Having spent more than a few hours about the business of measuring public opinion with the folks at Montana’s Department of Tourism and Recreation Research, I’m aware that polling can give us lots of information on any given subject. Polling can also mean diddly squat. It depends upon how serious the researchers are. I trust Rasmussen.
While at my morning rounds, I looked to Rasmussen to learn what Americans are thinking lately about the two presidential candidates and the state of the union. I’m heartened to learn that at least half of the people Rasmussen polled last week are of a mind with me.
Forty-nine percent of the people polled last week thing the answer to poverty is NOT putting people on food stamps and welfare. That percentage of Americans think there are already too many people on government assistance and, they believe that government programs actually increase the level of poverty in this country. Eighty-three percent also say ( in a stunner which ought to be a wakeup call for Kathleen Sebelius who recently relaxed the work requirement in Welfare to Work programs,) that all people on welfare should be required to have a job. (And may I add, tested for drug use regularly?) Amen.
According to last week’s polling, Rasmussen reports that most Americans:
- Have very little confidence in the Obama administration’s economic policies
- See the Republican nominee Mitt Romney as the candidate most likely to fix the economy
- Think that Obamacare will hurt the quality of health care, not help it and,
- Think that it ought to be repealed
- See the housing market as failing with little hope of gaining strength soon
Obviously, this set of opinions settles a big black shadow over the Obama candidacy.
Still, though, the race is a tight one. Republicans are going to vote for Romney. Dems will toe the party line as well. That leaves the independents to sort it all out in the end. Here is where I must work to summon up confidence in the American people.
I desperately want to believe that Americans – that silent majority out there in the heartland – are watching and waiting for their opportunity to set the rest of us to rights. I want to believe that these folks are paying attention to the candidates, the promises they make, and the philosophies to which they adhere. I want to think that when push comes to shove, Americans will choose the American way – the Constitutional, lawful way of moving forward. The alternative is just too scary for this old gal.