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Voters not sold on GOP’s agenda

By ALAN FRAM
November 12, 2010

House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner (Reuters)

People back Republican tax cut plans but not the GOP campaign to repeal President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul, according to a poll suggesting that the Republicans’ big Election Day win was not a mandate for the party’s legislative wish list.

Fifty-three percent say income tax cuts that soon will expire should be renewed for all — including the highest earners, as Republicans want — according to an Associated Press-GfK Poll conducted just after last week’s elections. But 44 percent would continue the cuts only for those earning under $250,000 a year — which Obama favors — or let them lapse for everyone.

When it comes to the health care law Obama signed in March, just 39 percent back the GOP effort to repeal it or scale it back. Fifty-eight percent would rather make even more changes in the health care system or leave the measure alone.

Two-thirds want the Senate to ratify Obama’s nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia, including most Democrats, about 6 in 10 Republicans and independents — and even about half of conservative tea party supporters. Some Republican senators oppose the treaty. The Obama administration hopes to win Senate approval in the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress and will need GOP support to garner the 67 votes required.

During this fall’s campaign, a leading Republican theme was a promise to curb a government they said had become too big and intrusive under Obama. This included proposals to extend tax cuts for even the wealthiest Americans and to pull back Obama’s health care law.

Further fueling support for their agenda were unyieldingly bad job and housing markets that polls show left many voters disenchanted with Democrats. The election ended with the GOP gaining a majority of seats in the House and adding to its Senate minority.

“I think everybody wants change,” said Steven Lamb, 60, a Tennessee state government worker in Nashville who voted Republican last week despite opposing the party’s stance on tax cuts and health care. “I’m tired of what’s going on, and the only way to do it is to make a change.”

The preference for cutting everyone’s taxes was a turnabout from September, when most in an AP-GfK poll favored omitting the wealthy from the reductions by 54 percent to 44 percent.

In further evidence that last week’s decisive GOP win was not an embrace of Republicans, the poll found that the party is no better liked than Democrats. Both got favorable ratings from about half in the survey.

The poll also showed support, though modest, for divided government. More than 4 in 10 said the country will benefit from a Republican-controlled House while Democrats run the Senate and White House, almost twice the number who say that will be bad. A third said it doesn’t matter.

“Lately, we’re not prospering and one party has been in control,” said Suzanne Fairchild, 33, of Pahrump, Nev., who recently lost her job and likes divided government in Washington. “When they’re busy bickering with themselves, the rest of us can get along with our lives.”

The poll underscored deep partisan divides on taxes and health care. About three-quarters of Republicans want extended tax cuts to include the wealthiest, while nearly two-thirds of Democrats want to exclude the wealthy. While 61 percent of Republicans want to repeal Obama’s health overhaul, 85 percent of Democrats want to expand it or leave it in place.

Among independents, about half want the tax cuts to include those with the highest incomes. About two-thirds want to preserve Obama’s health package or strengthen it.

Republican pollster Christine Matthews said GOP leaders have to avoid reading too much into the election results.

“They don’t want to get into Obama’s shoes and over-interpret their election as a strong mandate,” she said. “I think they’re taking it, and I think wisely, as a rejection of the general principles, of overreach, too much government.”

With Obama’s re-election campaign and the next round of congressional elections two years off, both parties must decide whether to seek compromise or clashes. While Obama and House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio have talked of possible accommodation, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has spoken of blocking Obama in hopes of bringing his defeat in 2012.

Boehner has called last week’s elections “a mandate for Washington to reduce the size of government.” McConnell has said that rather than falling in love with Republicans, the public “fell out of love with Democrats.”

Brendan Daly, spokesman for outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Democrats would work with Republicans on creating jobs and reducing the federal deficit and oppose efforts that threaten the health care overhaul, Social Security or other programs.

Neither Boehner nor McConnell can boast much personal support from the public. For each, about a third view them favorably, about a quarter unfavorably and about 4 in 10 don’t know enough to say.

The poll also found:

_Sixty-three percent rarely or never worry about being victims of terrorism.

_Almost two-thirds think Obama is handling terrorism effectively.

_Sixty-two percent don’t want any countries to have nuclear weapons, while just 6 percent said any country that develops them should be able to keep them.

The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Nov. 3-8 by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications and involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,000 adults chosen randomly from across the U.S. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

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Associated Press Polling Director Trevor Tompson, AP Deputy Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta and AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.

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Online:

AP-GfK Polls: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com

AP Polls: http://surveys.ap.org

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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8 Responses to Voters not sold on GOP’s agenda

  1. Carl Nemo

    November 12, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Why should we be sold on anything coming out of D.C. …?!

    Visualize going into the supermarket and although there’s a large selection of products, they are produced by only two manufacturers; ie., the Demoncrat Co. and Regthug Co. and they are the wholly owned subsidiaries of the same Mr. Oligarch & Co.

    All the products suck and you have no alternative except to start your own garden, raise your own chickens, milk cow etc.

    Well fellow citizens, I believe you are going to have to get off your collective dead butts and start self-surviving and put the MSM, D.C.politicians and their ilk on ignore. Kill your television for starters and start reading and self-educating yourselves.

    Visualize a household with no TV, possibly a SW radio for survival purposes and you sit down to actually read the “Constitution of the United States of America”, the Bill of Rights, then on to the Federalist papers etc. With each step of this no doubt painful process you’ll feel more liberated day by day as you see how flim-flam con artists; ie., crimpols have sold your birthright of freedom for a bowl of globalist pottage.

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Almandine

      November 13, 2010 at 9:15 am

      Now you’re talkin’ Carl !!!

    • griff

      November 13, 2010 at 10:16 am

      Great advice Carl. But you may as well attempt to potty-train a grizzly bear than try and convince folks to turn off the television.

      I’ve done all of the above, and it truly is liberating. I highly recommend it. I cringe when I walk into a donut shop and the TV is tuned to one of the 24-hour propaganda channels. I’ve caught a few glimpses here and there over the last few years, and it just serves as a reminder of how utterly ridiculous it is.

      Absolutely, unequivocally ridiculous.

  2. Sandune

    November 13, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I find it difficult why the GOP can’t focus on jobs. The Democrats are demanding government jobs with Keith Olbnermann asking every evening where are those jobs? Our jobs were undercut by treaties like NAFTA which opened up Asia, India et al; to undercut American prices and they managed to out bid and refuse to play on a balanced field through costing our American products bering imported without equal tarrifs.

    Bush 41 wrote and defined NAFTA and yet the RNC ignored the consequences of this imbalance. Thirteen million voters went to the ballot boxes in 1992 to defeat Bush’s reelection based wholly against NAFTA. A quick read through Thomas Friedman’s book on the subject can explain it better than I can. President Obama is still promoting outsourcing of our manufacturing base and not a single word from the GOP can be heard.

    The Tea Party is now declaring war on the GOP and they have no substantive interest in our jobs here at home. The Tea Party has no agenda other than to destroy the Presidency of Obama.

    America is again in a Civil War with no Party on the side of our commerce development. I learned over my years at CHB that my opinions are old fashioned and based on individual freedoms which must be returned to the people before any election pitting two corrupt parties against each other, can work..

    Carl, I had a household without television and my affiliation with the Red Cross made us all survival specialists. What I managed to do was have 3 kids without an ounce of respect for American Politics. We do not rely on any groups to lead us and we do not pray to have a supernatural spirit to protect us. We all understand what NAFTA and Liberals like Bush 41 and 43, Clinton, and Obama have done and are continuing to do to destroy our economy.

    Capitalism made our products the best on earth and our farmers and ranchers kept us healthy. It was not perfect and it sickens me to see the Tea Party trying to manipulate many of the American laws that protect those of us who are unable to function under Capitalism. It is sad that Capitalism has been currently based on Racism, Homophobia, and Religion. This has been the weakest part of our once great nation.

    We don’t have any Democrat or Republican leadership who will be willing to tackle the treaties that are destroying us. You all laugh rudely at Perot’s attempt to clean this up. I am right but simply in the wrong place.

    Sandy

    • Carl Nemo

      November 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

      “You all laugh rudely at Perot’s attempt to clean this up. I am right but simply in the wrong place.” …extract from post Note: you possibly meant to say “laughed” past tense rather then present.

      Welcome back to CHB Ms. Price.

      The entire tenor or your post was spot-on and I concur, but as in the past you always engage in your summation by casting others into some basket such as in the above extract concerning people laughing at Ross Perot who I and not doubt millions of other voters thought was a good choice for president, but too many of us were still addicted to a two party system as now paradigm that they simply couldn’t break through the glass ceiling and out of the hellish political matrix in which we all continue to suffer. Yes, you are ‘right’ concerning your general thought processes on this subject; then sadly you engage in accusatory innuendo and self-deprecation which sours the tenor of your post. / : |

      Carl Nemo **==

      • griff

        November 13, 2010 at 4:40 pm

        Well that didn’t take long. Throw in a liberal sprinkling of self-aggrandizement and haughty self-righteous indignation and you’ve got quite a recipe.

  3. Sandune

    November 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Carl, I fought against NAFTA long before Perot got into the fight. I remember reading Bush 41’s plunge into the One World Order starting with GAAT and then the North American Treaty. This was around 1988 and the frustration of not being able to warn anyone of this unbalanced treaty mess was awful……

    I was a member of the GOPAC and a long-time member of the GOP and completely crossed swords with Bush 41’s entire set of plans. I had only a small group of Republicans who used to meet in my bookstore in Central California to learn about the issues. I received a call from an old friend from Los Angeles and he told me about H. Ross Perot who wanted to run against all these unfair treaties and I met up with his group in Santa Barbara. You insult many of us as being unworthy due to television and ignorance. When I speak up, I am insulted. This does not happen elsewhere.

    To be honest with you, I deliberatly posted where you still comment hoping you finally saw the truth of what is eating our jobs in America. The problem is obvious to me but I see CHB is still using nasty banter against politics. I will be posting opinions on a new Independent group interested in bringing our jobs back to America. There is no Republican movement except to destroy Obama and that is unacceptable environment for anybody to discuss jobs. I do not want government jobs to be what fills the bills, but without a GOP, it will be to another Independent group to stop the outsourcing. This has nothjing to do with a liberal or conservative move. I am fishing for Independence from both sides of the current aisles.

    My reading of Tom Friedman and many of the older authors (I believe Issodhos has mentioned many of his library selections); the Constitution is never in trouble when I talk politics. The corrupt use of power is the cause of all our problems.

    I still have hope that more intelligent members of CHB will be able to get out of the right vs left pattern and join together with right vs wrong. It could be my advanced age seeing the America I was promised going down the drain. I’m 78 and out of a series of bad surgeries and almost sobered up off the pain meds to get to work. I will take another stab of assisting an Independent group to drop kick this hatred of Obama out of the game. There will be an opposition party soon to rebuild our mighty nation.

  4. Carl Nemo

    November 13, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Ms. Price I read, digest and post to this site on a daily basis and I don’t detect any left vs. right contention on the part of the site contributors. Generally speaking it’s just a bunch of folks posting their opinions as to how they perceive the political world at large etc.

    As to jobs there aren’t any…period! Our manufacturing base; ie., infrastructure has been gutted since the mid-eighties then onto the 90’s with the ratification of NAFTA, GAT, CAFTA, H1-B visas et al. minor tweaks to which the unwashed masses are not privy as to the unholy details concerning so-called ‘free trade’ at America’s expense.

    So unless someone at the top creates incentives for offshore manufacturers to return to our shores, it ain’t gunna happen dear lady.

    Good luck to you, but I have to intimate that at 78 you are witnessing the “twilights last gleaming” of a nation that’s peaked and is now on its way to decline no different than a once mighty sun going nova, then becoming simply a “white dwarf” in our case just another “banana republic’ on the now oligarchical controlled plantation planet.

    Sorry to hear about your surgeries and associated pain. You might care to look into a NorthStar Nutritionals product called “Soothanal X2″ which has almost magical qualities for quickly relieving pain due to arthritis, post surgical pain etc. It uses about six different known ingredients all natural and uses DMSO as the transport mechanism for moving the compounds quickly to the pain site. My wife uses it on her wrists and ankles and it only takes a few drops per day appllied to the joint areas for relief. It’s like Bengay or Tiger Balm on steroids.

    *****

    “A great many people mistake opinions for thoughts.” … Herbert Victor Prochnow

    *****

    Carl Nemo **==