And note that this Public Strategies poll has a bit of skew in it as well towards Democrats in its sample. Even with a ten-point gap for Democrats over Republicans, though, the economy takes center stage for voters, leaving health care and climate change in the dust. As Politico reports, as a partner to Public Strategies in this poll, pro-business sentiment has increased since Barack Obama took office, which makes the effort to regulate less popular now:
For voters, the economy outpaces all other issues by a wide margin, according to a new Public Strategies Inc./POLITICO poll.
As the nation struggles to climb out of a recession, 45 percent rated the economy as the most important issue in deciding their vote if the congressional election were held today, followed by 21 percent who said government spending, 20 percent who chose health care reform and 9 percent who said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just 4 percent ranked climate change as the top issue. …
Even as the Obama administration is pushing for climate protection legislation, 62 percent of those polled agreed that “economic growth should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent.” The remaining 38 percent believed that “protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth.”
The results of the quarterly Public Trust Monitor poll indicate a shift of priorities among respondents. When a similar question was last polled in March, respondents had a much narrower tilt, 52 percent to 48 percent, in favor of economic growth over environmental concerns. Last December, those polled showed a nearly identical split of 51 percent to 49 percent toward economic concerns.
Why the shift? The poll finds that voters have remained sensitive to government spending and deficits over the last few months, perhaps a result of the massive spending on the Democratic agenda. They mistrust the federal government’s efforts at fiscal discipline by almost a 2-1 margin, although they also distrust corporations by a smaller gap. Voters narrowly reject the idea of expanded regulation as a recipe for recovery, but instead want better enforcement of existing regulations by more than 2-1 as a policy.
The poll offers a list of people and institutions for measuring trust. Interestingly, only three entities have a majority or plurality of voters’ trust:
- Barack Obama (54%-41%)
- US Chamber of Commerce (48%-39%)
- US Federal Reserve (51%-40%)
The Fed? It beats both political parties, Congress, Tim Geithner, Nancy Pelosi (who scores an unimpressive 30%-53%) and labor unions (36%-55%). I would not have guessed that, especially with an oversample of Democrats. That may be a measure of how nonpartisan the Fed has been seen, which in the current political environment gives them more credibility. It also underscores the comprehension that most Americans have that the private sector provides growth, not the public sector.
If Democrats keep pressing on big-spending plans of greater government intervention, they’re going to lose the next election, and lose it big.