Tuesday, December 05, 2017


Here's the text of an Axios item in its entirety:
Two polls released today showed similar levels of disapproval over the GOP tax plan, with a Gallup finding 29% approval against 56% disapproval and Quinnipiac showing 29% approval against 53% disapproval.

1 unsurprising thing: Both polls broke down along party lines with high approval from Republicans (Gallup: 70%; Quinnipiac: 67%) and high disapproval from Democrats (Gallup: 87%; Quinnipiac: 84%). Independents overwhelmingly disapproved of the plan in both polls (Gallup: 25% approval vs. 56% disapproval, Quinnipiac: 27%/54%).
Here's what's bothering me about this item: the words "Both polls broke down along party lines." That's not the story here. The story -- and yes, the next sentence acknowledges this -- is that independents side with Democrats, by large margins.

Despite the clarification, when you say, "Both polls broke down along party lines," you're sending the message that this is left vs. right. But it's left and unaffiliated vs. right. The right-wingers are the outliers. That should be clear from the topline number, but suggesting that this is just more Donkeys vs. Elephants sends a different message.

What's happening in America right now is obvious, yet it's not part of any media narrative: Republicans are completely out of step with the rest of America. Republicans love a president the rest of the country despises. Republicans nationwide cheer on Roy Moore. Republicans voted for the members of Congress who gave us this monstrosity of a tax bill. And yet Republican voters are regularly portrayed as the only "real" Americans, while the rest of us are deemed second-class citizens. Republicans control the country despite having no mandate for the things they're doing -- in fact, the public clearly wants them not to do what they're doing.

We see that in poll after poll, but we're told it's just D vs. R, with the independents' seconding of the Democrats noted as an afterthought. We need to start talking about Republicans as the ones defying the national will -- regardless of how much Carhartt they wear when they're sitting in Pennsylvania diners.

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