jeb Bush at the top of the 2016 GOP ticket, my view is certainly not shared by the majority of non-Democrats around the country. However, according to the polls the “vast majority” of the Democratic Party just can’t wait for Hillary’s coronation. So while these poll results may not be particularly good news for Jeb Bush, they are not necessarily bad news for the GOP. However, the “No More Dynasties” sentiment may have a big say in the election results if HRC is the Democratic Party presidential candidate in 2016.
And if Hillary does run, she still has to get past the primaries. Remember what happened in 2008 with Barack Obama, and then think about this:
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