Friday, April 24, 2009


Fox News has a new poll out -- and, as usual, the early questions are standard-issue (and the results are quite good for Barack Obama and the Democrats, and quite bad for the Republicans) ... while the end of the poll is more or less undiluted propaganda.

First, some of the good news:

Obama's job approval rating comes in at 62 percent....

In addition, most people say Obama is doing a better job than they expected (26 percent) or meeting expectations (56 percent). Few say he is doing worse than expected (16 percent)....

Most Americans have a favorable opinion of Obama as a person: 68 percent favorable and 27 percent unfavorable.....

First lady Michelle Obama is even more popular than her husband, as 73 percent of Americans have a positive view of her....

The poll also finds that 73 percent think Obama is honest and trustworthy, up from 60 percent in October 2008. Furthermore, more people today see Obama as a "doer" (43 percent) than a "talker" (30 percent), a reversal from pre-election polling when more people saw him as a talker (49 percent) rather than a doer (34 percent)....

Most Americans -- 69 percent -- say they are satisfied with what Obama has accomplished in his first 100 days, and 57 percent think he is keeping the promises he made during the campaign....

And now some push-poll questions (PDF):

41a. Do you believe Barack Obama's three point six trillion dollar budget plan will help stabilize the nation's economy, or not?

41b. Do you believe the recently passed three point six trillion dollar federal budget plan will help stabilize the nation's economy, or not?

42. Does the recently passed three point six trillion dollar federal budget plan make you feel more or less secure about the nation's financial future?

(Hmmm ... I've poked around in Fox's poll archive for 2008 and I haven't found any polls in which multiple questions were asked about George W. Bush's "three point one trillion dollar federal budget plan." But maybe I just didn't look hard enough.)

52. Do you think Barack Obama believes the United States is in a global war on terrorism?

(Disappointingly for Fox, "yes" wins.)

53. The Secretary of Homeland Security has stopped using the word terrorism and instead uses the phrase "man-caused disasters." Do you think President Obama should use the word terrorism when referring to threats from terrorists or should he say man-caused disasters?

(More politically correct language police work from the right! By the way, here's a speech Napolitano gave Wednesday in which she used some form of the word "terrorism" ten times.)

55. In talking about what might happen to detainees when the Guantanamo Bay prison is closed, recently National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said some of the prisoners may be released in the United States and suggested it may be necessary to give them assistance for them to start a new life. Do you favor or oppose using taxpayer dollars to help prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay?

(This is really sleazy because the prisoners he's talking about are Chinese Uighurs, most of whom were determined not to be threats in 2003, yet they've been in legal limbo ever since, and the Obama administration, quite rightly, doesn't want to return them to China, where they'd be persecuted. None of this, you'll note, is mentioned in the question.)

56. As you may have heard, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recently suggested that U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars might be susceptible for recruitment into rightwing extremists groups -- do you think she is right and it is a possibility, or do you think such a suggestion is an insult to veterans?

(Of course, Napolitano didn't say this -- this was part of a DHS report done under the aegis of a holdover Bush appointee, and a comparable report on left-wing extremists was released by DHS in late January, and a DHS report from late in Bush's term that also warned about possible white-supremacist recruitment of veterans was issued without inspiring an angry response from the right, or, as far as I know, a question in a Fox News poll.)

There's a question about Chavez and Castro, of course, and there are several questions about waterboarding (including one, naturally, positing the ticking-bomb scenario).

All in all, a fairly typical Fox poll.

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