Gallup poll shows that it’s still “the economy, stupid”

posted at 4:41 pm on May 19, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

It’s been more than twenty years since James Carville boiled voter priorities down to one memorable phrase — “the economy, stupid.” Today’s polling from Gallup and Politico show that the same lesson holds true for the 2014 midterms a generation later, and perhaps may be even more true today:

Twenty percent of Americans name unemployment or jobs as the most important problem facing the country in May, up from 14% who mentioned these issues in April. Dysfunctional government (19%) and the economy in general (17%) also rank among the top problems.

These three issues — jobs, economy, and government — have been at the top of the “most important problem” list since the beginning of the year. Mentions of government and politicians rose sharply to 33% in October amid the partial government shutdown, but have dipped back down.

Mentions of the environment as the most important problem have ticked up to 3% in May from an average of 1% over the past six months. The increase may be related to recent news coverage highlighting the negative effects of global warming and climate change on the environment.

I find it useful to post about these issues/priority polls as markers for just how effective election-year messaging proves to be. The White House and the Democratic orgs for the House and Senate have tried everything to change the basic thrust of the midterms from its traditional role of providing accountability to the party in power. For months, Democrats have been stoking hysteria on gender pay equity by pushing false statistics using a standard that shows that the White House itself discriminates against women, and by ramping up hysteria over climate change following the second deep winter in a row.

The results speak for themselves. Despite harping on pay equity and income inequality since the beginning of the year, the issue of the rich/poor gap hasn’t budged from its 3% rating as the most important issue in the US. As Gallup notes, the larger category of environment/pollution has gone from 1% to 3%, a change within the margin of error, and one that still leaves the category in a four-way tie for last place.

The messaging failure extends even to the target markets — the party base. Combined, jobs and the economy get 38% of Democratic respondents’ top priority. The environment gets 7%, and equity issues 6% — combined, about a third of what jobs and the economy gets. Three times as many Democrats put “dissatisfaction with government” as a top priority than those who prioritize the environment — and that’s not an issue category that favors the White House, needless to say. That’s actually higher than the 17% of Republicans who make that their top priority. Among independents, the issues hyped by the White House get 5% combined.

That’s not to say that those issues poll poorly among voters. The Politico poll gives a good indication on how well they do when surveyed in a vacuum. However, no one’s looking for solutions to these in the midterm elections, and the more that Democrats keep trying to make November about these issues, the more polling will look like Politico’s breakdown from earlier today.


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Poverty sucks.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Change!!! Lean forward!!!!

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2014 at 4:44 PM

obama success story

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Danger poll

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Then how did Obama get re-elected with the horrible economy of his first term (which keeps on being terrible now well into his second)?

Bitter Clinger on May 19, 2014 at 4:47 PM

For their next magnanimous feat, the White House will shoot the messengers until everyone is on the same page, and will forget the economy.

In other words: Look! Squirrel!

Turtle317 on May 19, 2014 at 4:51 PM

But, squirrels…

The obamas, Holder and Donna Brazile see re-segregation in the stars of America.

You putzes…MLK fought and died so you choomed bastids could harangue the nation.

May the Guinea worms consume you all.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2014 at 4:51 PM

What is most interesting and instructive vis-a-vis the mainstream media (or the government media complex as I like to call them) is that when it was “the economy, stupid”, if you asked most people how the economy was doing and how they and those closest to them were doing it was, “the economy stinks but me and mine are doing ok”. Today, given the misinformation in the media and the fact that they have overtly chosen sides it is almost the opposite.

The question is whether this disconnect will translate into votes in 2014 and again in 2016 because the economy will not be any better then than it is now. I am more confident in 2014 that the American electorate (read that those that will actually vote) will understand that the pathetic attempts by the govt media to obfuscate how bad the economy is just doesn’t comport with their personal experience and that Dems are to blame. 2016 is another matter where I fear that the desire for a female POTUS will outweigh all common sense.

ehscott on May 19, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Then how did Obama get re-elected with the horrible economy of his first term (which keeps on being terrible now well into his second)?

Bitter Clinger on May 19, 2014 at 4:47 PM

…the politburo press still has six months to do its job!…just as they did in 2012.
…oh ye of little faith!

KOOLAID2 on May 19, 2014 at 4:58 PM

“. . .the economy, stupid?”

Maybe.

Gallup? Really?

TimBuk3 on May 19, 2014 at 4:59 PM

The fact that Jugears got re-elected in 2012 proves this assertion wrong.

Or it’s right and the NSA/IRS did steal the election.

So the answer is, either the American People are incredibly stupid, OR the government is incredibly corrupt, to the point of stealing national elections.

There is no third possibility.

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Then how did Obama get re-elected with the horrible economy of his first term (which keeps on being terrible now well into his second)?

Bitter Clinger on May 19, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Because people revile economic conservatism. 1992, 2008, and 2012 were the last 3 elections which revolved around the economy. The GOP lost each one.

Stoic Patriot on May 19, 2014 at 5:01 PM

When can we see James Carville with a bag over his head?

Steve Z on May 19, 2014 at 5:01 PM

What’s with the photo of Lawrence Fishburn??

ToddPA on May 19, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Then how did Obama get re-elected with the horrible economy of his first term (which keeps on being terrible now well into his second)?

Bitter Clinger on May 19, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Because it’s still Bush’s fault.

/must i?

Ward Cleaver on May 19, 2014 at 5:04 PM

When can we see James Carville with a bag over his head?

Steve Z on May 19, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Gives you the creeps, too, eh?

lineholder on May 19, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Then how did Obama get re-elected with the horrible economy of his first term (which keeps on being terrible now well into his second)?

Bitter Clinger on May 19, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Well here it is again. Despite all the whitewashing by google.

I love the title.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/30/congratulations-america-your-deficit-fell-37-percent-in-2013/

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2014 at 5:06 PM

If it’s the economy, stupid, why did Obama get reelected?

HugoDrax on May 19, 2014 at 5:15 PM

“I have been a rich man, and I have been a poor man, and I choose rich every f*ckin time…”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q4FK9i7lto

(Personal note: I am currently in the ‘poor’ stage.)

WhatSlushfund on May 19, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Hopey changey working out just as well as we all predicted it would.

jukin3 on May 19, 2014 at 5:20 PM

It used to be when the economy was bad, people blamed the sitting administration.

Today, when the economy is bad, people look to government for aid.

Ergo, bad economies can only hurt conservative administrations. For liberal administrations, it’s a win-win.

HugoDrax on May 19, 2014 at 5:20 PM

It used to be when the economy was bad, people blamed the sitting administration.

Today, when the economy is bad, people look to government for aid.

Ergo, bad economies can only hurt conservative administrations. For liberal administrations, it’s a win-win.

HugoDrax on May 19, 2014 at 5:20 PM

It is a very weird downward psychological spiral that America is in at the moment, isn’t it. The more “liberals” screw up the economy, the more people blame Conservatives, even though Conservatives control nothing. Liberals control our entire political apparatus, the media, the courts, the universities… everything. And yet Conservatives get all the blame no matter what happens.

Very weird.

WhatSlushfund on May 19, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Wait a minute, you mean it’s not Michael Sam? ESPN’s got some splain’n to do.

reddevil on May 19, 2014 at 5:28 PM

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Both.

With the added factor of we get the government we deserve.

Cleombrotus on May 19, 2014 at 5:32 PM

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM

it’s option #2. he’s from chitcago.

8 weight on May 19, 2014 at 5:35 PM

The more “liberals” screw up the economy, the more people blame Conservatives,

That’s right. Too many people blame wall street or the free market for their situation. They look to the free market for blame, and look to government for help.

With that outlook, conservatives are screwed.

HugoDrax on May 19, 2014 at 5:39 PM

It’s been more than twenty years since James Carville boiled voter priorities down to one memorable phrase — “the economy, stupid.”

Of course, Carville knew at the time that the US economy was in fact already in recovery-said recovery began in March of 1991, or 18 months before the 1992 election. Fed stats prove it.

But the Democrat Media knew that an economic recovery would doom whomever their Masters ran for President in ’92, so they censored the story completely, secure in the knowledge that if they talked down the economy, their as-yet-unknown candidate would beat Pappy Bush.

The NY Times finally got around to admitting that they spiked the March 1991 Fed stats. In October of 1999.

GOEBBELS +

Del Dolemonte on May 19, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Carville still looks like Skelator (in case that’s not already been mentioned).

avagreen on May 19, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Well tough noogies!

The most important thing is devastating the middle class with skyrocketing energy prices, food prices, and a big fat carbon tax to exacerbate the former two.

Just a bunch of racist homophobes that hate women.

jukin3 on May 19, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Not ‘global warming’???? Oh noes, what are we going to do?

slickwillie2001 on May 19, 2014 at 6:33 PM

When can we see James Carville with a bag over his head?

Steve Z on May 19, 2014 at 5:01 PM

How could you tell?

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2014 at 6:35 PM

The school of hard knocks is now in session.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2014 at 6:36 PM

It is NOT about the economy.

It is about race/gender/sexuality. It is about “trigger warnings”, “empowering” minority youth through a black or Latino president, and about cleansing the world of speech that is offensive.

will77jeff on May 19, 2014 at 6:38 PM

It used to be when the economy was bad, people blamed the sitting administration.

Today, when the economy is bad, people look to government for aid.

Ergo, bad economies can only hurt conservative administrations. For liberal administrations, it’s a win-win.

HugoDrax on May 19, 2014 at 5:20 PM

And Maduro isn’t shooting people. Eventually the nickels turn wooden.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Then how did Obama get re-elected with the horrible economy of his first term (which keeps on being terrible now well into his second)?

Bitter Clinger on May 19, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Because where I work, the fools are so ill-informed that it all came down to “Save Big Bird, yeah!”

SailorMark on May 19, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Difference in pay ref gender is a non starter where I’ve experienced the ‘real world’. Traditional, high paying manufacturing (men’s) jobs have gone East and South. Mid level Public Sector jobs have gone to college educated females, while political pressure and PC social engineering (along with, for the most part, the burgeoning of the numbers of highly qualified women) have seen women moving up in the private sector. As jobs have moved to the ‘office’, women have taken the lead and have experienced the highest level of ‘independence’ in history. Couple these trends with LBJ’s institutionalization of subsidized dependency and the resultant destruction of the traditional family, well, men, essentially, have become superfluous.

vnvet on May 19, 2014 at 8:07 PM

vnvet on May 19, 2014 at 8:07 PM

None of which was by accident. The role of “woman as underrepresented on college campus” started LONG before it did with minorities.

Thank God for Tiger Moms.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2014 at 8:31 PM

well, men, essentially, have become superfluous.

Not to ourselves.

will77jeff on May 19, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Twenty percent of Americans name unemployment or jobs as the most important problem facing the country…

Yeah? where were those liars in 2008?

earlgrey on May 19, 2014 at 11:27 PM

more specifically the offshoring of our economy, Ed. The offshoring of jobs and technology and the cont’d influx of low paid illegal and legal foreign workers to take existing US jobs. The total neglect of these issues by the Tea Party and Movement Conservatives is killing us in the political arena. Ronald Reagan had it right. He had the good sense to protect our economy. Not one of his successors gives a hoot about the US private sector worker. Neither Democrat or Republican.

Darvin Dowdy on May 20, 2014 at 7:19 AM

I’m continually amazed at the different sources who keep proclaiming how the economy is supposedly doing “better.” By what standard are we doing better when we still have over 90 million Americans out of the work force and no longer looking for work (they’ve essentially given up)?

Bob Davis on May 20, 2014 at 9:29 AM