Stunner: DC elites see more possibility for Obama re-election than everyone else

posted at 10:55 am on November 16, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

If we needed any more proof that the Beltway crowd lives in its own bubble, the latest poll from Politico demonstrates it well.  Politico’s polls break out responses between general population and “DC elites,” and in this case the disconnect looms rather large.  In a race against a generic Republican in the 2012 election, only 37% of the general population would be more likely to vote for Barack Obama, while 40% are more disposed to vote for the GOP.  Among DC elites, however, that changes dramatically to 58/29.  In fact, Obama gets more support now among the elites than any time over the past five months.

While Obama gets the short end on the generic question, he does manage to win against all of the named challengers in the poll — but his re-elect numbers never get to 50% in any of the head-to-head matches:

  • Obama vs Palin: 46/33
  • Obama vs Romney: 40/32
  • Obama vs Pawlenty: 39/21
  • Obama vs Huckabee: 40/34
  • Obama vs Barbour: 40/20

The sample’s split was somewhat odd, with a D/R/I of 29/26/27.  That adds up to 82%; presumably, the other 18% aren’t voters, or Politico’s pollster has some issues with math.

Andy Barr reports that the split between DC and the rest of the country runs through all of the data:

The starkest contrast came in the divergent interpretations of the Nov. 2 elections. Washingtonians involved in the policymaking or political process have a great degree of certainty in their interpretation of the election results—61 percent think voters sent a message of “disapproval of Washington D.C. as a whole.” ..

“Disapproval of Barack Obama” and “disapproval of congressional Democrats” tied for a distant second, with each garnering 14 percent.

The general population, however, was less sure. Just 36 percent think the election results reflected disapproval of Washington. And 22 percent, a higher percentage than among D.C. elites, viewed Obama disapproval as the message. …

Another point of departure: optimism about the direction of government in the wake of the midterm elections. Thirty-six percent of the general population polled said they are more hopeful about the direction following the elections, compared with 29 percent who said they are less hopeful.

Among D.C. elites, the numbers are flipped—56 percent say they are less hopeful, and 29 percent say they are more hopeful.

Clearly, what we need is a governing class that has a little more connection to the citizenry who sends them to Washington.  The midterms took a big step in that direction.  That has me a little more optimistic these days.

We’ll see whether we feel as optimistic two years from now, and it will be interesting — and instructive — to see whether Politico’s polls at that time show any change.  First, though, they have to start adding up.

Update: Don’t read too much into the head-to-head results for the Republican contenders.  Most of them still need to make a case for their leadership for 2012, even those who ran in 2008; a lot has changed in the meantime.  The real point of interest is how low Obama’s re-elect numbers are against each of them — especially a 39% against relative newcomer Tim Pawlenty.


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Looks like Emanuel Cleaver is keeping everybody on the porch.

Dogs.

ted c on November 16, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Face it: they’d lock half of us up if they only could.

All that stands between Obooba and a second term is conservatives.

Period.

They hate us sooo much…

Akzed on November 16, 2010 at 11:00 AM

We are fortunate to even be allowed to read these polls…thank you journalist for allowing us to view your world…now we humbly ask permission to go back to our insignificant lives and pay your wages and allow you to live your life of luxury. Our reward is your happiness.

right2bright on November 16, 2010 at 11:00 AM

The audacity of self confidence.

Skandia Recluse on November 16, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Obama vs Palin: 46/33
Obama vs Romney: 40/32
Obama vs Pawlenty: 39/21
Obama vs Huckabee: 40/34
Obama vs Barbour: 40/20

I’m still failing to see the appeal of the Huckster. Interesting that Pawlenty and Barbour are down way more than Palin.

Doughboy on November 16, 2010 at 11:01 AM

DC Elites prove once again that they are useless and worthless to the rest of us. They simply serve no purpose other than to each other.

Keemo on November 16, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Among DC elites, however, that changes dramatically to 58/29.

The proof of their confidence in controlling the unwashed masses through lies, manipulation, and media bias.

csdeven on November 16, 2010 at 11:02 AM

your funeral, libs.
/allahpundit.

ted c on November 16, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Can someone somewhere in Congress bring up term limits, even if only for discussion? Cut the pay, cut the benefits, take it back to a “civil servant” job instead of a golden goose.

search4truth on November 16, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Confirmed: Allah is an elite

Norwegian on November 16, 2010 at 11:08 AM

It makes sense they would feel that way. They are extremely unpopular and just had their hat’s handed to them. They are a terrible legacy that is being systematically replaced.

They are the same people that will try their hardest to foist a candidate like Romney or Huckabee on us. If we let them do so than they’re pessimism will be vindicated, so we won’t let them.

Just say no to Romney and other “compassionate conservative” RINO’s.

2012 will be the year of the Tea Party!

FloatingRock on November 16, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Do Republicans need any more proof that it’s in their interests to reduce the size of government?

EnglishMike on November 16, 2010 at 11:11 AM

“If we needed any more proof that the Beltway crowd lives in its own bubble…..”

What a glorious day it will be when this bubble implodes and fiscal sanity is restored.

Rovin on November 16, 2010 at 11:12 AM

* Obama vs Palin: 46/33
* Obama vs Romney: 40/32
* Obama vs Pawlenty: 39/21
* Obama vs Huckabee: 40/34
* Obama vs Barbour: 40/20

Geez. I mean, MAYBE… MAYBE.. Romney has a shot. If the economy is still in the dumper (and I really hope it isnt), and he runs a good campaign, picks a good VP (Christie, Rubio, Ryan, Jindal?)

The rest would be obliterated. Ugh.

Dash on November 16, 2010 at 11:12 AM

You’ve got some kool-aid there on your chin elites

cmsinaz on November 16, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Washington’s swamp needs to be drained (and not just for the mosquitoes like last time). Look the feds are irredeemably leftist. Look at how when W was president, whole bureaucracies worked to undermine his goals. Look how the State Department routinely screwed the war effort. They sent a radical muslim as our envoy, and he had Iraq and Afghanistan enshrine sharia in their constitutions!
The CPB, EPA, Depts of Ed and Energy are just jobs programs for unreconstructed leftists. Until we get rid of these guys, we’re never gonna make true progress in rolling back the leftist agenda.
This financial crisis might be a great opportunity for us. Why should we let it go to “waste”. Cut the government to the bone, let “Teh One” veto, and slam him as being irresponsible in a crisis. Then the new “normal” will be for extremely limited government. People will expect a drastically reduced government in 2013. Let the press howl. Fewer and fewer pay them any heed anyway.

Iblis on November 16, 2010 at 11:13 AM

I mean, after all, Obams’s so loved and respected, both here and abroad. The most effective president, evah!///

kingsjester on November 16, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Among D.C. elites, the numbers are flipped—56 percent say they are less hopeful, and 29 percent say they are more hopeful.

They should be less hopeful. Their time is up.

FloatingRock on November 16, 2010 at 11:16 AM

DC elites = failed establishment

FloatingRock on November 16, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Is the whole place crazy ?? why yes, yes it is

wheels on November 16, 2010 at 11:20 AM

7/10 richest counties in America are DC suburbs. Being a DC insider is very profitable bidness these days. It makes sense they don’t want to rock the boat by electing someone else.

angryed on November 16, 2010 at 11:21 AM

I’m beginning to think we could do a lot worse than just disbanding the entire federal government — every single office, agency, group, collective, committee, and team — other than the White House, Congress, and the courts. Hell, fire all Congressional staffers into the bargain. Just scrape it down to the bare bedrock, reboot the whole damn thing, and start the hell over.

Aitch748 on November 16, 2010 at 11:22 AM

If we needed any more proof that the Beltway crowd lives in its own bubble

Yea, verily and amen. Why (and to whom) is this item news? For as out of touch as Beltway Crowd has been for decades, they might as well be living on Mars. And the sooner that can be arranged, the better off we will all be.

oldleprechaun on November 16, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Why (and to whom) is this item news?

Its not news per say, but we’ve got to keep shining the light on these roaches, or they’ll be even worse.

You’ll no we’re making progress the louder they squeal. Just don’t be surprised when the Ruckus Society’s hoodlums show up rioting in support of these soon to be displaced feds.

Iblis on November 16, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Its not news per say, but we’ve got to keep shining the light on these roaches, or they’ll be even worse.

OK. Just please don’t ask me to watch anything involving Olbermann.

oldleprechaun on November 16, 2010 at 11:38 AM

They still don’t know who we are and are definitely not listening. However, Reid was re-elected when we thought we were going to be rid of him. I’m sure that happened by hook or crook which will never be investigated. Cut off the bribes and may we can achieve something nearer to the country we once knew.

Kissmygrits on November 16, 2010 at 11:50 AM

What are the odds on Obama avoiding a mental breakdown, before the end of his term?

MNHawk on November 16, 2010 at 11:53 AM

When I read the letters R-O-M-N-E-Y it spells Bob Dole.

Bruno Strozek on November 16, 2010 at 11:57 AM

ok-why are we polling morons who live in DC, think guns bans work, work for the federal government, and think that beef comes from a can?

NRA Lifer on November 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM

You don’t need polls to read between the lines.Sure average people expect Bambi to be a one termer,because they are angry.After his “epiphany”of realizing what an arrogant a$$ he is, making the apropriate apologies and letting Republicans clean up some of the mess he has created,all will be forgiven and he will once again be everybody’s”Golden Child”.
Besides there are still a lot of idiots out there who still think he is all they hoped he would be. Their minds will never be changed,no matter the evidence.
I agree with the political elites on this one,they know how politics work,because they have created carreers manipulating public opinion.
I believe we are stuck with the POSOTUS till 2016.
PLEASE,PLEASE, PLEASE PROVE ME WRONG

DDT on November 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Let them keep thinking what they’re thinking.

It will hit them all the harder come November, 2012.

The harder the better.

turfmann on November 16, 2010 at 12:01 PM

What are the odds on Obama avoiding a mental breakdown, before the end of his term?

MNHawk on November 16, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Are you referring to Hannity’s quotes? –Sources Tell Me Obama Is Unhinged. He’s Losing It… He Can’t Stand Biden.

If you look at Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and what happens if such a person cracks, we should fear for our country. Is Joke Biden ready to go to the Supreme Court and ask that Bammie be declared unfit? Is Joke fit himself? Who would he sent to the Senate for appointment to the VP slot? Is Hillary the obvious choice?

slickwillie2001 on November 16, 2010 at 12:04 PM

What are the odds on Obama avoiding a mental breakdown, before the end of his term?

MNHawk on November 16, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Slim to none. His behavior is odd to say the least, and he appears more bizarre with every appearance.

I don’t care if he flips out completely as long as it’s televised on a national network. NBC would be my choice.

Cody1991 on November 16, 2010 at 12:04 PM

The rest would be obliterated. Ugh.

Dash on November 16, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Romney has not proven himself to be any “economic” guru. He won’t be the candidate, so look somewhere else, he is un-electable.

right2bright on November 16, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love tea parties came to town

Apologies to B.B. King

cartooner on November 16, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Geez. I mean, MAYBE… MAYBE.. Romney has a shot. If the economy is still in the dumper (and I really hope it isnt), and he runs a good campaign, picks a good VP (Christie, Rubio, Ryan, Jindal?)

The rest would be obliterated. Ugh.

Dash on November 16, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Second term elections are always a referendum on the incumbent, and then if the voters find him wanting, the next step is for the challenger to make his/her case to the voters that makes them see them as a credible alternative. And Step 2 always follows Step 1, which is why if you had taken this same poll 32 years go this week, you’d be bemoaning the fact that there was no way Jimmy Carter could possibly lose to Ronald Reagan.

jon1979 on November 16, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Sorry, Ed . . . terms like “governing class” and “ruling class” have started to appear (at least it seems to me) or pop up more frequently lately. Frankly, it rankles me and makes me feel that maybe I’m living in India or any other place with caste system in place.

Bob in VA on November 16, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Not to worry about their prognostications for 2012. These are the same intellectual idiots who thought the Democrats would hold the House after spending over a year pissing on their constituents.

GarandFan on November 16, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Who is stunned? The pollster?

The elites never think it is them who the public doesn’t like…it’s always some outside force, stupidity of the masses, etc…

tinkerthinker on November 16, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Politico’s pollster has some issues with math is illiterate.

antisocial on November 16, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Update: Don’t read too much into the head-to-head results for the Republican contenders. Most of them still need to make a case for their leadership for 2012, even those who ran in 2008; a lot has changed in the meantime.

They didn’t test Obama against Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, or Marco Rubio. A lot can change between now and 2012.

Steve Z on November 16, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Why am I a 1:30,000 supporter?

Size of the US House: 435.
Staff allowed per member: 18 permanent, plus 4 non-permanent. That is 22 per member.

Multiply 435 x 22 = 9,570
Add House members = 10,005
Current population of US (est) = 310 Million (as of today at the US Census Bureau, YMMV)
Divide number of people to run Representatives Offices in the House and divide by population and you get: 1:31,000

What do we do?

Get Congress to change its size, eliminate its staff, and take the pay of its lowest paid staffer.

That reduces the cost of the House, makes it the most representative it has ever been in history, and makes it impossible to get any large bill through it and demolishes the current idea that the House is a stepping stone to a life-time career.

All you need is some guts, belief in representative democracy moved down to the neighborhood scale and getting a lot of average citizens into the House to start voting down junk that comes up and reviewing junk that has been passed. Plus you get direct oversight of offices within bureaus and departments in federal agencies…

Of course getting things passed will be difficult.

That is the reason we have a representative House, and when it is ‘manageable’ then the political class ‘manages’ it to their discretion. The choice is your vote being necessary to electing a representative to your vote being one of 500,000 or so as it is today, with the side benefit of having the representative be local to you for visits. Nothing like holding them accountable by dropping by for a visit, no?

ajacksonian on November 16, 2010 at 1:22 PM

That adds up to 82%; presumably, the other 18% aren’t voters, or Politico’s pollster has some issues with math.

No, that 18% are telling the truth — they aren’t eligible to vote because they aren’t residents of the districts they purport to represent.

unclesmrgol on November 16, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Color me stunned (not).

disa on November 16, 2010 at 3:19 PM

I’m beginning to think we could do a lot worse than just disbanding the entire federal government — every single office, agency, group, collective, committee, and team — other than the White House, Congress, and the courts. Hell, fire all Congressional staffers into the bargain. Just scrape it down to the bare bedrock, reboot the whole damn thing, and start the hell over.
Aitch748 on November 16, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Sunset legislation. We need to have EVERY department, commission, EVERYTHING sunset in this next fiscal year and make them re-apply to exist the next fiscal year. They have to PROVE what they do benefits society, has a constitutional mandate and is not disrupting the economy with onerous, stupid regulations.

karenhasfreedom on November 16, 2010 at 3:20 PM

This means the elites are invested in making sure Obama gets reelected, so you know exactly what to expect from the Lamestream media. It’s going to be 2008 again, but on steroids. Everyone who runs against Obama will face the gauntlet of media savagery.

OxyCon on November 16, 2010 at 3:23 PM