I’m bored with polling and disappointed on how twisted the analysis can be. It all depends on how the question is asked and the context. CBS News anchor Katie Couric suggests Republicans avoid those representing extreme views – like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin – especially since 42 percent of Americans call themselves independents.
Well Katie, I don’t accept the premise 42 percent of Americans consider themselves independents. Let’s go back again to a consistently asked question (since 2004) by a group represented by both conservative and liberal pollsters – the George Washington University Battleground Poll.
Question: When thinking about politics and government, do you consider yourself to be…
- Very conservative (19%)
- Somewhat conservative (40%)
- Moderate (4%)
- Somewhat liberal (26%)
- Very liberal (10%)
- Unsure/Refused to answer (2%)
That’s 59 percent of the 1,000 polled that consider themselves generally conservative. Notice that a party – Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green or “independent” – are not the choices.
In Couric’s recent Notebook segment (hat tip Newsbusters and Gateway Pundit), she suggests – as do some in the Republican National Committee – the GOP simply needs to get numbers and more people registered. The problem, for those of you party big-wigs who have missed the point of the TEA parties, is that the GOP is no longer meeting the requirements of not just the very conservative base (19 percent), but they are also loosing most of the somewhat conservatives (40 percent) who are simply sick of RINOs.
They are also sick of Republicans and Democrats who play to conservative principles while in campaign mode, only to drop them when they return to the beltway.
She references “far-right conservatives [who] have hijacked the message” and being more inclusive than the “sideshows that are popping up along the party’s fringe”. We’re not sideshows Katie, and liberal attacks on Palin, Limbaugh and others are backfiring.
I guess the real poll happens this Nov. 3 and at the mid-term elections in 2010. If Republicans – hopefully conservatives – take back seats, will that gain be in despite of the sideshow fringe who have hijacked the parties message?
If the GOP really wants to increase their numbers, maybe they should start listening to Limbaugh, Palin, Levin, Vicevich, McGough and the other conservatives out there who represent 59 percent of Americans.
Here’s the historical background…