Ted Cruz on the WSJ/NBC poll: “That’s not reflective of where this country is”

posted at 7:21 pm on October 11, 2013 by Allahpundit

A follow-up to last night’s new benchmark in RINO poll analysis. Skip to 1:00 of the clip for the key bit.

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Cruz is making two points here that were also made in last night’s comment thread: First, the sample was 43D and 32R, which is a mighty big D spread, and second, “20 percent of the people polled were government workers.” On the first point, Sean Trende of RCP assured me last night that it’s not crazy to have a partisan spread like that in a poll of American adults, especially at a moment when the GOP is in momentary disfavor with the wider public. NBC itself says, “That 11-point Democratic advantage is consistent with the combined data for all of the NBC/WSJ polls this year – a 13-point Democratic edge.” Of course, partisan identification is a dynamic thing; if Healthcare.gov ends up being taken offline for months due to necessary repairs and there’s a bureaucratic nightmare over O-Care enrollments, rest assured that the +11 Democratic advantage will shrink. If you want to attack the partisan spread, a better attack is to note that polls of adults are the least accurate way (versus polls of registered voters and likely voters) to predict elections. Although, true as that might be, I think it would miss the point. The takeaway from last night’s poll isn’t that the GOP is doomed next November, it’s that the current shutdown over ObamaCare isn’t moving more people to oppose O’s pet boondoggle and isn’t benefiting Republicans more broadly.

As to the second point, that “20 percent of the people polled were government workers,” it’s literally not true. Overall, around seven percent of the population works for the government — a number that, contrary to popular belief, hasn’t risen much over the last 40 years. But the poll didn’t claim that 20 percent of the sample was employed by the government. It claimed that 20 percent is either employed by the government or lives with an immediate family member who is.

fm

If your spouse, mom, dad, son, or daughter works for government at any level and still lives with you (and, thanks to the magic of the Obama economy, adult children living with their parents is less uncommon than it used to be), then you’re in the 20 percent. And that includes all manner of government jobs, according to NBC, from military to local public-school teacher. I can’t find demographic data that precisely matches this question but 20 percent doesn’t seem wildly implausible as a measure of how many families include some sort of government employee. And even if the sample is an overestimate, it’s surely not so great an overestimate that the results of the poll would differ drastically had a proper sample been used. We’d be looking at a modest adjustment of the data, not some new finding that ObamaCare’s popularity had totally collapsed.

One other point. Cruz begins by saying “the polling has varied,” which is true when it comes to the precise numbers but less so when it comes to trends. ObamaCare’s unpopularity varies a bit from poll to poll but there’s no recent poll I know of showing the bottom dropping out. On the contrary, there are two polls that suggest it’s less unpopular this month than it was last month. Virtually every poll shows the GOP losing popularity after the shutdown and, what’s more, losing it at a steeper rate than either O or congressional Democrats. Both WSJ/NBC and Gallup showed Republicans at historic lows this week, even though of course their exact numbers diverged. The one metric that has been bouncy is Obama’s job approval, which the AP had as bottoming out at 37 percent a few days ago and WSJ/NBC had climbing slightly in last night’s poll. A result like that on the GOP’s or ObamaCare’s popularity would be noteworthy variance. But like I say, we’re not seeing that. (Yet?)

To reiterate, though: None of this means the GOP’s going to lose seats next year in the midterms. All I’d add to Nate Silver’s piece today making that same point is that, as noted last night, the last time Republicans were below 40 percent on the generic ballot in a WSJ/NBC poll was October 2009. A year later, thanks to ObamaCare, they crushed Democrats in November to take back the House. Parties can have bad spells and then recover almost overnight depending on events. The lesson from the poll isn’t that “WE’RE DOOMED!!1!”, it’s that we’re doing some political damage to ourselves here and getting nothing major for it on the Hill. The last time the Democrats decided to gamble significantly on a policy gambit, at least they got universal health care in exchange. I’ll leave you with this from John Nolte of Breitbart, since I’m on the same page he is:


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I thought it was 20% of households not 20% of every adult surveyed so my # is wrong. Not that is matters because my post was barely readable. Anyway, the 2cnd unreadable part stands.

BoxHead1 on October 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Sorry, I am not into cults of personality or hero worship.

eva3071 on October 11, 2013 at 8:17 PM

That’s nice – although, my comment has nothing to do with these things.

I speak of Cruz’s leadership.

Pork-Chop on October 11, 2013 at 8:23 PM

This is exactly what most sober observers said would happen. If anything, Obama helped us out by refusing to negotiate and acting like a jerk over the monuments and parks and KIA benefits.

Who is surprised, and why? Cruz had no plan other than to make a bunch of noise, build a big database of suckers for future fundraising, and incite the base to force the House to act as it did. From that point on, he and Lee had not even a clue what to do.

But the screeching and claims of “skewed polls” really sounds like a bunch of paranoid fringe nuts. The “people are with” you? Sorry, Zippy, but those voices you hear ain’t “the people.”

Adjoran on October 11, 2013 at 8:26 PM

PappyD61 on October 11, 2013 at 7:29 PM

While I’m not very hopeful, you would think that the Breitbart folks would know better than to swallow news from the AP whole.

Nevertheless, it is what it is. Let everybody make their stand, and their stances known.

It’ll make things way easier for the 2014 primaries.

Me… I’ll wait and see what the real deal is…

…and not bite on the O-bot porn AP regularly puts out.

CPT. Charles on October 11, 2013 at 8:30 PM

I am a pragmatist and I don’t like Cruz one bit. Sadly, I predict Cruz is going to win big. Here’s the reason. This shutdown will at some point be over. Attention will then go to Obamacare, which is going to be a disaster for the Democrats. Note it would have been a disaster for the Democrats even without a strategy by Cruz to alienate everyone not stridently right-wing. But I’m sure the Tea Party sorts will attribute our certain 2014 victory to the brilliance of the Cruz plan. Instead, we would have gotten even better results by seeming more reasonable.

thuja on October 11, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Those of you questioning the WSJ/NBC poll… Gallup shows same. Wasn’t 2012 embarrassing enuf? It sure as hell was for me.

Keep this going, all the insults, and 2012 will remain the mildest of them all.

2014

2016

NO mas! I prefer Nancy and total destruction. YOU deserve NO less, you hyenas from the so-called right.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2013 at 8:34 PM

Well Franklin did say ‘a Republic, if you can keep it’

narciso on October 11, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Adjoran on October 11, 2013 at 8:26 PM

You are the same kind of moochers and looters as liblikeaslave.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Well Franklin did say ‘a Republic, if you can keep it’

narciso on October 11, 2013 at 8:35 PM

…and the Rs destroy it better than the Ds. The do on their own, and they enable the D-rats too.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2013 at 8:36 PM

You know what? I don’t care anymore. As I wrote my Congressman and Senators, I will no longer vote Republican. Will only support local and try to keep my state sane. Tired of it all.

Barred on October 11, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Maybe Ted means this:

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2012/countymaprb1024.png

wolly4321 on October 11, 2013 at 8:39 PM

Sorry, I am not into cults of personality or hero worship.

eva3071 on October 11, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Why bring it up? Projection? Mistaken? You must have a reason for that speak. What is it?

Bmore on October 11, 2013 at 8:40 PM

Barred on October 11, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Methinks the GOPe is scared outta their witts, after watching their $$$ drying up, via the local, tea party candidates.
Gotta be even worse, as of late.
Go ahead and squeal, dudes.
Haven’t gotten any $ from here since 08, anyway.

pambi on October 11, 2013 at 8:44 PM

You know what? I don’t care anymore. As I wrote my Congressman and Senators, I will no longer vote Republican. Will only support local and try to keep my state sane. Tired of it all.

Barred on October 11, 2013 at 8:36 PM

I’m almost at that point myself. I’ll absolutely support a primary challenge to John Cornyn here in Texas next year(assuming it’s a quality candidate), but I may sit out the midterms. Honestly, what’s the point of voting for them? They’ve had control of the House for nearly 3 years and what has that gotten us? Obamacare is still intact(aside from the parts Obama has unilaterally ignored or delayed). Taxes have actually gone up! Spending continues to increase. The economy is still an afterthought. Nothing’s been done on entitlements. Hell, we’re fighting with everything we’ve got to stop the GOP from passing amnesty!

Doughboy on October 11, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Doughboy on October 11, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Justa waiting to see who comes up against Cornyn, myself.

pambi on October 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Who can ever forget:

1. The WWII Memorial spectacle
2. The investment of more funds to shut down pretty unattended memorials?
3. The goons all over the land
4. Grand Canyon being closed
5. Mt. Rushmore being closed
6. So many more
7. Above all, the treatment of the deceased Soldiers’ loved ones

Who can? Only you soulless ghouls. You will be ‘rewarded’.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM

You are right. I will never forget

People do not now understand, this was an epic moment in American history and the moment was created by Cruz, Lee, Rand et al

The Cruz brigade broke Obama’s image and they did it without the help of their party

The Ghouls will be rewarded. As ye sow, so shall ye reap

entagor on October 11, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Cruz didn’t alienate anyone. Nobody had to go along with him at all.

Do you prefer strategies that John McCain use to alienage everyone not stridently liberal?

blink on October 11, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Ok, blink, you win! McCain is far worse for the GOP than is Cruz.

It’s like that poem by Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre.
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
Things fall apart; the centre-right cannot hold;
Mere socialism is loosed upon the world,

thuja on October 11, 2013 at 8:56 PM

On the first point, Sean Trende of RCP assured me last night that it’s not crazy to have a partisan spread like that in a poll of American adults, especially at a moment when the GOP is in momentary disfavor with the wider public.

Wait…what?

Those of you questioning the WSJ/NBC poll… Gallup shows same. Wasn’t 2012 embarrassing enuf? It sure as hell was for me.

— John Nolte

Somebody should let John Nolte know that polls on complex issues are a little more nuanced than a poll that simply asks who you will vote for in an election. And speaking of Gallup, didn’t it have Romney winning right up until the last couple of days?

Meanwhile, you know what’s funny? Democrats are never embarrassed about anything, and are never deterred from fighting for what they believe, unlike folks like John Nolte who is more concerned about what others think apparently. It’s why dems keep winning.

Bottom line, if you’re worrying about polls more than doing what’s right, you’ve already lost.

You certainly are bitter, and very NASTY. In fact, your bizarre little tirade is one of the nastiest comments posted on this thread.

Pork-Chop

Meredith is a democrat, so it’s pretty much par for the course.

xblade on October 11, 2013 at 8:56 PM

I worked so hard in 2010 and although we screwed up on some senate seats, I felt hope when we had such success in the house.

In 2012 keep the faith that after 4 yrs of disaster, We could be able to change things even though our candidate (a good man personally) was flawed. Nope. This Country is just lost.

Barred on October 11, 2013 at 9:07 PM

Meredith is a democrat, so it’s pretty much par for the course.

xblade on October 11, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Ahh, i thought she was part of the “i constantly make ironic jokes about being called rino” crowd, certainly sounds like them.

clearbluesky on October 11, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Doughboy on October 11, 2013 at 8:44 PM

pambi on October 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Rep. Louie Gohmert is seriously considering running for Senate against Cornyn. He has been in prayer about it. Hopefully, he’ll be able to come to a decision soon.

bluefox on October 11, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Mark Levin called the WSJ/NBC poll a fraud. He referenced this article:

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/10/10/about-that-nbcwsj-poll-that-killed-republicans-on-the-shutdown/

bluefox on October 11, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Polls may or may not be valid and reliable and I accept none of them until I see the demographics and sampling statistics.

rplat on October 11, 2013 at 7:25 PM

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/10/10/about-that-nbcwsj-poll-that-killed-republicans-on-the-shutdown/

bluefox on October 11, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Meredith on October 11, 2013 at 7:57 PM

then why do you read & post here? IS someone paying you? OfA maybe?

8 weight on October 11, 2013 at 9:51 PM

It’s all crap! Conservatives will never win the hearts and minds of the constituency because the media is left. Almost 100%!

Forget the internet and conservative blogs. Forget talk radio. They are all painted as wacko birds and almost all politicians aid and abet the media because it benefits them.

Vince on October 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Ted Cruz is absolutely correct!
Look who is doing the reporting and who is being polled and by what ratios.

Delsa on October 11, 2013 at 9:55 PM

Wanting government shutdown while keeping government open. The public parks and “really needed” parts of governments are part of the government that is …. Shutdown.

Serious question: WTF did you expect?!?! What exactly is supposed to closed vs open? Can you show me the post that you guys reviewed before demanding a shutdown.

The right complaining about the closed parks is so F’N hypocritical! Do you remember your “LET IT BURN!!!!” comments?!

The right is a jack_a-ss for demanding a shutdown (you did. Again, See your “let it burn!!” comments).
The left is an jack_a-ss for…. enforcing it…

So it’s ok to not implement policy when you see fit. Duh!

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on October 11, 2013 at 10:04 PM

You capitulated far more quickly than usual.

Did you really not want to tell me if you prefer McCain’s alienating strategies? And feel free that you don’t really object to alienating strategies as long as it’s the conservatives that get alienated.

blink on October 11, 2013 at 9:45 PM

As far as I remember, this is the first time I ever “capitulated”. What I am saying is that at the gut level I find McCain’s BS more annoying than Cruz’s BS.
I don’t want to alienate anyone. I want to reduce government from the size it is now, but on the other hand I’m not a libertarian. So, what I wish is to get the direction right (reduce government) and not achieving the libertarian heaven on Earth. The key here is that I and the people more extreme than me want to go in the same direction, and we may need to discuss strategy about how to go in that direction.

thuja on October 11, 2013 at 10:08 PM

Keeping in mind that the polls in 2012 were only accurate because the Obama machine herded an exceptional amount of non-voters to the poles…

Count to 10 on October 11, 2013 at 10:31 PM

I am a furloughed government worker and I’m pulling for the Republicans.

Well, Ted Cruz, anyway.

Cricket624 on October 11, 2013 at 11:10 PM

I am a lifelong Republican and if someone asked me about the job they were doing, I would give a negative opinion. Why? Because the establishment Republicans are a bunch of sniveling crony capitalists who have enabled the president and democrats in destroying this country. I don’t consider Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Trey Gowdy or the other Tea Party elected officials republicans. They are conservatives. And they are our only hope. 2014 will be the year of the primary ouster of the old guard RINOS. Can’t wait.

fight like a girl on October 11, 2013 at 11:21 PM

Fair enough, but what good is it worry about including people that are quick to give socialists everything they demand?

blink on October 11, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Valid point. My experience in an elected position is that it is hard to get people to say no to anyone who asks for money. (My experience is a trivial–truly trivial–instance of an elected position.) I think we need to educate people about how economics works. I would point out that at least five “elected” people came up to me after our political experience and told me I was I was right about being reluctant to spend money.

I hope you get from this how truly on a personal level, I hate permitting the socialists to get away with misallocating money or coming up with crazy regulation. So yes, I agree with you that McCain is an obstacle to America being a descent country. This doesn’t mean I can’t be reluctant to embrace Ted Cruz and his strategy.

thuja on October 11, 2013 at 11:54 PM

Quick 2 cents.

The WSJ Poll probably is a, “little,” exaggerated. That doesn’t mean it’s completely off base, but I wouldn’t fixate on it too much.

As for current events, well, the Defund crowd really wasn’t being realistic here. The best hope for getting rid of Obamacare is a death of a thousand paper cuts, at least until conservatives are in a position of strength to get rid of it properly. Instead certain groups wanted something showy, with predictable results.

I wouldn’t read too much into recent events though. My read on it is that everyone has taken immense damage here, even if the pulls don’t consistently show it yet. The Republican party has likely taken more damage, but the make-up of the midterms means that we’ll be fighting in geographic locations where the damage is likely to be marginal to our own side.

Plus there’s the time. A year is a long time in politics, and a lot can happen. That said, these crowds that keep asking for showy, boisterous, yell at the top of your lungs type political maneuvers, need to go home and stop constantly inserting themselves into the political debate.

Yes, America wants conservatism, but they also want serious politicians that appear to take problems seriously. You don’t leave that impression by appearing like a dysfunctional showmen.

Now, that may seem overly critical of me, but I really don’t intend it to be. I understand why numerous people behaved the way they did, and at the end of the day I blame Democrats and the Obama administration far more for our current issues.

However, I blame, “This crowd,” for our political woes. It’s obvious to me, that certain parties took a look at the 2010 midterms, and completely misread the situation.

WolvenOne on October 12, 2013 at 5:26 AM

It claimed that 20 percent is either employed by the government or lives with an immediate family member who is.

Even given that, 20% is still high. There aren’t that many adult children living with their parents and so therefore you’re talking about spouses. 20% of respondents either work for the government or are married to someone who works for the government? Still too high.

I get what Nolte is saying, but timing and reaction to this apparent One Poll To Rule Them All is too convenient. It was jumped on so fast – all these stories immediately in the can, ready to go – no. Someone was doing advance work on it.

But, let’s say the poll is an accurate reflection of where the country is right now. That doesn’t put Dems or Obamacare in great shape either.

And the country is only just beginning to learn just how awful the rollout has been. What are the Obamacare numbers going to look like in a month? Two months?

Maybe, just maybe, down the road, people are going to say “hey, maybe those Obamacare haters were onto something.”

Missy on October 12, 2013 at 6:13 AM

I dont care about winning political points. I care about doing whats right. Defund, delete, replace, repeal.

The rest of the idiot public who does not know any better can go to hell. Its not free.

TX-96 on October 12, 2013 at 6:18 AM

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