Politico poll shows DC elites pretty happy about life in Obama administration

posted at 9:30 am on July 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Why?  Hope and change, baby!  Eighteen months after Barack Obama took office on a promise to change business as usual in Washington DC, business is better than usual for the usual suspects.  A new poll by Politico shows that Beltway denizens are much happier with the state of the nation than those whom they supposedly serve, and for good reason:

America is struggling with a sputtering economy and high unemployment — but times are booming for Washington’s governing class.

The massive expansion of government under President Barack Obama has basically guaranteed a robust job market for policy professionals, regulators and contractors for years to come. The housing market, boosted by the large number of high-income earners in the area, many working in politics and government, is easily outpacing the markets in most of the country. And there are few signs of economic distress in hotels, restaurants or stores in the D.C. metro area.

As a result, there is a yawning gap between the American people and D.C.’s powerful when it comes to their economic reality — and their economic perceptions.

A new POLITICO poll, conducted by market research and consulting firm Penn Schoen Berland, underscores the big divide: Roughly 45 percent of “Washington elites” said the country and the economy are headed in the right direction, while roughly 25 percent of the general population said they felt that way.

Politico plans a six-month run of its Power and the People surveys, but if so, they’d better pay more attention to their sample.  The poll sample consists of 38% Democrats and 31% Republicans, with 22% claiming to be independent and the remaining 9% unclear on the concept.  The seven-point margin is the same size as the popular vote gap by which Obama won office, which is hardly a good indication of accuracy after almost two years of Tea Party organizing and serious damage to Obama’s support.  This sample overemphasizes Democratic input while shortchanging Republicans and especially independents.

Even with that advantage, Obama doesn’t do well at all in this poll.  Oh, he does very well with “DC elites,” to use Politico’s label, with a 66/34 rating.  Among the hoi polloi, though, Obama gets a 48/47 thanks to that skewed sample.  Among independents, he’s underwater at 42/47.

Interestingly, there is one thing on which both the country at large and DC elites agree: Congress stinks.  The general population gives Congress a 25/64, while Beltway insiders give it a 29/61 approval rating.  Actually, there are two things on which the two populations agree, the second of which is that neither likes Nancy Pelosi, either.  She gets a 23/52 in the general survey, with 25% saying that they don’t know enough to tell.  Pelosi gets a 45/52 in DC.

The skewed sampling should be kept in mind when looking at generic ballot questions, too.  The poll shows Democrats edging the GOP on the generic Congressional ballot 32/31, which basically means that the GOP holds its sample while Democrats lose close to 20% of theirs (38% to 32%).  Nine percent goes to an “Independent Party candidate,” which means an anti-incumbent vote.  The upshot here is that in a realistic sample with a two-way race, Republicans are leading.

Readers won’t need that much calculation for the presidential ballot.   Pitting Obama against a generic Republican in 2012 has him behind by five points, 42/37.  Among independents it’s a seven-point split, 33/26.  That changes when Politico names the GOP candidates; Obama wins every matchup with a named opponent, although he doesn’t get above 40 except with Sarah Palin, 48/36.

One last takeaway: like most other pollsters, Politico finds strong support for continued offshore drilling, 52/30.  Given the tilt of the sample, this makes clear again that bipartisan consensus exists for offshore drilling.


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It reminds me Rassmussen’s political class poll, there really are two America’s, one that works, and one that makes a living of other peoples work.

rob verdi on July 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM

question… why arent there more successful terror attacks in the DC area??????????????????????

moonbatkiller on July 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Sure, their dogs fly for free.

hawkdriver on July 19, 2010 at 9:35 AM

“Things must be good out there, my maid, butler, and chef are always smiling.”

-Snobby elitist

Bishop on July 19, 2010 at 9:35 AM

A new poll by Politico shows that Beltway denizens are much happier with the state of the nation than those whom they supposedly serve, and for good reason:

they believe their own press…..and I emphasize the word “own”

ted c on July 19, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Do they really think this is going to end well?

artist on July 19, 2010 at 9:37 AM

And people from areas outside of DC and Northern Viriginia are rubes for supporting candidates who share the values that these elites clearly do not.

Time to end their ride at our expense.

BuckeyeSam on July 19, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Life is good for the Beltway Elite under the Prince.

kingsjester on July 19, 2010 at 9:39 AM

“Washington elites” must be extremely poor students of history, especially when that part in Russian history with what happened to the elite when Czar Nicholas was overthrown during the Bolshevik Revolution.

They didn’t exactly fair too well.

pilamaye on July 19, 2010 at 9:39 AM

question… why arent there more successful terror attacks in the DC area??????????????????????

moonbatkiller on July 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM

WTF?

DOOF on July 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Things are only good when one is able to make it part of his “ten some” on the golf course. He even bends and breaks the rules of game that fosters and requires extreme self discipline where only the player is expected to enforce the rules on ones self.

MSGTAS on July 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

governing class

This phrase should not exist in America–our system of government was designed to have people temporarily (a few weeks each year) sacrifice their regular livelihoods in order to do the nation’s business. It was never supposed to be a full-time job, and had all this unconstitutional nonsense not been allowed to develop, it still wouldn’t be, and the American people wouldn’t be saddled with pensions, health care plans, etc. for their “representatives.”

DrMagnolias on July 19, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Actually given it’s the DC area Repubs & Indep are WAY over sampled, quite frankly. DC and the surrounding area tend to vote 60% plus for Democrats in a bad Democrat year. DC itself is 80% or more registered Democrat. The city usually votes 90% or more for whomever the D is for president.

lizzie beth on July 19, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Let them eat cake.

tommyboy on July 19, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Hmmmm … I hope this doesn’t give birth to another Robespierre.

darwin on July 19, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Pitting Obama against a generic Republican in 2012 has him behind by five points, 42/37…when Politico names the GOP candidates; Obama wins every matchup with a named opponent, although he doesn’t get above 40 except with Sarah Palin, 48/36.

Once again America falls in love with just about any candidate they never heard of before.

rhombus on July 19, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Triumphalist Vogon poetry is echoing through the streets of DC. Well, maybe not all the streets, just the fashionable ones that are safe enough for the Elite.

forest on July 19, 2010 at 9:44 AM

governing class

This phrase should not exist in America–our system of government was designed to have people temporarily (a few weeks each year) sacrifice their regular livelihoods in order to do the nation’s business. It was never supposed to be a full-time job, and had all this unconstitutional nonsense not been allowed to develop, it still wouldn’t be, and the American people wouldn’t be saddled with pensions, health care plans, etc. for their “representatives.”

DrMagnolias on July 19, 2010 at 9:42 AM

word.

moonbatkiller on July 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

They seem to think that their business isn’t going broke.

thomasaur on July 19, 2010 at 9:54 AM

An even more interesting article is on RCP today regarding the governor’s races.

Wow…..

AnninCA on July 19, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Once again America falls in love with just about any candidate they never heard of before.

rhombus on July 19, 2010 at 9:44 AM

It allowed everyone to imagine that he agreed with them. LOL*

Remember Being There?

That was Obama.

AnninCA on July 19, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Dept of Defense
Treasury
Dept of State
Dept of Justice
FBI/CIA (all others.. NSA combined into them)

All others (like Education, HHS, Energy)… gone

CC

CapedConservative on July 19, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Sure, their dogs fly for free.

hawkdriver on July 19, 2010 at 9:35 AM

heh

good one :)

cmsinaz on July 19, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Let Them Eat Cake, much?

victor82 on July 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Sure, their dogs fly for free.
hawkdriver on July 19, 2010 at 9:35 AM

And our healthcare will be “free” soon too.

Bishop on July 19, 2010 at 10:02 AM

AnninCA on July 19, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Mark the calendar. I agree with Ann. (or maybe her blacksheep Conservative kid got on the computer when she went to fix lunch)

hawkdriver on July 19, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Tapeworms never complain about their host either. They are always pretty happy.

lorien1973 on July 19, 2010 at 10:05 AM

I got an email (I didn’t save) naming every official who worked exclusively for Michelle Obama, and their salary. I think the list was 20 people, that number unheard of previously in any administration, and not one person, even the “assistant to the assisatant to the assistant” made less than 80,000 dollars, 90 percent taking in over 100,000 or more.

Marcus on July 19, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Marcus on July 19, 2010 at 10:06 AM

How does that help her kids? Or do they have their own peons.

DAAAAD!!! The Marines won’t salute me.

hawkdriver on July 19, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Edwards two America’s

The free press has failed America.

tarpon on July 19, 2010 at 10:08 AM

It’s one big party at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave!

eforhan on July 19, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Not good news. So much contention in the US right now: class, race, political ideology, vitriol aimed at public emmployees. And now we have the DC “elite” completely clueless about “out of the beltway” thinking.

Not good. At all.

Grace_is_sufficient on July 19, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Are all of you commenters just envious of these people that give up a lot to be public servants. And stop with the Two Americas and Marie Antionette references please.

Jeff on July 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

By the way, Obamas hosting another party tonight. His Royal Vacation this weekend was way too stressful.

kingsjester on July 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Bought off now, state institution tomorrow, chained thereafter.

Speakup on July 19, 2010 at 10:17 AM

question… why arent there more successful terror attacks in the DC area??????????????????????

moonbatkiller on July 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM

That’s one sure-fire way to get the attention of the US Secret Service.

I understand your passion, but holy balls . . .

listens2glenn on July 19, 2010 at 10:18 AM

DC Feds are the only ones with job security anymore.
Thank you Mayor President Obama.

RobCon on July 19, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Oh where to start, Eating cake and playing fiddle in their invisible new clothes. Appearantly we are actually witnessing how clueless and disconected a group of individuals with delusions of self import and granduer can be. If it wasnt so directly affecting it would make an intersting study on how a group of ordinary people determine that winning an election grants them the divine mantle of all knowing wisdom and intellect and giving them the directive to rule, not as a reflection of who voted them in, but rather in spite of them and all common sense.

Koa on July 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM

question… why arent there more successful terror attacks in the DC area??????????????????????

moonbatkiller on July 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Reprehensible.

obladioblada on July 19, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Are all of you commenters just envious of these people that give up a lot to be public servants.

Jeff on July 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

“Give up a lot”? You mean like giving up the lower wages, pensions and benefit plans of private sector employees?

obladioblada on July 19, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Remember Being There?

That was Obama.

AnninCA on July 19, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Ha ha… and I thought I was the only one who referred to Him as “President Chance the Gardener.”

UltimateBob on July 19, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Moonbat that was stupid.

CWforFreedom on July 19, 2010 at 10:35 AM

By the way, Obamas hosting another party tonight.
kingsjester on July 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

But, but, hey look, he’s saving your money by bringing Broadway to the White House instead of taking his broad to NYC!

Brat on July 19, 2010 at 10:35 AM

“Give up a lot”? You mean like giving up the lower wages, pensions and benefit plans of private sector employees?

obladioblada on July 19, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Here’s the link that was supposed to be in my comment, it didn’t appear, I tried the link thing. Of course without the link the sarcasm is lost and I turn out an idiot.

http://tinyurl.com/23eegnq

Jeff on July 19, 2010 at 10:41 AM

The Obama murals on the walls of buildings went up in my DC neighborhood days after Obama was elected…and they are still there. People here are extremely clueless and they really,really, are striving hard to become San Francisco.

DCJeff on July 19, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Triumphalist Vogon poetry is echoing through the streets of DC. Well, maybe not all the streets, just the fashionable ones that are safe enough for the Elite.

forest on July 19, 2010 at 9:44 AM

+42

justltl on July 19, 2010 at 10:45 AM

By the way, Obamas hosting another party tonight. His Royal Vacation this weekend was way too stressful.
kingsjester on July 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Poor thing, how does he get by?

Bishop on July 19, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Jeff on July 19, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Oops, sorry for doubting you. It sounded like it could have been sarcasm, but then most of the stuff that comes from my leftist friends’ mouths sounds like it should be taken as jest. (Except it’s not, of course.) Nowadays black is white and up is down, so sarcasm is easily missed.

obladioblada on July 19, 2010 at 10:55 AM

..wait’ll they see their precious status quo fluished down the toilets by the barbarians and the gate and start reading stuff in the WaPo about how the empire is crumbling..

The War Planner on July 19, 2010 at 10:57 AM

The extravagance is progressing from tasteless to vulgar.

petefrt on July 19, 2010 at 10:57 AM

Nicolae Ceauşescu would have a few things to say to these elites, but he and his old lady just got their deserts.

borntoraisehogs on July 19, 2010 at 11:12 AM

These survey results prove the Ruling Class can tax and regulate themselves to prosperity. The rest of us and the economy as a whole? NOT SO MUCH.

bobnox on July 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for” Daddy can’t plug the hole right now, he’s busy getting his goove on with the DC elite.

TN Mom on July 19, 2010 at 11:25 AM

I know that I gravitate towards ridiculous minutia but

the remaining 9% unclear on the concept.

exactly what the he!! does this mean? Is this the same group who couldn’t remember who they voted for in the other poll?

Cindy Munford on July 19, 2010 at 11:58 AM

These survey results prove the Ruling Class can tax and regulate themselves to prosperity. The rest of us and the economy as a whole? NOT SO MUCH.

bobnox on July 19, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Amen!

right2bright on July 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Dear Dems and a good number of Republicans: (or should I just say, Dear Incumbents)

You have good reason to be terribly afraid. You are like a wasp at a hummingbird feeder in September. You know in your heart that something is very wrong but you don’t know what it is. So, until you figure out the problem, you will gorge yourself on all of the sweet energy producing things you can find. Unfortunately for you, the answer to the question will come just as your eyes close for that deep uniterrupted sleep.

Another analogy I like to use is: the country is rapidly approaching what I call our Romania moment, with Dingy Harry and Nancy in the roll of Mr and Mrs Ceausescu. I anxiously await the day when the gluttonous leaders of Congress get politically what the former first couple of the toxic waste capitol of Europe got literally.

Mr. Grump on July 19, 2010 at 12:29 PM

With the sorts of approval numbers this administration has clocked among DC area voters Republicans are obviously divded. Those living in DC like the Obama administration and those living elsewhere do not. This is a big problem.

MTF on July 19, 2010 at 12:42 PM

As always, a liberally biased news site skews their polls. So I won’t bother with reading. No matter what the topic. If I can’t trust their polling, I sure as heck can’t trust their coverage.

capejasmine on July 19, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Very surprised you didn’t highlight the family values gap among the 3 (Elite, Dem, GOP). That really caught my eye.

ButterflyDragon on July 19, 2010 at 12:42 PM

As the old saying goes: They came to Washington to do good, and stayed to do well.

Paul_in_NJ on July 19, 2010 at 1:39 PM