Wednesday, February 20, 2013


The key finding in this Quinnipiac poll isn't Chris Christie's 74% approval rating in New Jersey, or his commanding lead in this year's governor's race -- it's how well he'd do in supposedly solid-blue New Jersey as a presidential candidate:
In an early look at the 2016 presidential election, New Jersey voters go 49 percent for Hillary Clinton and 45 percent for Christie.....

The Garden State's native son tops New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo 54 - 36 percent. Christie ... wins 45 percent of women to Cuomo's 42 percent....
We think the Republican Party is in dire straits because its core voters are old and white and male and Southern, and because its overall approval ratings are low. But if you analyze any poll, you'll see that the GOP's low standing comes in part from Republicans, who nevertheless vote for the party on Election Day, which tells me that they're telling pollsters they disapprove of their own party because it's not crazy and right-wing enough, and then they vote for the party because they absolutely feel it's better than the Antichrist Democratic Party.

And as for non-Republican voters, they say they don't like the GOP, but that sense of disgust is a mile wide and an inch deep -- even in the bluest states, they're willing to suspend that sense of disgust for any Republican who seems to deviate in any way from Republican stereotypes (or, perhaps, just because they kinda-sorta feel it's time for a change after a few years with, say, a Democratic governor). Why else would there be states that are reliably blue in presidential elections -- Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Michigan -- under all-GOP control at the state level?

No Democrat could possibly win the presidential race in Mississippi or Utah or Alabama or Oklahoma in 2016, but against a sufficiently uninspiring candidate -- Martin O'Malley? -- there's no telling how many states could be won by a Republican who's successfully concealed his fealty to his party's agenda, as the Koch lackey Christie has. That's because the Republican brand is still not box-office poison, or even close. Democrats and liberals still haven't tarnished the GOP's reputation enough. And nothing will change in this country until that changes.

(X-posted at Balloon Juice.)


Victor said...

My comment took before, but now it's gone.

Oh well, it's not like my word-turds were epic or anything.

Steve M. said...

I think you put the comment up at the previous post.

Victor said...


Hadn't had my coffee yet.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that the Dems should be pushing the GOP brand further into the toilet, but I don't agree about the meaning of this poll.

Most people don't pay that much attention to politics. So polls on presidential races more than 300 days out-- to say nothing of 3 years out--- have zero predictive power.

I don't care what the polls say right now, Chris Christie has zero chance of beating Hilary Clinton in NJ in 2016. And the GOP is making life really hard for themselves long term with the way they're behaving now. I agree that a happier face and better marketing could go a disturbingly long way in helping the GOP do better without substantive reform.

Dark Avenger said...

Better marketing would mean shit in a different package, see: Immigration reform.

Joseph Max said...

It's just like when the approval ratings for Obama are low, everyone assumes it's because he's "too liberal". The polls don't take into account WHY the rating is low - because for many respondents it's because he's not liberal ENOUGH. I wish the pollsters would break that data point out.

Yes, the GOP hasn't really been demonized enough. We think they're in disarry, dispirited, and losing ground. Well, that may be true, but remember James Carville's advice: when your opponent is drowning, throw him an anvil.

Ten Bears said...

A rat in a fatal trap is a pretty viscious creature.

Examinator said...

@Ten Bears
Only if they know they're in a trap.

@ Steve.
I call different parties in state V fed/ prez as the " A Pox on both partyour houses effect"
In many other countries the same effect is common.
Canada, England, NZ and Australia have been pushed into either balance of power or coalition.

Australia for example is regularly has the opposite party wall to wall state to the one at the Federal level. For over 30years they had a center left (Protest 3rd party) with the balance of power in the Fed.

Interestingly enough when that party tried to become a power player ( party of government) in its own right it imploded. leaving the Conservatives with an absolute majority for one term... The conservatives did what conservatives do and went too far right and their PM John Howard ( lap dog to Bush2) lost his own seat ...the first time in their history that a sitting PM lost his seat .

I would suggest that the one common factor is that the public is really saying 'we don't like or trust either party' and therefore, 'a pox on both houses'.

It is a also a common effect in all these jurisdictions(countries states districts electorates, councils etc.) that each successive election is more expensive than the last. This, I posit is because the ability to persuade the people is becoming harder needing more sales/spin, repetition, more negative than substance advertising . In other words people are not weighing up the benefits of either party but rather the fear of the other party. Hence the tone and pitch of campaigns are getting higher and more hysterically shrill( emotionally negative) . i.e. elections are increasingly a choice “between the lessor of two evil.”( tweedle dum(b) and tweedle dum(ber) ) .

The people generally, are feeling disenfranchised by the focus of both parties that favors the non human corporations over them. Because of the fear that has been instilled in the two major parties minor parties (real change) simply can't effectively compete let alone win. Standard predatory business practice, of building barriers to entry of small competitors on the basis of $ while giving the illusion of free market/democracy.
It has been pointed out many times but ignored by both parties simply because of fear and vested interests on both sides.

Examinator said...

Both parties are so focused on the win (power) over the other the real intended purpose of government ( facilitating the prime purpose of society common benefit of the *people *) has becomes subordinate to the * necessary* (?) compromises to win. The hierarchies and welded on supporters are frightened that a third or forth party would rob them (as individuals) of their power, prestige, perceived privilege and pecuniary advantage.

No matter what on going organization in question it's primary objective becomes its own survival and growth. Implicit in this is that the original purpose slips down or falls off the the table, because those in power in the organization are primarily concerned with their (as individuals) 'P' . All in all an unhealthy symbiosis. To the point that people identify themselves firstly by their role function not their personal trait's etc. e.g. I'm an executive with Xxxxx Corporation, a programmer with Zzzzz etc. As it some how says something significant about the person.
Make no bones about it this is the consequences of deliberate spin to keep the people in 'their place'. Parties are simply the Hierarchy's overseers