Are Public Opinion Polls Reliable? Obama Versus Democrats In Congress

There has always been the question of how reliable are public opinion polls in judging the true feelings of the American people.

New evidence adds to the doubt on the reliability of polls, as it is clear, to the fury of conservative opponents, that President Barack Obama remains personally popular, with most polls finding him in the mid to high 50s range.

And yet, only 36 percent of Democrats in a recent poll are enthused about the upcoming midterm elections, as compared to 56 percent of Republicans!

There has been a constant criticism of Congress as an institution, with the “ins” always suffering a lack of confidence by the American people, who seem impatient with the slow processes that exist on Capitol Hill.

There is certainly always an anti incumbent feeling, with it being much more powerful this year, based upon polls, than is normally seen. But this includes Republicans who are incumbents, as well as Democrats!

A lot of the dichotomy is due to the tremendous economic suffering going on in the nation in the midst of the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression! People want simple and easy answers, or as some suggested when President Obama visited Buffalo yesterday, “I need a freaking job!”

So Democrats hope that as the months go by, and the impact of what Obama has done continues to promote expansion of the economy, that the enthusiasm among Democrats and independents to vote Democratic will become stronger, and that the results in November will be far better than they seemingly appear to be.

But it could also be that possibly many of the American people actually may prefer a divided government, with a Democratic President and a Republican Congress. The argument among many people that a government works better when power is divided is very popular!

One could argue historically that times seemed to be better when we had Republican Presidents (Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I) and Democratic Congresses; or Democratic Presidents and Republican Congresses (Clinton after 1994)! A lot of this is based upon faded memories and false history!

Closer examination belies this fact, as for instance the great steps forward under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson with Democratic Congresses in the 1930s and 1960s!

What is clear is that the political situation is in flux, and the turns and twists between now and November will be many, and anyone wanting to bet money on the results six months from now, does so at his or her detriment! 🙁

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