Wednesday, May 01, 2019


According to a new CNN poll, Americans think congressional Democrats are being too aggressive in their efforts to investigate the president:
The American public increasingly feels that Democrats in Congress are going too far in investigating the President -- 44% say Democrats are doing too much on that score, up from 38% saying so in March. That shift stems largely from independents, 46% of whom now say congressional Democrats are going too far.
But when you ask them about the reasons Democrats are pursuing Trump, they agree that the president's actions appear shady:
Even with growing concern about overreach, majorities want Congress to investigate whether Trump committed obstruction of justice in the course of the Mueller investigation (58%) and to pursue legal action to obtain the full, unredacted version of the Mueller report (61%)....

About two-thirds still say Trump ought to release his tax returns (66%, including 52% who consider it important for the President to do). And most, 54%, say the President is not doing enough to cooperate with Democratic investigations.
But this isn't the oddest mix of responses in a recent poll. The latest Quinnipiac survey tested a number of Elizabeth Warren policy proposals, and the results are all over the map:
Voters support 60 - 34 percent an annual 2 percent tax on any individual wealth over $50 million;

Voters oppose 59 - 36 percent raising the tax rate to 70 percent on individual income that is over $10 million;

52 percent of voters oppose making all public colleges in the U.S. free, with 45 percent in support;

54 percent oppose free public colleges if it is paid for by a new tax on wealthy individuals, with 41 percent in support;

Voters support 57 - 40 percent having the federal government forgive up to $50,000 in student loans for individuals in households making less than $250,000 a year;

52 percent of voters oppose this loan forgiveness plan if it were paid for by a new tax on the wealthy, with 44 percent in support....
So voters support a tax on extreme wealth, but not a big tax increase on high incomes. (The income-tax question was asked after the wealth-tax question. I wonder if the results would have been reversed had the questions been asked in the opposite order.) Voters like free college and college loan forgiveness, but not if the wealthy have to pay through higher taxes -- even though they support one form of higher taxation on the wealthy.

I don't get it.

But this brings me to Joe Biden. It's clear a lot of voters believe, rightly or wrongly, that he's the best choice for the Democrats if they want to beat Trump next year. But I think part of the reason for his high level of support is the belief that supporting him is the safe, median position, midway between Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or some other purported bomb-thrower. What's regrettable is that many voters seem to believe all the other Democrats are too far out on the edge (with the possible exception of Pete Buttigieg, for some reason) -- too progressive, too "angry," too female. Or they believe that other people believe this.

I don't believe that poll respondents always tell the truth. Sometimes they're not lying, exactly -- they're responding with the answers they think are most socially acceptable. Being suspicious of Trump while rejecting vigorous congressional oversight seems to fall into that category. So does wanted to soak the rich somewhat. So does backing Biden.

No comments: