Don’t believe AP’s ho-hum tone: latest poll is great news for Republicans

posted at 6:41 pm on August 6, 2014 by Noah Rothman

A glance at the Associated Press’s write up of the latest AP-GfK poll, conducted July 24 – 28, leads the reader to believe there really isn’t that much to see there.

Sure, the American public is incredibly dispirited, mistrustful of their elected leaders, and generally dissatisfied with the direction of the country; but you already knew that. One-third of respondents don’t even care who is in charge – they don’t believe it matters.

Neither party “is trusted much to manage the federal government,” the AP write up reads. While there are some indications that the coming midterms are set to benefit Republicans, the AP goes out of its way to ensure the reader does not come away from this piece with that conclusion.

“All told, only 28 percent of Americans think the nation is heading in the right direction, the lowest level in August of an election year since 2008. It’s about on par with 2006, when Democrats took control of the U.S. House amid a backlash to the Iraq war,” the AP’s post reads. “This time around, it’s not clear whether either party will benefit from the disaffection.”

Except, it is clear.

The latest AP-GfK poll shows that the public is perfectly split on the “generic congressional ballot” question. 33 percent back Democrats, 33 percent support Republicans, and another third have no opinion or declined to respond. But that indicates a pretty broad shift towards Republicans on a question which traditionally favors Democrats. In December of last year, just after the government shutdown, Democrats were favored over Republicans on this question 39 to 33 percent with 27 percent offering no preference. That result was virtually unchanged in January.

AP-GfK found an outlier result in the generic ballot question in March when Republicans were favored over Democrats with 37 to 36 percent support, but the GOP was back in the doghouse with voters in May. Then, 37 percent backed Democrats to control Congress while only 31 percent supported the GOP. July’s results represent a major shift of support among voters away from Democrats and toward either Republicans or the abstention column.

On nearly every domestic issue, President Barack Obama’s approval rating with voters is mired in the mid-to-low 30s. Just 40 percent approve of the overall job the president is doing in office.

Democrats are far more disheartened by the present state of affairs than are their Republican counterparts. Faith that the country is heading in the right direction is down among self-identified Democrats by 11 points since May and now stands at just 49 percent. Self-described independents are also down on the direction the country is heading, with just 23 percent saying America is on the right course. Among Republicans, faith in the direction of the country remains unchanged at an abysmal 9 percent.

Democrats who are down on the direction of the country and dispirited by how the leader of their party, the current President of the United States, his handling his job are unlikely to rush enthusiastically out the door to vote in November. But the best news for Republicans in this poll came when voters were asked which party is better suited to handle a number of problems. Voters backed the GOP on every one of those issues.

On handling the economy, Republicans are better trusted than Democrats by 6 points. On the federal budget, the GOP is more entrusted by voters than Democrats by 5 points. On immigration, 4 points. On protecting the nation from foreign threats, Republicans enjoy a 15-point advantage.

On America’s image abroad, something that was supposedly so damaged by George W. Bush’s approach to foreign affairs, the GOP is more trusted than Democrats by 3 points. On managing international crises, the GOP has a 9-point advantage over the party in power. Finally, on managing the federal government – the Democratic Party’s stock-in-trade – the Republican Party is more trusted by 27 to 24 percent.

These are number which should (and likely are) prompting Democratic strategists to reach for the panic button. No wonder then that the AP’s readout takes on the tone of a child psychologist helping an underage victim cope with recent trauma. Keep the band playing as the ship sinks so as not to unnerve the passengers.

There is no sugarcoating it. These are awful numbers for incumbent Democrats heading into the fall. And we haven’t even started applying likely voter screens yet.


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These are awful numbers for incumbent Democrats heading into the fall.

Good. Hope the numbers continue to get worse for them.

cat_owner on August 6, 2014 at 6:49 PM

There is no sugarcoating it. These are awful numbers for incumbent Democrats heading into the fall. And we haven’t even started applying likely voter screens yet.

Obama doesn’t care. By the time he gets out of office, he will have moved leftist progressive goals decades forward.

That’s his transformation of America doctrine.

All this whining and complaining and pointed this out and pointing that out will not stop this idiot or his toadies one centimeter.

This has been one of the best coups ever carried out in a country. Slow, long game and not a thing that anyone can do about it.

He won.

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Obama doesn’t care. By the time he gets out of office, he will have moved leftist progressive goals decades forward.
That’s his transformation of America doctrine.
All this whining and complaining and pointed this out and pointing that out will not stop this idiot or his toadies one centimeter.
This has been one of the best coups ever carried out in a country. Slow, long game and not a thing that anyone can do about it.
He won.
Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Yep. And you are right about the “slow, long game.” Illegal alien amnesty, for example, would eventually be the gift that keeps on giving to Democrats for decades.

bluegill on August 6, 2014 at 6:55 PM

If the election is a major disaster for the Dems they will have to finally do something about Obama.

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 6:56 PM

If the election is a major disaster for the Dems they will have to finally do something about Obama.

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 6:56 PM

What will they do?

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

I will wait for hagfish to come by and nit pick.

cozmo on August 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

It’s not over yet, Walter. What can’t continue, won’t. Soon the pet constituencies will be tearing at each other’s throats.

disa on August 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

What will they do?

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

That will be up to them. I’m not a mind reader.

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 6:58 PM

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 6:56 PM

They don’t have the integrity.

They will hunker down and blame everything not 0bama. Or their policies.

cozmo on August 6, 2014 at 6:59 PM

It’s not over yet, Walter. What can’t continue, won’t. Soon the pet constituencies will be tearing at each other’s throats.

disa on August 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

So. That won’t change a thing. It will take years to dismantle the damage that Obama has done with his progressive ideology in full swing.

The right keeps fooling themselves. We barely have a handful of conservative politicians that care more about this country than they do about belonging to The Political Class ™

I’m not a defeatist, but I’m a realist.

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

They don’t have the integrity.

They will hunker down and blame everything not 0bama. Or their policies.

cozmo on August 6, 2014 at 6:59 PM

I’m not talking about rhetoric. I’m saying they’ll have to do something to stop him from causing any more damage in the real world. Not in their fantasy one.

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 7:01 PM

If the election is a major disaster for the Dems they will have to finally do something about Obama.

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 6:56 PM

If they don’t they are just handing the Presidency to a Republican for the next two terms.

Johnnyreb on August 6, 2014 at 7:01 PM

If they don’t they are just handing the Presidency to a Republican for the next two terms.

Johnnyreb on August 6, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Exactly.

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Kick them ALL out if you’ve been in Government for over 3 terms GO AWAY!

NO MORE LIFE LONG INCUMBENTS!!!!!

All parties ALL of them!

-Wasteland Man.

WastelandMan on August 6, 2014 at 7:02 PM

If the election is a major disaster for the Dems they will have to finally do something about Obama.

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 6:56 PM

What will they do?

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 6:57 PM

They will:

(1) Blame racism; and

(2) Nominate an even more extreme POTUS candidate (maybe The Mooche, because Obama needs a 3rd and 4th term to overcome the horrible state of the country left to him by GWB).

ShainS on August 6, 2014 at 7:03 PM

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 7:01 PM

They still won’t. They invested too much in class warfare and political correctness.

All they can do is bend over and take what 0bama sends their way.

cozmo on August 6, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Exactly.

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 7:02 PM

And that’s going to make a difference how?

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 7:04 PM

The media get their marching orders/talking points from an even newer JournOList/Leftwing cabal:
http://eagnews.org/1000-member-secretive-progressive-journalist-group-uncovered/

onlineanalyst on August 6, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Not really excited either way. I know how the RINO GOPe leadership view conservatives like myself. I also know what they actually do while in power. They had the reigns for a while and they grew the federal monster right on the progressives’ schedule.

I’ll take a Republican Senate for one reason and one reason only: judges. Other than that, I see no use to flipping the Senate at all. None. Zero. Does. Not. Matter.

xNavigator on August 6, 2014 at 7:06 PM

So. That won’t change a thing. It will take years to dismantle the damage that Obama has done with his progressive ideology in full swing.

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

I’m thinking more like generations. And he still has two years with nothing to stop him from doing whatever he wants to do. I cannot express adequately my hatred for this man and his whole administration.

Kaffa on August 6, 2014 at 7:09 PM

The media get their marching orders/talking points from an even newer JournOList/Leftwing cabal:
http://eagnews.org/1000-member-secretive-progressive-journalist-group-uncovered/

onlineanalyst

If I weren’t such a cynic, my blood would boil! You’d think after getting caught “journolisting” after the 2010 election, they would learn. But nope! They whine, piss, moan, cry, nash teeth and throw hissy fits about ONE news network, ONE!! But they ALL coordinate and that somehow isn’t bias?? They have the House minority leader asking them to be “messengers” and they don’t even try to rebut it. It’s beyond the pale. I hate these people!!

JAM on August 6, 2014 at 7:11 PM

So. That won’t change a thing. It will take years to dismantle the damage that Obama has done with his progressive ideology in full swing.
Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

BS Walt. All those Exec Orders can be undone with a pen. Don’t even need a phone.

8 weight on August 6, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Don’t believe the AP, but don’t be complacent. Vote like the AP is telling the truth.

TIDAL WAVE the liberals.

portlandon on August 6, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Slightly off-topic (?): MI-Sen, Land is attacking Peters on immigration

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140806/POLITICS01/308060119/Land-ad-criticizes-Peters-immigration-stance

joana on August 6, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Don’t believe AP’s ho-hum tone: latest poll is great news for Republicans

BoxHead1 on August 6, 2014 at 7:12 PM

crankyoldlady on August 6, 2014 at 6:56 PM

I’m sure the dims will just blame Bush and the Koch brothers.

cat_owner on August 6, 2014 at 7:12 PM

^^^^

Don’t believe AP’s ho-hum tone: latest poll is great news for Republicans

I pressed submit too early. I had nothing to add anyway.

BoxHead1 on August 6, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

I’m thinking more like generations.

Kaffa on August 6, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Y’all don’t remember January 1981.

Most of the damage 0bama has done is through executive branch policies and executive orders.

cozmo on August 6, 2014 at 7:13 PM

BS Walt. All those Exec Orders can be undone with a pen. Don’t even need a phone.

8 weight on August 6, 2014 at 7:11 PM

I don’t remember when an executive order of a previous president was ever overturned by an incoming president. Will a RINO president actually do that?

Can an amnesty granted by one president be overturned by a new president?

Kaffa on August 6, 2014 at 7:15 PM

And the disasters aren’t done yet.

He won.

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 6:49 PM

No, he lost.

What he’s achieved is to turn off millions of people to the idea government solutions work.

Nobody is going to want socialized medicine for generations now that they’ve seen BarryCare.

He’s also put a few cracks in the Demos’ bedrock constituencies.

formwiz on August 6, 2014 at 7:16 PM

Neither party “is trusted much to manage the federal government,” the AP write up reads. While there are some indications that the coming midterms are set to benefit Republicans, the AP goes out of its way to ensure the reader does not come away from this piece with that conclusion.

Noah Rothman on August 6, 2014 at 6:41 PM

.
The irrelevance of the Associated Press’s take on this AP-GfK poll, is irrelevant of itself.

The actual truth is slightly better news … but I can’t get too excited over it.

listens2glenn on August 6, 2014 at 7:16 PM

So. That won’t change a thing. It will take years to dismantle the damage that Obama has done with his progressive ideology in full swing.

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Nonsense.

Just taking over the House has already done immensely.

In 2010, the US CAPB as a % of the GDP (cyclically adjusted primary balance, the best metric of fiscal stance) was -6.3%.

It’s declined to -5.3% in ’11, -4.2% in ’12, -1.9% in ’13 and this year the estimate is -1.2%, the lowest number since 2007 (when the Democrats took the House).

Spending as a percentage of the GDP has declined from 42.8% to 38.3% in the same period.

(source: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fm/2013/02/pdf/fm1302.pdf)

People underestimate the work the Republicans in Congress have done to weather the storm and start reversing the trend. Unfortunately it’s hard to do more (like nullifying the impact of Obamacare and reign in the federal agencies like EPA) when you only control one house of the Congress.

joana on August 6, 2014 at 7:20 PM

I don’t remember when an executive order of a previous president was ever overturned by an incoming president. Will a RINO president actually do that?

Kaffa on August 6, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Google the ‘Mexico City Policy,’ for example.

Can an amnesty granted by one president be overturned by a new president?

Yes.

Resist We Much on August 6, 2014 at 7:22 PM

I’m sure the GOPe with leaders like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will find a way to screw this up.

They’ve been working hard at it for the last 2 years…never underestimate the GOPe!

celt on August 6, 2014 at 7:22 PM

joana on August 6, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Agree completely.

I think I’m gonna be sick….

8 weight on August 6, 2014 at 7:24 PM

All this whining and complaining and pointed this out and pointing that out will not stop this idiot or his toadies one centimeter.
This has been one of the best coups ever carried out in a country. Slow, long game and not a thing that anyone can do about it.
He won.
Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Yep. And you are right about the “slow, long game.” Illegal alien amnesty, for example, would eventually be the gift that keeps on giving to Democrats for decades.

bluegill on August 6, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Oh, well, i guess we better surrender then.

Seriously, if you think it’s that hopeless, why even be a conservative? If it’s as hopeless as you say, just join the RINOs.

It sure was nice having you guys on the conservative team though. Yes, even you, bluegill.

RINO in Name Only on August 6, 2014 at 7:27 PM

I think I’m gonna be sick….

8 weight on August 6, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Don’t let it get you down. Even hagfish is right once in a while.

cozmo on August 6, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Don’t believe AP’s ho-hum tone: latest poll is great news for Republicans

BoxHead1 on August 6, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Look at the margins of error.

jim56 on August 6, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Yep. And you are right about the “slow, long game.” Illegal alien amnesty, for example, would eventually be the gift that keeps on giving to Democrats for decades.

bluegill on August 6, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Not so sure…they could lose all other minorities who lose their jobs to illegal alien amnesty…including blacks.

ladyingray on August 6, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Here’s to wiping as many of the Ds as possible from the face of the earth in November. *clink*

TXUS on August 6, 2014 at 7:30 PM

-Wasteland Man.

WastelandMan on August 6, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Why do you sign your user name when it already going to appear?

ladyingray on August 6, 2014 at 7:31 PM

Can an amnesty granted by one president be overturned by a new president?

Yes.

Resist We Much on August 6, 2014 at 7:22 PM

Pardons can’t be.

jim56 on August 6, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Don’t believe AP’s ho-hum tone: latest poll is great news for Republicans

POSTED AT 6:41 PM ON AUGUST 6, 2014 BY NOAH ROTHMAN

Am I the only one who wasn’t sure which AP we were talking about here?

RINO in Name Only on August 6, 2014 at 7:33 PM

I want to see enthusiasm in the two parties over time. GOP burned a lot of bridges with base….

Depending on details could negate all of the good news

ChrisL on August 6, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Look at the margins of error.

jim56 on August 6, 2014 at 7:29 PM

First time I have heard that from you, Jimbo.

CW on August 6, 2014 at 7:35 PM

Pardons can’t be.

jim56 on August 6, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Aren’t you a liar lawyer?

8 weight on August 6, 2014 at 7:39 PM

Pardons generally are after convictions, though not always.

The reality is that a pardon would not change someone’s immigration status and they could still be deported.

CW on August 6, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Pardons generally are after convictions, though not always.

The reality is that a pardon would not change someone’s immigration status and they could still be deported.

CW on August 6, 2014 at 7:42 PM

True. I don’t think the President can issue an on-going pardon.

jim56 on August 6, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Oh, well, i guess we better surrender then.
Seriously, if you think it’s that hopeless, why even be a conservative? If it’s as hopeless as you say, just join the RINOs.
It sure was nice having you guys on the conservative team though. Yes, even you, bluegill.
RINO in Name Only on August 6, 2014 at 7:27 PM

I sure don’t want to surrender! These gills and these fins will never stop flapping. Don’t lose hope and keep on fighting. I was commenting more on the need to look at the larger picture and to recognize that Obama and company are seemingly less interested in political outcomes in the short-term.

bluegill on August 6, 2014 at 7:44 PM

In reality, the president does not possess this authority, as unauthorized presence in the U.S. is a civil violation, not a criminal one. Presidential pardon power only applies to federal crimes, described as “offenses against the United States” in the Constitution. As such, “a pardon can’t make someone a citizen or lawful resident,” explains John Harrison, a law professor at the University of Virginia. “Deportation is not a criminal proceeding, it’s a civil process that removes from the country someone who is not entitled to be here.”

WAPO

CW on August 6, 2014 at 7:48 PM

These gills and these fins will never stop flapping.

bluegill on August 6, 2014 at 7:44 PM

No Shinola on that one Susan. Too bad you won’t stop lying and being an attention seeking idiot.

cozmo on August 6, 2014 at 7:52 PM

So. That won’t change a thing. It will take years to dismantle the damage that Obama has done with his progressive ideology in full swing.

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

One of the areas that can’t be neglected or missed is going to be the effort to get all of the Lois Lerner’s out of the federal bureaucracy middle and upper level management (but below political appointees).

Returning the federal bureaucracy to being a non-partisan professional bureaucracy will be an immense task – made even more challenging by the resistance that the public sector unions will undertake to block such a return.

Add to this the effects of the massive expansion of government, the unprecedented increase in those dependent on the government, and the expansion of rank identity and racial politics – and it will be a daunting task to get off the path we are on.

Athos on August 6, 2014 at 7:52 PM

May the Democraps fail and get mud on their face. I will love to see the look of despair on Pelosi’s stretched face on Election Day. Obama will be remembered as the worst ever president. Eight lost years with the Democraps. May the fools who voted for the Kenyan repent.

Krupnikas on August 6, 2014 at 8:06 PM

So. That won’t change a thing. It will take years to dismantle the damage that Obama has done with his progressive ideology in full swing.

Walter L. Newton on August 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Maybe not. Where is the money for what progressives want going to come from?

wifarmboy on August 6, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Well said Athos.
I fear no one qualified will step up.

seesalrun2 on August 6, 2014 at 8:42 PM

The Dems’ strategy since Nov 2010, knowing how unpopular they and agenda were, was to make the GOP even more unpopular. To that end, they imposed gridlock on Congress, Reid closed down the Senate and blamed it on the “do nothing House”. After one failed attempt to talk to Republicans in August 2011, Obama gave up and resorted to demagoguery. Main stream media played along. A perfect example is the recent border debacle where the Senate left town, Obama promised to veto everything and the GOP were left holding the baby. They still passed a bill but got the blame.
As a result of this diabolical yet successful strategy the GOP find themselves more unpopular than the statists who have reduced this country to its current condition.
If the GOP win the Senate in November this strategy will be dead. The GOP can pass bills and send them to Obama, show who the real obstructionist is and lay the basis for a Republican governing strategy before the people for 2016. That’s how important this election is.

breffnian on August 6, 2014 at 8:47 PM

It doesn’t matter, folks. Do you really think that Republicans winning will change anything? They’ll just drive the car over the cliff in first gear instead of third. The GOP will betray you.

Decoski on August 6, 2014 at 8:48 PM

People underestimate the work the Republicans in Congress have done to weather the storm and start reversing the trend. Unfortunately it’s hard to do more (like nullifying the impact of Obamacare and reign in the federal agencies like EPA) when you only control one house of the Congress.

joana on August 6, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Take your corrupt gopE propaganda somewhere else!

Bush spent money like a drunken sailor and he cut nothing with both houses of Congress, low information drone!

The gopE’s master is the US Chamber of Corrupt Crony Capitalism.

Their agenda is:

1.) do not repeal 0bamacare
2.) amnesty
3.) Common Core

That’s Harry Reid’s agenda.

The gopE are Democrats. They believe in corrupt Big Government. They just want to manage the corruption.

After Mississippi the mask is off, sistah.

You vote for corruption. There is nothing conservative about you.

It’s the corruption, stupid!

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/05/21/Obama-Republicans

Jayrae on August 6, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Don’t believe the AP, but don’t be complacent. Vote like the AP is telling the truth.

TIDAL WAVE the liberals.

portlandon on August 6, 2014 at 7:12 PM

What about us Purists that want to teach those Republicans a lesson?

slickwillie2001 on August 6, 2014 at 10:16 PM

If the regular polls don’t turn out well, they will start to change the questions. They will plant ideas, push polls, for the democrats. They will instigate wars on women, or wars on pot, or wars on gay marriage so that they have something favorable to say about democrats.

And they will be trying to think up ways to ask questions that result in the answer, “Yes, Mrs. Clinton is the most popular girl in the class, smart and funny.”

Fleuries on August 6, 2014 at 10:43 PM

Don’t believe AP’s ho-hum tone: latest poll is great news for Republicans

This “bad for the Democrats” “good for the Republicans” stuff no longer interests me. We’re screwed no matter what.

The basic fact that two scum bags like Obama and Biden can actually get elected twice in national elections says to me that the writing is on the wall.

At least with Carter, there were a few million who made a wiser choice the second time around.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 6, 2014 at 11:31 PM

The president of the democrat party is happy to screw them over for the short term, as long as we become a third world cesspit in the long term. Statists always play the long game. Would that the party that ostensibly represents conservatives do the same.

SteveThomas on August 6, 2014 at 11:50 PM

The Democrats desperately need to stifle Republican turnout enthusiasm so look for the “conservative” media to start trotting out stories that the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats, all incumbents are just as bad, might as well sit home, blah, blah, blah.

People like Mark Levin are doing their part to try to bail the Democrats out of a disaster. He started his show off today with his usual bashing of Boehner and House leadership even though the House has passed over 300 bills that Reid and Senate Dems have ignored.

If the Republicans get the Senate, the Democrats are not going to have “congressional gridlock” to blame anymore. It will also be a nightmare for people like Levin and Breitbart News, too, because stuff will actually start getting done in Congress and Obama is going to have to take all the heat going into 2016, that isn’t what they want. They want to keep a Dem Senate in 2014 so they can continue blaming Republicans for things and get “their guys” elected in 2016. Well, that didn’t work so well in 2014 and “their guys” pretty much lost every single campaign. So now they have two more years of Republican bashing in store.

crosspatch on August 7, 2014 at 2:48 AM

Well, the public is “evenly” split when the poll oversamples dumbocrats by about 6 points.

Carry on.

GrassMudHorsey on August 7, 2014 at 8:20 AM