Skip to comments.CBS News: Good Economic News Doesn't Help GOP
Posted on 10/17/2006 10:30:53 AM PDT by presidio9
Gas prices are down, the stock market is at a record high and 60 percent of Americans say the economy is in good shape. So why are Republicans in so much trouble?
I've been asked this in the past week by several (mostly rich) Democrats and Republicans, so I picked the brains of a number of pollsters. Kathy Frankovic, director of surveys for CBS News, pointed to the finding in the CBS News/New York Times poll conducted Oct. 5 to 8, which said that despite the increase in the number of people saying the economy was in good shape, they were not optimistic about the future. Only 19 percent said the economy was getting better, and by a 51 percent to 36 percent margin people picked the Democrats over the Republicans as the party which would ensure a good economy.
Democratic pollster Geoff Garin says "the only economic statistics that matter right now are flat incomes and still more than a majority of voters feel they are falling behind economically. New jobs aren't as good as the jobs we lost and any gains aren't trickling down to the middle class. And voters feel that the economic outlook is glum for the next generation."
In fact, the recent CBS/Times poll found that 46 percent said they were making just enough to get by and another 17 percent said that they weren't making enough to pay their bills. Only a third of Americans said they had more than enough to get by.
Nonpartisan congressional election analyst Charlie Cook reads the polls the same way and says that Iraq and a feeling that the Republicans have been in power too long are dominating the economy as an issue this year, and that many Americans feel they are working harder and harder but not getting ahead.
But what about gas prices? Republican pollster David Winston has long thought they were a big source of Republican woes and if they came down Republicans would have an easier time of it. Cook feels gas prices seem to have "hurt Republicans when they were going up and helped when they were going down," but that the phenomenon was "distinct from a broader economic concern that the Republicans were favoring the other economy that has been doing so well." Democratic pollster Diane Feldman took it a step further. Her research has found that many voters "think the Republicans manipulate gas prices." Both she and Cook say the market is irrelevant to most voters.
In an important book published this fall, "Applebees America," the authors, Republican pollster Matthew Dowd, Democratic strategist Doug Sosnik and former AP political writer Ron Fournier, throw cold water on the "Economy Drives the Vote" theory. In a chapter entitled "Values Trump the Economy," they argue that people vote with their hearts not their heads and are hungry for a "gut value connection" with political leaders. Voters are searching for community and authenticity, and leaders who are able to persuade them that they care about voters and convince them that "we are all in this together" will be successful. On a panel in Washington last week, Fournier said that Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm was pulling ahead in the polls despite the terrible economy in her state because she made that connection on values.
"Applebees America" is a fascinating book and uses a huge amount of sophisticated polling and marketing techniques to demonstrate the thesis that values and culture beat issues and policies. However, several pollsters have argued that this is a false distinction. Geoff Garin contends that "issues have to be expressed in a language of values but values without issues lose the transaction people look for in candidates, i.e., how are you going to make my life better."
The Bush administration and Republican candidates are still hoping that the good economic indicators, falling gas prices and issues like taxes and government spending will get through to voters in the final days of the campaign. But time is running out, and so far the voters' heads and hearts have been focusing on other issues and different solutions.
Figured that out, did they? :)
My new job is much better.
Aside from experiencing the effects of the economy as they are felt in their own lives, most Americans will never hear or read about this robust economy, simply because the drive-by media are withholding this information. And when they do deign to comment on the economy, they do so with a decidedly negative spin. (Another abuse of their First Amendment protection by the LSM).
"Good Economic News Doesn't Help GOP"
That's because we at CBS and the rest of the Clown Car Media don't bother to report it!
So I guess it'd make no difference if the unemployment rate were 20%? LOL...
What tools the MSM are... The GOP can still lose seats AND be helped by the economy... i.e., election results could be worse but for the good economy.
Just another typical liberal MSM attempt to rewrite reality. My dog won't even pee on a newspaper anymore...
The Drive-By Media has constantly portrayed the economy as bad from the moment Bush took office. What other result would they expect?
So they've figured out gas prices have no effect on the average taxpayer.
The numbers don't compute.
How do you feel about the disastrous Bush-GOP economy in light of the Cheney-Rove plot to sell you into foreign slavery, give your house to the Jews, and sell your children to Halliburton to be ground-up for dog food?
"But time is running out, and so far the voters' heads and hearts have been focusing on other issues and different solutions."
CBS, the MSM and the DNC actually believe that the majority of this country is concerned with Foley and the perceived Republican culture of corruption.
Good thing they only poll the left. I want the democrats loss thsi November to be the best kept secret.
New jobs aren't as good as the jobs we lost...
CBS helps the democRats I can't stand it f the msm.
From another thread today. People are SPOILED!
The Average American: 1967 And Today
Forbes ^ | 15 Oct 2006 | tom Van Riper,
Posted on 10/17/2006 7:56:54 AM CDT by Fan of Fiat
As the U.S. population crossed the 300 million mark sometime around 7:46 a.m. Tuesday (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), the typical family is doing a whole lot better than their grandparents were in 1967, the year the population first surpassed 200 million.
Mr. and Mrs. Median's $46,326 in annual income is 32% more than their mid-'60s counterparts, even when adjusted for inflation, and 13% more than those at the median in the economic boom year of 1985. And thanks to ballooning real estate values, median household net worth has increased even faster. The typical American household has a net worth of $465,970, up 83% from 1965, 60% from 1985 and 35% from 1995.
In Pictures: Mr. And Mrs. Median Over The Decades
Throw in the low inflation of the past 20 years, a deregulated airline industry that's made travel much cheaper, plus technological progress that's provided the middle class with not only better cars and televisions, but every gadget from DVD players to iPods, all at lower and lower prices, and it's obvious that Mr. and Mrs. Median are living the life of Riley compared to their parents and grandparents.
So why are they so unhappy?
Yes, despite their material prosperity, the Medians are a grumpy lot. A Parade Magazine survey (a good source for all things median) performed by Mark Clements Research in April showed that 48% of Americans believe they're worse off than their parents were. A June 2006 study by GFK-Roper group showed that 66% of Americans said that their personal situations in the "Good Old Days"--defined by the bulk of respondents as anywhere between the 1950s and the 1980s--were better than they are today. And in May, a Pew Research Center poll showed that half of U.S. adults believe the current trends point toward their children's future being worse than their own present.
Attribute some of the dissatisfaction to what economist Milton Friedman dubbed "Permanent Income Theory," which assumes that people measure where they are relative to where they expected to be a few years ago. They don't care a bit what the average income was four decades ago.
"If you expect a 3% rise in income and you get 2.5%, you're disappointed," says Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board, a private research group in New York.
And because people generally judge their fortunes not in absolute terms, but by comparing themselves to others, the super-success of the top 1% can make Mr. and Mrs. Median feel relatively poorer. Take CEOs--the $19 million that Wal-Mart Chief Lee Raymond raked in last year was 410 times what Mr. and Mrs. Median made, as opposed to the $469,000 a year earned by Exxon's Ken Jamieson in 1975, which was a mere 40 times more.
It's the same with celebrity athletes. Those who worshipped Joe Namath in the 1960s could at least identify with the $142,000 a year he made ($848,000 in today's dollars). But how many can identify with the $87 million Tiger Woods took in last year? And not only are the elite making much more today, relatively, than the Medians, the rise of cable television and the Internet assures that they know all about it.
"It's now easy for us to see how other people around the world live, not just how our neighbors live," says Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College. Schwartz also argues that the plethora of consumer choices today, while generally a good thing, can be a catalyst for bringing people down. Not everyone can have a new flat screen television with both a 60 inch screen and premium sound.
"The more options you look at, the more you have to give up," he says.
It's true that the wealthy have grabbed up a larger share of the growing economic pie over the past 40 years. Census Bureau stats show that the percentage of pay collected by the middle 60% of wage earners dipped to 46% in 2005 from 52% in both 1965 and 1975. That figure doesn't include income from investments, which would make the gap even larger.
But the overall pie is much larger too. A near quadrupling of the Gross Domestic Product since 1967 means that today's Americans share $12.5 trillion in wealth, or $41,579 per capita, compared to the $3.8 trillion, or $18,951 per capita, enjoyed by 200 million people back then.
Of course, the super-rich have done even better. When the first edition of the Forbes 400 hit newsstands in 1982, the top-ranked person was shipping magnate Daniel Ludwig, with an estimated net worth of $2 billion. That was about 20,000 times the net worth of Mr. and Mrs. Median at the time. There were only 12 billionaires on the list that year.
The top person on the 2006 edition of the Forbes 400, Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - news - people ) Co-Founder Bill Gates, had a net worth of $53 billion, or 133,741 times the Medians. That means that while Mr. and Mrs. Median have seen their net worth rise 130% percent since the first Forbes 400, the richest man in the country is worth 1,225% more. Oh, and every member of the list is now a billionaire.
But what does the pay of celebrities and CEOs have to do with the average American, other than provide fodder for jealousy? It would be one thing if growing incomes at the top stretched prices of goods and services so much as to dramatically push inflation ahead for everyone else. But inflation has been tame for over two decades.
The fact is that in real terms, the Medians are doing great. Mr. Median makes 25% more than his father did 30 years ago, even after holding for inflation. Mrs. Median is a lot more likely to work in the professional ranks than her mom was, and to be paid about three times as much doing so. And though she still makes only 77% of what her male counterparts earn, this is up from 33% in 1965. They dote on the same number of children (two), but waited longer to have them, until both careers are well under way. They also pay less tax to the federal government and have 8% more purchasing power than they did 20 years ago, including 5.7% more than they had just ten years ago.
But, if despite their prosperity, the Medians need some cheering up, there is one powerful person whose wage growth they have outpaced nicely over the last two generations.
When Lyndon Johnson occupied the White House in 1965, he earned $100,000 a year, or 14 times what the Medians earned. This year, George W. Bush will earn $400,000, or just eight times the Medians.
And the MSM promotes the conspiracy that Republicans control the gas prices, and then "report" it as if voters came to this idea ON THEIR OWN???
I'm waiting for the liberal nostrum that the new jobs being created are nothing but "burger-flipping jobs." Haven't heard that golden oldie in a while...
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